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Role of Water in Child Development
Water is recognised as a very important element in child development. It offers many possibilities that are difficult to achieve on dry land or in the air.
1. From Birth to 6 Months
Children discover their five senses and the sucking reflex which leads them to bring all objects they find towards their mouth. At the swimming pool, they loves toys which float, are brightly coloured and are easy to grab.
During this period, contact with your baby is very important, massage and tickling for example. Make the most of the water's properties by testing various methods of carrying your baby.
From 6 weeks, babies can control their heads and produce voluntary movements. They are very curious about their surroundings and those around them and start to crawl and move from the 5th month onwards. At the swimming pool you can now begin to play with your baby with floating structures.
2. From 6 to 12 Months
Children make great leaps in psychomotricity during this period. They learn how to control their bodies and their movements. They become adept at showing their parents what they want by their movements and attitudes. They also learn how to sit down towards 9 months, which will enable them to exchange one object for another or throw balls for example.
From the 10th month onwards, speech begins to emerge and occupies a significant place in a child's development. At the swimming pool, when children want to move towards an object they should first be encouraged to say the name of the desired object.
3. From 12 to 24 Months
At 13 months, the children are capable of standing and are keen to learn how to walk. At the swimming pool, they will love running across floating mats holding your hand.
As while playing, this is a period when the children are focused on themselves. They need to learn by themselves and they tend to find it difficult to share. In the water they will experiment with new situations and begin to realise that they must share their toys with their peers. This is how they start to socialize and make new connections and form bonds with you and those around.
4. From 2 to 3 Years Old
Children are starting to become potty-trained on land and parents should encourage them to be more and more independent and to do things by themselves. Their communication skills are developing and they may ask many questions especially about the aquatic world. They want adults to play with them more and more and they begin to develop a stronger bond with their parents. This is a time you do not want to miss. They become a bit more daring and start venturing out to learn and discover newer things both on land and on water. This is a time to be cautious, while also allowing them to make mistakes and learn from them.