Why We Recommend Swim Lessons Multiple Days a Week
“Baby Shark do do do do dooo….” Parents hear it ten times a day and it comes as no surprise when preschoolers ask to play it AGAIN! What is it about this tune that gets stuck in the head of everyone within earshot that is so intriguing to tots? There’s an abundance of research that shows children learn best through repetition, and this is the reason we recommend participation in swim lessons two or three days a week.
Children Learn Swimming Best Through Repetition
Little learners are sponges, soaking up everything from the world around them. In fact, the First Things First organization reports that, “90% of a child’s brain develops by the age of 5.” During these early stages of development, their young minds crave repetition. Their toys, books, songs and shows are all designed to nurture repeated behavior. “It’s like when you’re potty training; it takes patience and continual practice,” explains Aqua-Tots Headquarters Senior Manager of Operations and Franchise Support April Cauiola. “You wouldn’t sit them on the potty a couple of times and expect them to learn immediately. You use repetition and regular instruction to teach them, and before you know it, these life skills are second nature.” So, when you find yourself wondering, “How often should kids take swimming lessons?” multiple times per week should be the answer.
The water safety skills taught in swim lessons should become a child’s automatic response in the water. All of our students, from our youngest tots to our grade-school kiddos, need to recall these skills without a second thought. Literature published by the American Psychological Association states that, “Automaticity is usually only achieved through extensive rehearsal and repetition.” Our goal for all our students is that if they fall into a pool, they should be able to instinctively roll over, float, find air, get to the edge of a pool and climb out. In order to achieve an automatic response, repetition and practice play a crucial role in achieving that goal.
Familiarity Breeds Water Safety in Children
Given that many of our tots are still developing, adjusting and learning about the world around them, new and unknown environments can be strange to their growing brains. The Baby Scientist, Vanessa LoBue Ph.D., states, “An early developing preference for the familiar is actually quite common in infancy and early childhood.” Familiarity breeds safety in children, according to Catherine Lee, a professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa. “We are comforted by being able to predict the world.” The more chances a child has to repeat swim lessons, bond with their coach and adapt to time in the pool, the more confident they become, the more they’ll recognize the pattern and rhythm of our lessons, and the more quickly they can store their new skills as muscle memory, resulting in quicker, more efficient progression through their Swim Journey.
The question is often asked, “How many swim lessons per week should my child take?” That will vary from child to child, and we understand it may also fluctuate with busy schedules. At a minimum, your child should be enrolled in swimming lessons once per week, however, the benefits of enrolling in swim lessons multiple days a week reinforces their skills and harnesses the power of repetition in which their young minds learn best. This also allows each tot’s swim instruction to become habitual and ingrained into their memory.
At Aqua-Tots, our passion is to create safe and confident swimmers for life. Each swim lesson is designed to teach, build and progress skills based on development, even as early as four months old. Before moving on to the next level, we ensure every swimmer has mastered the skills at their current stage.
So, all you mommy, daddy, grandma and grandpa sharks out there, it’s time to set those swim lessons on repeat and watch your baby sharks become lifelong safe and confident swimmers “…do do do do do do.”