At Goldfish Swim School, we teach kiddos starting at just four months old. While their tiny little bodies are growing and developing, they’re learning big skills like sitting, rolling over and all of the fun sounds they can make! This stage of their lives just so happens to be the perfect time to get them into swim lessons. Babies, and older kiddos too, are sponges! They soak up everything around them, so what better time to focus on their development and get them started on their swimming journey, and what better way to teach out littlest fish than through sensory play!

Sensory play helps encourage learning (and information retention!) for our littlest kiddos, giving them the opportunity to build confidence and make waves - in the pool and in life!

Our littlest fish start in our Mini 1 swim lesson level, where they get to hop into the shiver-free, 90-degree water with a parent, guardian or grandparent, to start getting a base of knowledge that later leads to independent swimming! At this age, we use sensory-based play to teach kiddos as they explore the water, play with toys and have a FIN-tastic bonding experience. Our pool toys let swimmers feel different textures and sensations, and help them get used to being in the water, and the water being on them!

Exposing our littlest fish to these sensory experiences not only helps to stimulate their brains, but also encourages independence and confidence. One of our favorite (and most adorable!) ways of letting littles explore and play is with our floating mats! Babies get to sit or lay on these mats while they play with toys that are different sizes, shapes and textures. It allows them to have a unique sensory experience while also having time in the water that isn’t directly attached to their parent.

Items like floating mats and hand-held toys allow kiddos to explore a variety of sensory experiences!

The sensory experiences go beyond the toys, as we incorporate Swings and Sways into each lesson, letting babies feel their bodies move through the warm water in a fluent and rhythmic manner. These are great for parents to practice anytime during lessons to help their little one feel more comfortable. They can also be great for at-home learning in between lessons or even on vacations! 

As kiddos are splishing and splashing and having fun in the pool, they’re learning valuable life skills that will help them be safer in and around the water – for the rest of their lives! They’re even developing muscle memory that can help them know and execute the right things in the water if they were to ever accidentally get into it alone. The best part – babies are learning SO much but it doesn’t feel like learning! They are having so much fun that the learning comes naturally and so do the smiles! 

Sensory play allows babies to learn about the world in every possible way as they touch and play their way through different toys and experiences, and it comes with lots of great bonuses! It helps promote independent thinking as they study, feel and learn each toy. It encourages the development of fine motor skills as babies grab, hold and lift toys (most often towards their mouths! IYKYK!). It even helps to promote language development as they babble and make sounds when they get excited about their toys and experiences!

No matter how they play, their learning is here to stay!

We could chat all day about all of the great benefits that come with sensory play and our Mini lessons, and we could chat even longer about how adorable it is to watch tiny little humans float around in our pools, but the best way to experience it is to truly experience it! If you have a little one now or are expecting one soon, add swim lessons to your list! It’s a great activity to add to your calendar in this early phase before kiddos get big enough for soccer or dance class, and is one that helps them learn and grow in more ways than one! Swim over to our website to find a location near you, then swim over to their social media pages to see the Golden Experience other families are having!