Why are swimming and drawing important for a proper child development?
Drawing and swimming have a common role in child therapies. A letter “doesn’t blush”, and the water is a cure. A pen and swimming often make a child express himself/herself, with no pressure of the environment. In the first place, it is relaxing. Imagine children at the age of seven drawing something before they jump into the pool, and then swim, and once they finish with swimming, they come back to finish their drawing. I wonder what message their drawings would send.
When I work with children, my drawing paper is the pool, and the pen is a stroke they make. In this way we have managed to «make» dozens of cheerful, playful and joyous drawings!
Ever since my kids showed their interest in drawing, a piece of paper and crayons are something we always carry with us, even when we go to the pool. It’s amazing what the eyes of a child can spot and the manner they express themselves at that age. I join their creative world, but I make sure I don’t disturb it. While observing them, I’ve noticed many similarities between drawing at young age and learning how to swim, which influence a proper child development.
Drawing and swimming have a multiple importance for a proper child development (aged 3 to 7):
Swimming and drawing prepare children for big future steps: By swimming at early age, children prepare their feet for walking, their body for proper moves and motor skills, while by drawing, children prepare their palms for writing. The palm itself is also very important for feeling the water while swimming. Such a development of sensory and motor skills in both drawing and swimming is beneficial.
Learning about the world around them while playing:Swimming teaches children to make differences between deep and shallow, close and far, all through playing, and it also teaches them how many yellow ducks there are at the pool’s edge. The same goes with drawing. A child who starts drawing at an early age can tell the difference between sizes of things and learns colours much faster.
Children have better motor skills and coordination with swimming and drawing, which is directly related to intelligence development. Science shows that children who start swimming at the age of three develop faster than their non-swimming peers and have better performance at school: they have a faster cognitive, physical development as well as language development, and are more focused i.e. their concentration is better.
Accurate moves:With continuous swimming and drawing at an early age the moves become more accurate. The transition from drawing to writing is consisted of many dashes, dots, and lines of various types. The same is with swimming. To reach the moment when your child can swim, it’s necessary to “connect” first all the dashes and dots into one water unit: it’s necessary that the child feels the water, learns how to breathe and float. For example, all the exercises done separately for floating, then for mastering the leg movement, and strokes in the end, are connected into one swimming technique which becomes perfect and fast with practice.
Freedom of expression:Water and a paper sheet give the children a chance to express themselves and be creative. Children who draw and swim have a higher motivation than those who don’t, they are more creative in thinking and expressing themselves. The important thing which the experts underline both for drawing and swimming is that parents should let their children express themselves on their own, both on a paper sheet and in the water. Don’t instruct them about where to draw a straight line and where a curved one, and don’t instruct them about swimming breaststroke or crawl first or tell them which is the right way of jumping into the water. You’re a parent, not their swimming instructor, or their art teacher.
Have you tried sitting and drawing with your children at the pool?
Give it a try, once you grab some free time. It’s relaxing, both for you and your children, and I believe that you will learn something new about your kid as well. When you finish with drawing, jump into the pool and swim together, play in the water. Because, apart from preparing children for the future, swimming and drawing will definitely make them a strong personality, make them self-disciplined, emotionally balanced and mature.
You should keep a drawing made at the pool just to be enjoyed in about ten years from then.
In the meantime, you should swim and draw with your kids, since it’s a matter of attitude, not a matter of skilfulness!