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Swimming Can Increase Your Child’s Intelligence Can it really be true that swimming makes kids smarter? It seems somewhat far-fetched when first stated. Obviously, swimming will improve a child’s physical fitness and, by extension, their overall health, but intelligence? There is a recently completed study from Griffith University of Queensland, Australia that has some hard…
Can it really be true that swimming makes kids smarter? It seems somewhat far-fetched when first stated. Obviously, swimming will improve a child’s physical fitness and, by extension, their overall health, but intelligence? There is a recently completed study from Griffith University of Queensland, Australia that has some hard evidence to back up their claim.
They ran a survey with around 7,000 children, under 5 years old, from over 40 schools. Their focus was an increased aptitude for learning and development in young children who were enrolled in swimming classes. The survey was created using widely recognized developmental milestones and tests. They factored in variables such as gender and the socioeconomic standing of the child’s family. Parents responded to the surveys several times over the course of the three year study that began in 2010.
When it ended in 2013 the findings were compiled and the results were exciting! Children under 5 years old who were enrolled in swimming classes, reached developmental milestones before their non-swimming peers. They had improved motor skills, which allowed them to pick up movements and activities through visual imitation with relative ease. These children also seemed to have a better time grasping mathematical concepts, as well as improved literacy and a superior understanding of other curriculum.
It’s hard to isolate exactly why swimming makes kids smarter. It may have something to do with the repetitive physical learning that comes from swimming lessons. During lessons, children must listen to their teacher’s instructions, and when they do they swim successfully. Intuitive swim games also help children learn to swim much faster. This better understanding of how to follow instructions might translate to the classroom. The study explores this idea in great detail. But the upshot is that, yes, swimming makes kids smarter.
There are plenty of free alternatives to buying an inground swimming pool to teach your child how to swim but it couldn’t hurt. Whether you own a pool or not the point is to spend time swimming with your child. Whether it’s at the beach or the YMCA it doesn’t matter. So dive in the pool with the little ones and have a nice long swim. It might help them do better in school later on in life!