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Swim Lab International
A girl in a pink swim cap splashing around in an outdoor pool, laughing with her pediatric therapist

How we make therapy fun at Swim Lab International 

If you’ve ever had conventional physiotherapy, you’ll know how hard it can be to stay motivated. Doing boring, repetitive stretches or movements will start to feel monotonous for any of us, and likely won’t bring speedy results.

We make therapy fun

One of the secret ingredients that make our intensive therapy weeks such a success is bringing fun to each session through games and playful activities.

When our children are having fun, they’re more willing to keep doing the same activity, without it even feeling like therapy. This in turn keeps them happy and enthusiastic to keep giving 100% every time.

Children are also programmed to learn through play, so when they’re having fun, it helps to learn new skills faster and retain that learning.

A small boy holding a weighted dive stick at the edge of the pool with his pediatric therapist at his side

Keeping your child engaged is key

Just like us, our children are more likely to want to participate in something if they’re having a good time.

Intensive therapy weeks are physically demanding, and if we’re going to push past limiting beliefs as well as current physical limitations, we need to keep your child fully engaged in the sessions.

Games help to make this easier, distracting him or her from movements which can sometimes be a little uncomfortable and helping us sneak multiple repetitions of movement in without your child even noticing.

We can also use games to encourage your child to want to compete against their own best efforts. For example in the water, we might duck down in the shallow pool to collect weighted dive sticks, counting how many we can collect each time and encouraging your child to try and collect more on each attempt. In this way, we can push him or her a little further, without them feeling any kind of pressure. It still just feels like fun and gives them a massive sense of achievement and confidence when they realise they can do more.

“They all understand and are great with kids and they knew how to push his boundaries… and he recognized the ability that he could do it. So it’s about confidence and they really helped push that.”

Michael, father of Finn Dempsey

We use existing games and also devise new fun activities to meet your childs’ specific therapy goals, such as improving hand dexterity, core strength or balance.

Some of our children’s land-based therapy favourites are boxing with pads for balance and hand-eye coordination, pulling along on a rope with the scooter board for strengthening the upper arms and back muscles and walking the wobbly rope bridge to challenge balance as we work on their stepping.

A girl in pigtails walking along the wobbly rope bridge with her therapist at her side

Aquatic therapeutic games and activities

Swimming is a fun activity for any child, and over the years we’ve devised plenty of ways to hide the therapy behind the process of learning to swim.

Learning to swim itself is liberating for a lot of our children who find it’s something they can excel at, and get a lot of enjoyment from as well as do independently as they get older.

We build games and activities into the swimming sessions themselves, tailored to your childs’ age, ability and unique challenges.

These can be anything from collecting toys or “cleaning the pool” with sponges for smaller children to using magic sticks, pool noodles and weights in creative ways for the older children in our Swim Lab International family.

A teenage boy at the edge of the pool with his pediatric therapist, looking through the pool toys and weights

A relaxed environment

Being in a holiday environment and doing activities in a warm, outdoor pool feels much less intimidating than in a typical medical centre.

Our pediatric therapists are all experts at helping children relax, and enjoy playing games using your child’s favourite characters, like Peppa Pig through the sessions. It’s not unusual to hear them imitating the character’s voices or using make-believe with our younger children to help keep them engaged.

Our children often enjoy it so much they don’t want the week to end, and look forward to coming back for another week as much as they would an actual holiday.

I miss being at Swim Lab when I’m not here, it’s a laugh, and it’s not like typical physio where they just sit there and tell you what to do. They get you involved in it and make you want to do it.

Matilda Kelly

Our land-based sessions aren’t confined to our therapy room. We use the Fariones Sports Center grounds and hotel gardens and also take Trexo down to the local beach, Playa Chica, or off to get ice cream which unsurprisingly is a very popular choice!

Ready to find out more about our intensive therapy weeks?

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