View Full Version : Swimming lessons for preschoolers

06-08-2004, 03:36 PM
My three-year old DD LOVES being in the water. She's never had formal lessons, so I thought I'd better enroll her. I've got her currently enrolled at our local YMCA. She'll be going everyday starting in mid-June for 30-minute lessons with a group of other kids her age. I've signed her up for four weeks. Does anyone out there have experience in this type of program? What are your thoughts about it? When I told my DH about it, his first thoughts were, "Wow, that's intense." Is it? I figure 30 minutes wasn't really a whole lot since it's really not one-on-one. I also figured that she'd progress well if we went everyday for four weeks, KWIM?

I know that there are different types of programs where there are certified swim instructors who will give private lessons and then there are backyard swim programs (not really an option for us since we don't have a swimming pool in our backyard).

I'm curious...which type of swim program is better?

06-09-2004, 02:23 PM
DD is just finishing up a 6 week session - 2x per week - 25 minutes per session - 3-5 kids in a group. She loves it! Before we started the program, she had an evaluation with the school's director who placed her between levels. Just prior to the beginning of the session DD had 3 private lessons (15-20 minutes each) so that she would feel comfortable with the more experienced kids.

We don't have a pool in our backyard, but our HOA has an Olympic sized pool just down the street. Because our weather is so temperate, I definitely wanted her water safe before summer started. With two kids in the water, I feel much better about her swimming ability and the fact that I will not have two clinging kids around my neck in the pool at all times.

Here are a couple of group lesson tips!

Come early and prepared! (Sunscreen, bathing suit, googles, bathroom trips etc. Little ones hate to wait especially when their friends are sitting by the side of the pool waiting to go in!)

Make swimming comfortable for your child. (Try to find out the temp of the pool. Most often, a shorty wetsuit will keep them warmer and more comfortable for the length of the lesson. Also, goggles and putting up hair will keep water and hair out of the eyes.)

Ask about the ages of the other kids and class size. If your preschooler will do best with no more than 4 other kids aged 3-5. They will chatter and waterplay on the same level. There was a 7yo placed in DD's class and he was quickly moved to the next level based on his strength and ability to follow the instructors directions. DD is the youngest in her class, but I see the most difference in ability in her strength as she is just not physically able to complete some of the movements.

Wow! This got long! Anyhoo, we have signed up for another six week session and she is doing great! HTH!

mom 2 Katie 12/02/00
& Jack 04/16/02

06-10-2004, 04:03 PM
Thanks so much for your suggestions, Rose! My DD has a swimsuit, but I really like your idea about a shorty wetsuit. I vaguely remember seeing something like that at our local Costco. I'm gonna check it out this weekend. :)