This post is sponsored by Aqua-Tots Swim School. All opinions are 100% our own!
When my son started swim lessons at our local Aqua-Tots swim school almost two years ago, I thought that learning to swim and breathing control would be the only lessons learned during his time in the pool. But over the last several months, as he’s moved out of the “mommy and me” class and has started learning to swim all on his own, I’ve noticed just how instrumental swim class has been in developing his social skills. I recently shared about why year-round swim lessons is a priority for us. But today I’m explaining how swim lesson benefits include crucial social skills!
Five Social Skills Learned From Swim Lessons
- Taking Turns – While the Aqua-Tots swim school does offer one-on-one classes, we have opted for the small group setting. The class size is four or fewer students to one instructor. While my son doesn’t excel at taking turns during park play dates, I’ve seen him grow leaps and bounds in this area during swim class. The teacher instructs each student individually during different skill sets. Because the class sizes are kept very small, his wait time is minimal, but, as you know, even a second of waiting when you’re two is hard to do! This has been a great opportunity to learn it’s not all about him and he has to wait his turn.
- Eye Contact – When I’m giving my son simple two- or three-step instructions, I often ask him to look at me to ensure he’s actively listening to me. Eye contact is an important skill in social conversation and to secure attention. During his swim lesson, the teacher always makes eye contact with him before having him submerge under water. It’s a quick few seconds, that he communicates to her through eye contact that he’s ready to hold his breath.
- Active Listening – How many times have moms joked about feeling like the teacher in Charlie Brown? I know I certainly feel that way several times a day. Having a toddler means repeating yourself ad nauseum. So ANY opportunity to practice listening skills is a huge win for us! At Aqua-Tots, they play games that require the students to actively listen, not just sit and let the information flow in one ear and out the other. They employ kinesthetic learning and active listening all in one, which I think is a great approach!
- Self Control – I never truly understood how impulsive toddlers can be until I was parenting one. Wow! Their curiosity and willful spirit lead to so many impulsive moments. While sometimes I love this about him and laugh at the things he says or does, it’s also important to me that he practices self control. In swim class, he’s required to sit on the top step and not get up and walk around or jump into the pool without permission. When you’re a fearless, spirited little guy, this can require lots of self control and I’ve been surprised just how much he’s grown in this area!
- Autonomy – As I mentioned in my last post about swim lessons, the special bonding time during mommy and me class was really fun. But watching my toddler learn to swim without me has been pure joy! Seeing him walk into the indoor pool all by himself, learn from someone other than mommy, and celebrate little victories with his teacher has made me one proud mom.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of swim lessons offered year-round, Aqua-Tots swim school offers options for children ages four months and up. They encourage you to visit their website to find your local school today.