What is First Flippers? With parent or primary caregiver, infants are welcomed to experience our water for the first time in our FIRST FLIPPERS program. These 30 minute classes are FREE for infants (ages 3 months – 6 months). These classes are a great bonding experience and through the use of songs, games and props they are all about having fun in the water. Parents or caregivers are guided to assist their infant with a smooth adjustment to new adults and the new environment. First Flippers class is FREE for infants until they turn 6 months!
Why Start Infants This Little? Not only are these classes are tremendous bonding experience but early water introduction can lead to improved brain functioning and overall physical development.
It’s Good for the Brain!
An infant’s brain typically develops through bilateral cross patterning movements like swimming, crawling and walking. The more cross patterning movements, the more nerve fibers develop in the corpus callosum in the brain. The corpus callosum facilitates communication, feedback and modulation from one side of the brain to the other. Cross patterning movements like swimming activate both cerebral hemispheres and all 4 lobes of the brain simultaneously, which can result in heightened cognition and increase ease of learning. Good communication in the cerebral hemispheres leads to overall efficiency in brain processes, while poor interaction slows down language development and academic learning.
It’s Good for Development!
Infants, especially those younger than 6 months of age, have a natural affinity with water and are typically comfortable automatically! Early exposure is a great foundation for infants to develop a healthy relationship with the water. Infants will experience tactile stimulation from water resistance over their entire body. Water has over 600 times the resistance of air, which is great for their muscles and encourages neurological development.
How: Although these classes are very similar to our existing Little Flippers classes, there are a few important guidelines to keep in mind:
- The United States Swim School Association DOES NOT recommends swim lessons for infants younger than 6 months old. This is a specialized program that is offered by Little Flippers Swim School.
- Instructors are NOT PERMITTED to handle the infant (without parents consent). Please be very sensitive to the needs of each adult and infant and ask for permission first!
- Submerging is NOT RECOMMENDED for any infant under the age of 6 months.
- Infants this young may not be able to hold their head up and cannot crawl or walk, be flexible and willing to make modifications to the lesson plan so that there is always an accomodation. (Suggestions will be available in each lesson plan)!