Classes for toddlers and preschoolers
The core foundation of toddler swimming class is to teach key elements of learning to swim that relate to children’s stage of physical and social development, whilst having fun! Toddlers are a bit more aware of their surroundings so a different approach will be required and a responsive swim teacher to work at the child’s pace. Toddler classes are action packed, with nursery rhymes & games and word association and toys to make it as much fun as possible that will eventually lead to independent swimming.
Structured classes are great as parents can learn fun games to play in the pool. It is all about teaching them to enjoy the water and be “water safe”, as toddlers lack co-ordination to learn swimming strokes just yet, they won’t be ready for until the age of two or three, and will show signs of being strong to raise their head enough to swim on the surface. Many toddlers are able to swim 5 metres of the pool unaided by the time they start school and develop a love of swimming for life.
What are the benefits?
- Healthy Life Style – Getting into a good active lifestyle early on will set the ground for your child’s future and will become the norm in future years.
- Health Benefits – Swimming has been proven to strengthen the heart and lungs and improve muscle development.
- Water Awareness and Basic Life Saving – Children who attend regular swimming lessons will gain a respect for water awareness and water safety. Most swimming classes now will aim to introduce basic water safety skills such as turning to hold on at a wall or back floating. Children who regularly swim are less likely to panic in the water giving them a better chance in the event of an accident.
- Improved Sleep – Children who undertake physical exercise will sleep better. Swimming is a good form of exercise and they also learn and experience a lot in a session which helps to promote a good sleep.
- Social Skills – Interacting with other babies and children, learning to wait their turn and praise the efforts of others instils ‘ good social skills, team work and independence.
- Brain Development – By stimulating senses out of the normal every day experiences like word association, independence and physical awareness all encourage brain development.
- Bonding – Swimming with your toddler is a very intimate experience, with no other distractions such as housework and telephones you can concentrate on just you and your child joining in fun activities, praising their efforts, building trust and building a firm foundation to your relationship.
- Confidence and Self Esteem – Praise and recognition of achievements in swimming and water confidence will boost a toddler’s confidence and self esteem week on week.
- Physical Independence and Self-Awareness – The motion and sensation of the water gives an awareness of self that otherwise would not be gained.
- Language Development – Most toddler swim classes will now use word association and repetition as part of their core learning methods, for example parents will be asked to say Kick, Kick, Kick when moving about the pool and Hold on, Turn, reach etc, the over use of these word help your baby to soon learn their meaning.
If you’re taking your baby or toddler to the pool for the first time it is advisable to check in advance what temperature of the pool. For infants under 3 months or 12lbs the pool must be heated to 32 degrees, for over 3 months up to 4 years the temperature needs to be at 30 degrees.
You may have to travel a short distance to find a suitable pool but it will be a more safe and enjoyable experience for you both. Most special needs pools like Enable Ireland and the CRC have warm pools with public sessions and even some of the hotels have warm leisure pools also.
You can find baby and toddler swim schools by searching on the internet or get a recommendation from a friend. Make sure the teacher has a current swim licence and a specialist qualification in baby and preschool and that they are fully insured.
It’s never too late to start your little one’s swimming lessons!
Enter code “1000Days” when booking online or mention it if booking directly through the office and receive a 10% discount on all Aquababies classes
Deirdre Casey, Proud Mum of three
Director & Swim Teacher at Aquababies Ireland