What are the exceptions of 4 year old’s in swimming lessons? Let’s break this down and look at some of the characteristics and developmental milestones your child may be achieving during this 4 year old age group.
Social and Emotional Development
By now, most children are starting to show their own unique personality. Some are shy, talkative, busy or even bossy. They:
- share and take turns and are more co-operative
- start telling tales to get out of trouble
- enjoy telling jokes that are funny to them
- may become bossy
- say or act out something they shouldn’t to see what your reaction will be
- like to play the same games over again.
The expectations of 4 year old’s swimming lessons will differ between each child, as no one child is the same. However, we have outlined some ways in which 4 year old’s will react to their swimming lessons.
Social and Emotional Implications on the Swimming Lesson
At 4 years of age your child is most likely swimming in a lesson without you. If this is the case, talk with your child about this in a positive manner. What you could consider:
- Introduce your child to their teacher prior to their lesson
- Turn up early so your child is ready to start his/her lesson on time
- Watch your child swim and show praise through non-verbal communication
- A great teacher will be interactive, compassionate and make the lesson fun and enjoyable
Don’t be discouraged if your child is hesitant to swim without you, be patient, stay positive and talk to your child’s teacher about options or strategies and collectively come up with a plan. For more information of the pre-school years, read here.
A 4 year old is busy and always need to be doing something and at this stage most children:
- Have improved co-ordination
- Can roll and do summersaults
- Dress themselves with minimal help
- Draw simple pictures
- Can ride a bike
- Like to run, climb and play on playground equipment
Physical Implications on the Swimming Lesson
- Children at this age are starting to co-ordinate their arms and legs
- Strength and distance have increased
- Engaging lesson will keep your child focused
Swimming lessons can be very tiring for a young person and if your child isn’t well rested prior to lesson they may not give it their best swimming. Try not to over stimulate your child before their lesson as this may cause disruptions within the class.
Most 4 year olds are talking more than ever, asking lots of questions and their favourite word is “why”. Children at this age:
- Tell silly stories and use words that may be inappropriate, but they find funny
- Ask lots of questions-who, what, where, why?
- Can follow more complex instructions
- Can say their first and last name
- An increased understanding of feelings.
A 4 year old’s understanding of what is expected of them has improved and they should be able to follow simple instructions. Use language that is appropriate for this age group and relate it to something that they understand.
REMEMBER to be vigilant and provide a safe, fun learning environment at all times.
It’s important to remember children are different and progress at different rates. This is meant to be a guide only. If your child is ahead of this guide or not quite up to these activities be patient, teach to their likes, dislikes and abilities and enjoy the time you spend in the water with them. Swimming with your child at any age can be a great bonding experience.
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