Swimming Makes You Smarter, Scientists Say

Apart from the many physical benefits of swimming, scientists have presented ground-breaking results that this water sport is able to make you smarter as well!

Griffith University in Australia has completed a four-year study on early-years swimming. They surveyed parents of 7000 children under the age of five. The research also included an intensive assessment of 180 children between three to five years old.

Results from this research showed that children swimming at an early age are mastering a wide range of skills earlier than the normal population.

Early swimmers are performing better than non-swimmers in intellectual and motor skills. Their physical and mental development are at a faster rate. This allows them to master skills like language and mathematics quicker than children who don’t swim.

In fact, the earlier you begin and the longer you continue swimming regularly, the more beneficial and lasting the effects are.

Here are 3 reasons why being in the pool can keep those wheels in your child’s head turning quickly!

1. Like Classroom, Like Swimming Pool 

One reason swimmers get a head start in their development is because of the similarities between what is taught in a classroom and what is learnt in the pool!

Children are exposed to numbers at an early stage when they take swimming lessons. This is because coaches are constantly using numbers in their conversations with their students.

For example, coaches will usually count “1-2-3 GO” at the start of an activity. Kids will also have to count the number of seconds they must hold their breath underwater or when doing an activity.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

Starting swimming lessons at a young age also exposes children to language frequently. They often have to follow instructions given by the coaches, like teachers in classrooms.

Children can also voice out when they are unsure about anything during the swimming lesson. This builds on their oral expression at an early stage.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

Furthermore, swimming helps to hone our motor skills! Our coordination improves overtime as we exercise the muscles in our body. These drills include flat palms for freestyle or pointing our toes for flutter kick.

Young swimmers fare better in visual-motor skills like cutting paper, drawing lines and shapes and colouring in. These skills are highly valuable, as they are beneficial in getting children ready for school.

2. Memory Booster

Besides the classroom like experience we have in the pool, another reason swimming makes us smarter is its effect of improving our memory.

A part of our brain consists of the hippocampus, which is a fundamental component of our brain’s learning and memory systems. Aerobic exercises, like swimming, are found to have a significant impact on the growth of the hippocampus.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

By swimming regularly, the hippocampus will increase, allowing more oxygen to flow into our brain. This will in turn help to boost our memory capacity!

A strong memory is a definite key to retaining content-heavy information, which is necessary at school and work.

3. Focus, Focus and More Focus

Another great benefit swimming has in the brain department is to help sharpen our focus and concentration, ensuring we do not stray away from our tasks.

Swimming can increase the attention span of children. Swimmers are more likely to dismiss the distractions around them and focus better in their work.

Having the perseverance to complete laps instead of stopping halfway, and focusing on executing each stroke correctly helps sharpen our attention and focus greatly.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

Therefore, swimming has been widely recommended for kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It allows them to burn off excess energy, and helps them to gradually learn to concentrate on one thing for a longer time.

With better focus, you will be able to absorb and understand things better at work or in class. These efforts will ultimately translate into good results!

Swimming lessons are now clearly beyond just imparting water safety skills. They can enhance children’s lives socially, cognitively and physically, providing them with the head start that they need.

Learning to swim is definitely an innovative and fun way to engage young children in learning. Here is a simple summary of the many benefits that your children can get out from swimming lessons!

Image Credit: Swim it Right
Image Credit: Swim it Right

So, what are you waiting for?

It’s time to head down to the pool with your kids, and get those brain juices flowing!

If you are still uncertain, register for a free swim trial with Swim it Right today! 

Swim it Right
Tel: 
+65 9100 3182
Email: hello@swimitright.com
Facebook: Swim it Right

(Header image credit: vietravel.com)

Also, read 3 Simple Ways to Know If Your Child is Ready for Swimming Classes

5 Things to Look Out For in a Swim School

Swimming is an essential survival skill we cannot do without. As we always want the best for our kids, choosing the right swim school is crucial.

As parents, we’ll always want to pick the best swim class where our children can learn to swim in a supportive environment with patient coaches.

Here are 5 vital things to look out for in a swim school!

1. Qualified Instructors

One of the most important criteria that a swim school needs to fulfil, is having fully qualified and experienced instructors teaching swimming. So, parents will know that their children are in good hands when they are in the pool.

All qualified swim instructors need to undergo training programmes to be certified as a teacher. A few widely-recognised associations, such as Sports Singapore, Swimming Teachers’ Association and AUSTSWIM, offer the necessary courses for coaches to be officially certified.

These training programmes consist of theory and practical courses. Instructors will go through an attachment programme at the end to gain actual coaching experience before receiving the qualification.


Video Credit: Swim it Right

At Swim it Right, our instructors are required to complete a total of 12 training sessions and 30 attachment classes. Training sessions provide coaches with theory knowledge and they’ll have a full understanding of our programme.

They will then be attached to a senior coach’s swimming lessons. At the end of the training programme, they’ll be certified by Swim Australia.

You may enquire for the instructor’s qualifications when finding out more about the swimming course of your interest!

2. Programme Curriculum

 A great swim school must also have a structured swimming programme with a step-by-step progressive approach. This is a clear indicator of the standard of swimming lessons that are offered by the school.

A well-structured curriculum will have several skill levels, clearly stating the requirements that need to be fulfilled to progress to the next level.


Video Credit: Swim it Right

For example, Swim it Right students will advance to grade 3 after mastering the relevant skills taught in grade 2. These skills include breaststroke, backstroke and swimming without aid for 25 metres. Coaches are to strictly follow a detailed guide to assess students’ progress.

Learning of strokes are also broken down into specific drills when taught. For example, learning breaststroke consists of drills like leg action with floatation aid, arm action and breathing-arm coordination.

Teaching accurate drills and strokes are the most important in a swimming course. A common mistake made by some swimming schools is the ‘big circle’ arm action when swimming front crawl. The correct arm movement for the swimming stroke should be a bent elbow.

 

The different stages of a swimming programme should qualify your child to achieve local swimming proficiency certifications, such as SwimSafer in Singapore. Apart from that, the curriculum in swimming schools should also teach students about water safety.

You can check in on your child’s progress from time to time with the school, find out what they are currently learning and what they will be taught next!

For more details on our swimming programme curriculum, click here.

3. Encouraging Teaching Style

The way instructors conduct swimming lessons is a crucial part of your child’s learning process. They have a huge impact on the kind of swimming experience your kid will receive.

Some coaches tend be too fierce with their students, raising their voices at them when they do not listen to instructions. However, such treatment may only worsen the situation. This can lead to unhappy students and an ineffective learning process.

A good instructor is one who is supportive and approachable during lessons, such as praising their students for notable progression! Children will also receive encouragement and not be forced against their will to do activities that they are uncomfortable with.


Video Credit: Swim it Right

Instructors should also be observant about the learning style of each child, and be able to help them master the swimming techniques at their own speed.

Knowing every student’s personality and effectively handling each one of them is also an admirable skill of a good teacher.

Not only will a skilled and likeable coach motivate your kids to improve, but your children will also enjoy themselves during class.

4. Small Class Size

It is recommended for children to partake in classes with a small number of students as compared to large class sizes.

An ideal number of students in a group class should be between 4 to 8 people.


Video Credit: Swim it Right

With this arrangement, the class is small enough for each student to receive individual attention from the instructor.  At the same time, it is sufficiently large for interaction between peers. This gives your children opportunity to socialise.

There will also be less down time during lessons, as students spend more time being active and swimming instead of waiting for their turn!

5. Skill-Based Class Placements

Another crucial consideration when choosing the right swim school for your child is how they are being placed into different levels of the swimming programme.

If a swim school has no qualms about fitting beginner students into an intermediate or advanced class, or if you see an age gap of more than 4 years in your child’s swimming class, these are warning signs.

Children should learn to swim at a level that is on par with their abilities and they should be grouped according to their skill levels in precedence of their age.


Video Credit: Swim it Right

This is because some students may progress faster than others, despite being younger. They may have developed motor skills earlier and are therefore learning at a quicker rate. These students may also require less practice time to master drills correctly.

If they can qualify for the next level in the programme earlier than the rest, age should not be a limiting factor in their advancement.

Not everyone is able to get it right at the same pace! Therefore, excellent swimming schools will take both skill level and age into consideration when grouping students into classes. 


Nothing is more important than making an informed decision.

With your child’s interests in heart, take your time to find out more about the different swimming schools available, and weigh their pros and cons.

Ultimately, your efforts will not be in vain. Choosing the right swimming course for your kids will surely be providing them with the best learning experience they can have!

(Header Image Credit: Getty Images)

Also, read 3 Simple Ways to Know If Your Child is Ready for Swimming Classes

5 Easy Ways to Unplug Your Kids from Technology

In this new era of technology, it is not an uncommon sight to see toddlers playing iPads and children being glued to their phones.

Even though technology has become a great source of fun and games for children, over exposure can be physically and mentally harmful.

Excessive amounts of screen time can negatively impact a child’s development, such as delaying their speech skills and causing short attention spans. If your kid prefers looking at their device than interacting with people, it is a concerning issue.

It is never too late for a digital detox. Simply follow these five easy ways to unplug your kids from technology!

1. Set a Time Limit

It is important to set ground rules for your children’s technology usage. Setting a clear limit on your child’s screen time is the first step to get them used to being away from technology.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

According to the screen time guidelines by Media Literacy Council, device usage for toddlers between the ages 2 to 5 should be limited to 1 hour per day. Parents should monitor their child’s usage, and provide only high-quality programmes for their kids.

For children who are 6 years old and above, consistent time limits should be set for their screen time. Parents also need to ensure that their technology usage do not replace necessary physical activities and sleep. Parent supervision is also required.

Technology usage should not be encouraged as a solo activity! Ensure it is done in a group setting, either as a family or peer activity.

2. Setting Tech-Free Zones

Isn’t it common to see children staring at their mobile devices during a family dinner at restaurants or food centres? Such behaviour can be considered as impolite, and children will miss a great opportunity to interact with people closest to them.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

By setting tech-free times, like during meals and when doing homework, you can help to bring your kids’ attention to what is important at hand.

Family meals are a great time to build bonds between parents and children. Not allowing phone usage at the table will encourage conversations at the dinner table. Kids can share about how their day went or if there are any issues in school.

A popular mini activity that can be played at the dinner table to ensure no screen time, is to stack everyone’s mobile phones in the middle of the table. The first person to reach for their device will have to do a forfeit!

No devices during homework time will also prevent your children from being distracted. Without devices by their side, they will be able to focus on their school work without any interruptions.

3. Get Involved in a Sport 

Another effective way to decrease your kids’ screen time is to get them involved in a new sport! This will also ensure that your young ones are always active.

Image Credit: Dreamstime
Image Credit: Dreamstime

A huge concern for the excessive use of technology is the negligence of one’s health. Children who are constantly glued to their screens usually fail to complete sufficient exercise to keep fit. Participating in a sport will keep your kids on a healthy track, and away from their devices!

Swimming is a fun activity for children of all ages. It also equips them with a crucial life skill they cannot do without. In addition, swimming has been proven to be a great brain booster, which gives young swimmers a head start in school!

And of course, no one will dare to bring any devices near the pool, would they?

If you are still uncertain, register for a free swim trial with Swim it Right today!

Swim it Right
Tel: 
+65 9100 3182
Email: hello@swimitright.com
Facebook: Swim it Right

4. Have Your Family Time Outdoors

Instead of staying cooped up at home when you are around your children, bring them out for a breath of fresh air, away from the TV and computer!

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

With the busy lifestyles that we all have nowadays, it is important for parents to seize every moment to engage with their children.

Staying in their rooms will only encourage kids to entertain themselves with screen time. Getting them out of the house for some family time will void them of any excuses to use technology to occupy themselves.

Plan some exciting activities that you can do with your child when the family is outdoors. A few ideas are cycling or going for a stroll in a park, playing badminton at a nearby sports stadium, or having a picnic!

Show your kids what a good time they can have without using technology!

5. Be An Example

You are the biggest role model for your children! Therefore, how you control your technology usage will be a great influence on your children’s usage of technology.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

Young children like to imitate the actions and behaviours of others. Therefore, always try to set a good example for your kids to follow.

If you are constantly checking your phone during meal times, or using your devices when talking to your children, it is time to change those habits.

Children can get frustrated when they see their parents doing the things that they are told not to do. This could result in them not taking your words seriously in the future.

To build and maintain a strong relationship with your kids, you need to prove that you are always mentally and physically available for them. Don’t be swallowed up by technology yourself!

“Technology is a useful servant, but a dangerous master”.

Technology is indeed a life-changing tool with countless benefits for us. However, mis-using it could result in detrimental effects on our health and our lifestyle.

As parents, our children’s well-being should always be the top of our priorities.

It is necessary for us to look out for them, and educate them about the effects of excessive use of technology. This will ensure that they do not fall into the trap of being addicted to screen time.

There is so much more to life beyond the screens of our devices!

(Header Image Credit: Getty Images)

Also, read 5 Must-Have Experiences with your Toddler for A Happy Childhood

3 Simple Ways to Know If Your Child is Ready for Swimming Classes

Covering approximately 71% of our Earth, water is indeed everywhere! This is the reason why swimming has consistently been one of the most important skills a child needs at a young age.

Apart from its life-saving benefit, swimming is also a sport that has proven to enhance cognitive development. Most young swimmers actually perform better than their non-swimming peers in school.

But before you get too eager and start registering your child for swimming classes, you must know if it is the right time for them to begin.

Here are three simple ways to know if your child is ready for swimming classes!

1. Is your child at the right age for swimming?

The very first thing you need to make sure is that your child is attending a swimming class that is suited to his/ her age and maturity.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

There are different swimming classes, each with its own benefits, for children of different ages.

For babies (6 months to 2 years)

Baby swimming classesare suitable for little ones below 2 years old. Parents are expected to be in the water with their babies for swimming classes.

Babies will learn how to float on the water (an important water safety skill!) and control their breath. Such classes are a great way for a parent with bond with their child.

For toddlers (2 to 4 years)

Toddler swimming classes will prepare your child for the Learn to Swim programme. If your child is showing signs of discomfort with water (upset with water on the face, uncomfortable playing in shallow water), it is advisable that your toddler joins a swim programme.

Toddlers will learn under a fun environment. Water toys should be provided and games and activities will stimulate your child’s senses. It’ll be a blast under the sun and in the pool.


Video Credit: Swim it Right

Besides enjoying his/ her time in the water, your child will also learn breath control, free floating, to return to a point of safety if they fall into a body of water, and basic swimming skills such as flutter kick.

For children five and above

Learn to Swim programmes emphasise on teaching efficient swimming strokes, water survival skills and basic lifesaving skills. A full programme will see your child learning the 4 main swimming strokes, front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly stroke.

A study conducted by Griffith University in Australia has shown that children who learn swimming reach developmental milestones earlier than children who don’t. Besides better motor skills (using a pencil to write, drawing shapes and lines), these children also display more advanced language and math skills.

All that aside, swimming is ultimately an essential life skill that every child should learn. There’s no better assurance for a parent than knowing that your child can swim and will be safe in the water.

If there’s an enrichment class you would like to sign your child up for, swimming is definitely high on the list of skills to acquire.

2. Is your child able to follow instructions?

Your kid’s ability to listen to instructions is the next important consideration.

Listening to the swim coach is mandatory for swimming lessons to go smoothly and safely.


Video Credit: Swim it Right

By 2 years old, your child should be able to listen to one part instructions. By age 4, they should be able to understand and follow more complex directions.

If your kid is still having difficulty being attentive and unable to follow given instructions, it may be better to sign your child up for private swimming sessions instead of group lessons so he/ she gets individual attention.

As a parent, remember to lay out clear expectations you have of your children. Encourage and compliment them when they follow instructions. When they don’t, chide them gently.

3. Is your child a people person?

To determine if your child is ready for swimming classes, it is good to have a better understanding of how they react in a larger group as compared to a small group.


Video Credit: Swim it Right

If your child is comfortable with strangers and enjoys social interaction, a group swimming class will be more suitable. Group lessons provide the dynamic aspect of peer learning and positive peer pressure. Children will also get to build on their social skills!

However, if your child is uncomfortable being around many people, having them attend private swimming lessons might be a better idea. Private lessons will keep your child focused and at ease. Individual attention also means that your child is highly likely to learn and progress faster than in a group lesson.


At the end of it all, no one knows your child better than you!

Swimming lessons are crucial for children at a young age. With encouragement and communication, you can stretch your child to learn new skills and face challenges head on. What a great way to prepare them for primary school and more!

(Header Image Credit: Pixabay)

Also, read 5 Easy Ways to Unplug Your Kids from Technology

5 Must-Have Experiences with your Toddler for A Happy Childhood

We know that the first few years of a child’s life is crucial. That’s when they grow the most. Happy experiences and secure relationships with family members during their childhood play a huge role in a child’s holistic development.

Besides ensuring that our children are future-ready, we should also make sure that their childhood is nothing short of beautiful memories.

From capturing precious memories to learning important life skills, here are 5 experiences you just can’t miss with your toddler during their childhood!

1. Capturing Memories 

What better way to preserve those precious childhood moments with your toddler than to have beautiful pictures taken during family outings, birthdays, and more!

As photographer Dorothea Lange once said, “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still”.

Image Credit: Bambini Photography
Image Credit: Bambini Photography

Photographs are the best way to remember those wonderful times with your children. In future, you can look back at how much they’ve grown and reminisce those days.

Image Credit: Bambini Photography
Image Credit: Bambini Photography

Being behind the camera all the time also means missing out on the fun with your children.

Experts advise parents to consider hiring professional photographers for special family events, so you can relish in that moment with your family.

Regardless, get that camera ready before the toddler days slip away!

Bambini Photography
Address: 62 Ubi Road 1 #10-24, Oxley Bizhub 2, Singapore 408734
Tel: +65 8717 1558
Email: info@bambiniphoto.sg
Facebook: Bambini Photography

2. Sing and Dance with the Lil’ One

Dancing and singing with your toddler can improve their mood. It’ll be a great way to bond with your child and they’ll surely remember such amazing memories.

As children struggle with expressing themselves through language at a young age, song and dance is another way for them to show how and what they’re feeling and thinking.

Image credit: Kindermusik with Love Studios
Image credit: Kindermusik with Love Studios

Not only that, participating in these activities with your child also boosts their confidence and creativity.

If you are seeking for a great place to learn music with your toddler, programmes like Kindermusik with Love Studios offers a great variety of music classes for parents and children.

Image credit: KinderMusik with Love Studios
Image credit: Kindermusik with Love Studios

As learning music requires time and perseverance, it also teaches your toddler discipline and patience. They learn to be attentive as they listen to the sounds being played. They’ll also have to wait for their turn to perform. What a beneficial experience!

So, what are you waiting for? Boogie away with your love one; you might discover a secret talent too!

Kindermusik with Love Studios
Tel: +65 9689 7292
Email: infomusik@kindermusikwithlovestudios.com.sg
Facebook: Kindermusik with Love Studios

3. Out into the Waters 

Your toddler may seem too young for the pool, but you’ll be surprised to learn that children as young as 2 can start swimming classes!

Besides learning water safety skills that significantly reduce the risk of drowning, your child will stand to gain from improved cognitive functioning due to swimming lessons.

It’s been proven that swimming boosts physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development!

Image credit: Dreamstime
Image credit: Dreamstime

In fact, children who learn to swim from young often reach developmental milestones earlier than non-swimmers.

In this study by Griffith University in Australia, kids who swim have better fine motor skills (using pencils, drawing lines and shapes, cutting paper), can count to 10 ahead of kids their age, and have better language development.

Image credit: Dreamstime
Image credit: Dreamstime

Apart from acquiring such valuable skills, your child will also have the opportunity to engage in a fun way to learn and develop socialisation skills from interacting with peers in the swimming class!

If you are still uncertain, register for a free swim trial with Swim it Right today!

Swim it Right
Tel: +65 9100 3182
Email: hello@swimitright.com
Facebook: Swim it Right

4. Bedtime Stories

Learning to read at a young age can bring about multitudinous benefits, such as speech skills and language mastery. In addition, reading along or to your toddler during their childhood is an opportunity to bond and have fun together.

Image credit: Scarlett Ansley
Image credit: Scarlett Ansley

Children love to imitate others. By reading with your child, they can learn and pick up the right way to read the pages on a book. They may start to value the habit of reading and develop a love for reading as well!

However, with the countless books available in bookstores, finding the right books for your toddler might prove to be a time-consuming task.

Image credit: Josh and Cherie
Image credit: Josh and Cherie

You may also rely on book subscription services like Josh and Cherie for highly rated books. Soon, storytelling time will be what the family looks forward to every day!

Josh and Cherie
Email: https://www.joshandcheriebooks.com
Facebook: Josh and Cherie Books

5. Role-Play Away

Last but not the least, role-playing is an amazing experience for any toddler!

Not only is it fun and interactive, but it also helps to enhance imagination and communication skills.

When children put on costumes or play with props, they learn about empathy. It’ll open their mind to thinking and learning from a different perspective.

It also aids in their cognitive development as they learn to think on their feet and solve problems.

Image credit: The Honey Comber
Image credit: The Honey Comber

If you want to enjoy a realistic role-playing time with your toddler, head down to KidZania Singapore!

Image credit: UTrip
Image credit: UTrip

From fireman to a scientist, this enriching role-playing experience is not to be missed!

KidZania
Address: 31 Beach View #01-01/02, Palawan Kidz City, Singapore 098008
Tel: 1800 653 6888
Email: share@kidzania.com.sg
Facebook: KidZania Singapore

Every parent wants the best for their children. But amidst these enriching activities with your precious little ones, remember to also have fun yourself!

Happiness is infectious. The more you enjoy these experiences alongside with your child, the more delighted your toddler will be as well!

So, take some time off and get right to planning these special events with your family today!

(Header Image Credits: Bambini Photography)

Also, read 3 Simple Ways to Know If Your Child is Ready for Swimming Classes