As a parent I've always been a proponent of teaching kids to swim at an early age for safety reasons. Now there is research that states that swimming can help with a child's development as well.
Researchers from The Griffith Institute for Educational Research surveyed parents of 7,000 children under five years old in Australia, New Zealand and the United States and followed additional children, ages three-five over three years, to develop the most comprehensive study into early-age swimming.
Professor Robyn Jorgensen, lead researcher in the study, says that results show that children who participate in early-years swimming achieve certain skills earlier than the normal population - skills that help children transition into formal learning in pre-school and school.
The results also state:
As well as achieving physical milestones faster, children also scored significantly better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring in and drawing lines and shapes, and many mathematically-related tasks. Their oral expression was also better as well as in the general areas of literacy and numeracy.
Swimming is also a great sport for long-term exercise as it is easy on the joints. Get your kids involved with swimming early - and why not join them! - and see dividends as they grow and develop.