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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Contributor
 
November 23, 2012

Swimming May Encourage Early Skill Development in Children

Exposing your child to the pool at an early age may help him reap physical and cognitive benefits. By Charlene J. Owen

Your child may enjoy splashing in your bathtub, but you may want to upgrade his water playtime by introducing him to swimming. A study posted on MedicalNewsToday.com reveals that kids who learn the basics at a young age have faster cognitive, mental, and oral development than those who don’t.

In a span of three years, a team of researchers from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia surveyed parents of children from five years old about their kids’ recent achievements and milestones. 180 children from ages three to five years old were asked to participate in intensive skill-related tests in order to rule out the possibility of parental bias.   

Results showed that children who get exposed to water sports at a younger age have achieved their physical milestones early. What’s interesting is that swimming has been linked to the faster development of their visual-motor skills, mathematical logic, and oral expression.

"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," the research team shares.

So don’t be afraid to bring your child to the kiddie pool as soon as he’s capable of doing so. Not only can this be a great bonding activity for the both of you, but your little tyke will also be able to explore new things and improve his skillset in a fun and interesting way.

(Photo by Mark Evans via Flickr Creative Commons)

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