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Why is Sensory Play important in the pool?

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

Little Fish Big Fish S.W.I.M program has four main areas that make a harmonious lesson. To enable this to be successful we have taken traditional dry land activities and refined them to be perfect in the pool.

Are you experiencing lessons that are bland and uninspiring? You've been taking your child to lessons and they just aren't progressing? You feel that you & your child are bored in the water?

Many traditional swimming lessons require children to conform to a set of rules and be directed, taught, and tested. In even the loosest, most playful part of the classes, the children sense some sort of performance is expected of them.

So activities that might sound interesting and enriching to us create at least some level of pressure for our toddlers and preschoolers. Instead of learning through play they must spend their time being quiet, listening obediently, imitating and trying to "get it right". They are told what they need to do to be able to reach the next level or swim longer or faster.

With Little Fish Big Fish S.W.I.M approach we believe learning through play, being mindful and relaxing in the water enables your child to take the lead and learn at their own pace. This will develop them into strong, independent and confident swimmer.

What do we mean by sensory?

From birth through to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and make sense of the world around them. They do this by touching, seeing, smelling, hearing and tasting.

The waterfall helps the child learn to know to take a breath before they pass under the water

Children and adults learn best and retain more information when they engage their senses. Providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through "sensory play" is crucial for brain development. It helps build nerve connections in the brain's pathway. This leads to a child's ability to complete more complex learning tasks and supports their cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction and problem solving.

What are the 7 senses?






and 2 more important ones in swimming


Body Awareness

I go in to more detail about these in my B.A.T.H.T.U.B.S Blog.

Examples of Sensory Play

These activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use their scientific process while they Explore, Play, Investigate and Create (E.P.I.C):

Babies - watching bubbles float and feeling them fall on to their skin, hearing the sound water makes when it falls from a watering can, picking up floating toys & putting them in their mouths, looking at themselves in mirrors.

Toddlers - moving fast and slow, up and down, side to side during the actions of songs, playing with the water play station filling up the cups & pouring them out, collecting balls and putting them in to a basket.

Preschool - making waves in the water with kicking, blowing bubbles with their mouths, singing nursery rhymes, pretending to be on a boat using a woggle.

Puffer Fish face and blowing bubbles encouraging the correct breathing technique.

"The babies on the bus go Up and Down"

Benefits of Sensory Play

Greater confidence

Self esteem

Motor control

Emotional resilience

Multi sensory learning

Love of learning

Relationship building

More awareness of the world around them

Can you think of any more to add to the list?

Come and have some fun at our Little Fish Big Fish S.W.I.M lessons in Warwickshire or check out our online Learn 2 S.W.I.M programs.

If you have any questions please contact us

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