Looking for more incentive to get your tots signed up to swimming lessons? Beyond sleeping soundly, new research suggests that kids who learn to do laps also hit developmental milestones earlier than their landlocked peers.
According to an article in Science Daily, the Griffith Institute for Educational Research pooled together three years' worth of data from 7,000 under-fives from Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. in the most comprehensive study on the impact of early years swimming.
Swimmers outperformed non-swimmers, regardless of socio-economic background and gender. Not only were visual-motor skills milestones achieved earlier, but children who swam also scored better in areas of literacy and numeracy than those who stayed dry.
"Many of these skills are highly valuable in other learning environments and will be of considerable benefit for young children as they transition into pre-schools and school," said lead researcher Professor Robyn Jorgensen.
How early did you enrol your child in swimming lessons? What benefits have they gleaned beyond the pool?