I haven’t had a guest post on the blog in quite a while, so it was a refreshing surprise when Kaitlyn of An Apple Per Day wrote and asked if she could contribute. With Spring in the air and Summer just around the corner, I’d been thinking of another post on swimming lessons since the girls haven’t gone swimming in months! I wonder how they’d do in the water this time around. And just as luck would have it, Kaitlyn sent her post to me and it’s all worked out. I’m glad you found me, Kaitlyn!
At What Age Should My Kids Start Swim Lessons?
I used to love going to the community pool when I was a kid, and hanging out with all my buddies. We’d splash, swim, and play endless hours of water tag. I want my sons to enjoy the water in the same way, so I have started to check out swim lessons. I’ve found out a lot about the right age to start those lessons.
Formal swim lessons. It is generally accepted that a child is sufficiently developed to begin swim lessons when they are at around age 4. By that age, a child will have developed sufficiently to perform swimming movements, and retain what is being taught. Some kids may be ready a little later, depending on how well they adjust to the water. By age 6, a child can really be ready to learn swim strokes and swimming safety. Here are some resources with other information:
- When Is A Child Ready For Swim Lessons?
- Pool Safety For Kids: Everything You Need To Know
- Tips For Swimming Lessons
Start before lessons. If I just take my kids and enroll them in swim lessons, there’s a possibility it will be too much stimulation at once for them. The whole atmosphere could be overwhelming – getting used to being around a lot of other kids, a teacher telling them what to do, and all that water in the pool. So I started really early with my children using something we already had to do anyway – bath time. In the tub, I smiled and laughed a lot, to show my kids that this was a fun place to be. I would trickle a little water over their foreheads, and show them all the fun of splashing. The water was associated with fun.
Mommy and Me. When a child is about 6 months old, they can be enrolled in a Mommy and Me class to orient them to the pool. It really was a great way to show my baby that the pool was a lot of fun, and my older boy had a blast being around all the other babies. The noise and splashing of the water didn’t phase him a bit, and he enjoyed every minute of our experience. When it was time for lessons, he wanted in the water as soon as he could make it.
My hesitant boy. My younger son was a lot more cautious in bath time, and I decided Mommy and Me would be too much to take in at once. Instead, I took him to the pool and sat by the side, letting him just observe for a while. Then my husband held him while I went into the water, and began laughing and splashing like we had done in the bath. Sure enough, he soon reached out for me and I took him in my arms in the water, which he had decided was alright and something he wanted to check out. Soon he was laughing and giggling as I dipped his toes in the water.
First lessons. With the orientation my sons had, my sons were both comfortable around the water. Before their first lessons, I took them to watch a swim class, so they would know what was about to happen. We talked about learning to swim, and that I wanted them to enjoy the water as much as I did when I was a kid. When they went into the pool area to meet with the instructor, I let them know I would be sitting off to the side. This was a big bonding moment, and I didn’t want to miss it. Each of my sons began to really enjoy the experience, and their lessons went smoothly.
As I watch my sons duck under the water during a game of Marco Polo, it just makes me smile to think I have given them a lifetime of fun.
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.