In a recent local article, it was noted that more Singaporean parents are enrolling their babies in classes such as swimming lessons to develop their babies’ physical and social skills. Parents aim to bond with their children and provide an extra edge in their children’s development through these activities.
Dr Yang Chien-Hui, a senior lecturer at UniSIM specialising in early childhood education, said children learn best through play. This includes embarking on fun and enriching programmes such as music appreciation, gym classes and swimming lessons.
Dr Yang mentioned that anything in the real world and three dimensional is natural for children. Babies naturally play and enjoy play, and it is from play that they learn. For babies to learn through an academic manner, which is two dimensional, is not natural to them. This includes letter recognition, reading and writing.
Dr Yang added that these programmes is an excellent avenue to build the foundation for social skills for babies.
“When kids are in the preschool age, it’s based on what they do earlier on. So assuming if the baby has very good language input, interactions, then once they get to three years old and up, they actually develop better. They talk better. They have better behaviour. They have better social skills,” Dr Yang said.
These classes are favourable to the growth of babies, but they are not compulsory, Dr Yang reiterated. It is important that parents interact with their children, and bonding time with children is something irreplaceable. Swimming lessons are a great opportunity for parents to bond with their children, as well as for babies to not fear water and learn basic water safety.
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