With Zoey turning five, we decided it was finally time to get her into some sort of extracurricular activity. We looked at the prices, schedules and descriptions for various age-appropriate activities in our community and finally settled on swim lessons. Zach and I both feel that knowing how to swim is an important skill to have (especially in a watery state like Washington) and Zoey has been asking to learn how to swim for over a year now.
We wanted a physical activity, as opposed to something like an art class, to help motivate her to move more. Sensory overload often makes Zoey want to just sit like a lump on the couch and do quiet activities. Then all her sensory seeking comes out later in wild, flailing movements and can be unintentionally destructive or aggressive. Our hope is to get her used to more exercise and build up a better reserve of energy. She’s the most lethargic child I’ve ever known, with the sole exception of myself.
Back to the swim lessons: we signed her up for a seven week course through a local community center. We now spend our Friday evenings at a high school pool, watching Zoey learn to blow bubbles and work up the courage to put her face in the water. Honestly, I am so proud of that kid! While the water is often a sensory experience Zoey enjoys and seeks out, getting it in her face/ears/eyes/mouth is really difficult for her. I think the loud, echoing sounds in the indoor pool can be overstimulating too.
Zoey was quickly sorted into the most beginning of beginners group, and seems happy as a clam there. They take them into the shallowest corner of the pool where Zoey was quite happy to discover she could actually touch the bottom. During the first class, she kept trying tiptoeing out when it wasn’t her turn and the instructors had to frequently remind her to stay on the wall. I was just sitting there, thrilled that she was feeling confident enough to venture out on her own!
It’s clearly going to take much more than seven half hour long classes to teach Zoey to actually swim, but right now I’m just overjoyed that she is enjoying it so much. She excitedly looks forward to each class, and that’s a win in my book.