The Hamptons Swim Method
At Hamptons Swim our mission is to authentically connect with students through educational play and positive mindset techniques to achieve athletic and recreational goals in the water. You might be asking yourself, what is the play-based method and how can it help my child?
Play-based learning is a type of early childhood education based on child-led and open-ended play. Play itself is a voluntary, enjoyable activity with no purpose or end goal. Believe it or not, activities like this lay the foundation for a child to become a curious and excited learner later in life. Play-based learning also helps children develop social skills, motivation to learn, and even language and numeracy skills.
When teaching the play-based method there are 5 important elements that we incorporate into our lessons:
Self chosen: A child voluntarily chooses to play, how they’ll play, and for how long. An adult may initiate play insofar as he or she invites or suggests play but the child determines the rest.
Enjoyable: Play is enjoyable for the child. This emotional aspect is important. There may be some frustrations or disagreements during play but overall it’s pleasurable.
Unstructured: A child has ample time to explore and discover during play. They’re directed by their own interests, not by any prescribed rules or plans.
Process-oriented: There is no end or learning goal. Instead, it’s the process of play that’s important.
Make believe: Play often involves imagination, ‘make believe’, or ‘playing pretend’.
Play-based approach involves both child-initiated and teacher-supported learning. The teacher encourages children’s learning and inquiry through interactions that aim to stretch their thinking to higher levels. Children learn best through first-hand experiences—play motivates, stimulates, and supports children in their development of skills, concepts, language acquisition, communication skills, and concentration. During play, children use all of their senses, must convey their thoughts and emotions, explore their environment, and connect what they already know with new knowledge, skills, and attitudes. It is in the context of play that children test out new knowledge and theories. They reenact experiences to solidify understanding. It is here where children first learn and express symbolic thought, a necessary precursor to literacy. Play is the earliest form of storytelling and it is how children learn how to negotiate with peers, problem-solve, and improvise. It is in play that basic social skills—like sharing and taking turns—are learned and practiced. Children also bring their own language, customs, and culture into play. As an added benefit, they learn about their peers’ in the process.
We all have beliefs about our own abilities and potential. These beliefs are part of our mindset, which is so powerful it can fuel our behavior and predict our success. Mindset shapes our everyday lives, helping us interpret our experiences and future possibilities. Developing the right mindset early on is crucial for a successful, happy life. When kids learn putting forth effort and using the right strategies, this can help them get better at things, they feel empowered, and try harder. When they know their brains are capable of growing, they are more confident, resilient, and are not afraid to fail!
Whether you’ve experienced the play-based method before or not, Hamptons Swim is the team to help navigate your child's swim journey!