Preparing your children for swim lessons is a great idea. Whether it’s your child’s first lesson, or first lesson of the season, young children can often be a little nervous when starting something new, or meeting someone new.
Here are some helpful tips to better prepare you and your child for swim lessons. The more prepared your child is, the more likely swimming lessons will go smoothly, and your child will learn to swim with a love for the water.
1. Help your child get used to the water by being in the water. If you can, go ahead and swim with them. Take your child to the pool where swimming lessons will take place so they can get used to the environment. More than likely that will be your own home pool. If your child is nervous about being in the water, you can sing songs and use floaty bathtub toys to help ease their nerves, or play games like “I Spy.” The more water time your child gets prior to swim lessons starting, the more likely they will be willing to try new skills when your swim instructor starts teaching lessons.
2. Prior to swim lessons starting, let your child pick their swim outfit. Talk to them about swimming lessons, and explain to them when and why they will be wearing the outfit they picked out. Let your child try on the outfit. If you can take them in the water with it, so they get used to the feeling of their swim suit.
3. Practice some skills in the bathtub. If you think your child is opposed to putting their head under water, get them used to the idea in the bathtub. When bathing, gently pour cups of water over your child’s head. This will help get them used to the feeling of water being on their face and head. If your child is willing, you can practice back floats in the bathtub. Asking your child to blow bubbles in the bathtub is also a great idea for introducing the idea of putting their face in the water.
4. If at all possible, make sure your pool is warm. No one likes to swim in a cold pool. The more comfortable you make the pool for your child, the more likely they are going to want to stay in the pool for the duration of the lesson. We recommend your pool be at least 86 degrees farenheit, a little warmer is even better, but not too hot – 86 – 89 degrees farenheit is a good range.
5. Talk to your child about upcoming swim lessons. Let your child know your instructor’s name, and that they will be coming to teach them new things in the pool. Let your child know in advance, as your child will more than likely have many questions. Be sure to answer your child’s questions and assure them that you will be by watching, and if needed you will get in the pool on the first lesson.
Swimming lessons are sometimes considered a childhood rite of passage; however, learning to swim is much more than that! Swimming is something your child will enjoy for the rest of their life. Learning to swim with the guidance of a qualified instructor will help your child to feel confident in the water. If you haven’t registered for swim lessons yet, you can do so here: Register for Swimming Lessons