Swimming lessons are specially designed programs in the water that train infants and children about water safety and how to swim.
Most programs include various songs, games and props to help ensure children feel safe and comfortable in the water. While swimming lessons for younger babies are designed to help them familiarise themselves with the water, swimming lessons for older children focus on helping children swim on their own and learn how to get out of the water if in danger.
What do swimming lessons involve?
Swimming lessons go for around half an hour to one hour and involve a wide range of different activities in the water, depending on the age of the child. Most lessons take place in a heated indoor pool or under a shade cloth so the water remains warm the entire year. Swimming lessons will generally have four to six other children of the same age and the same skill. You will be required to do the activities with your child until they are around the age of 2 or 3 and then they will do the lesson on their own, while you watch from the sidelines.
Some of the different activities include pouring water over the baby’s head, floating on a mat and diving down to pick up toys. Teaching children how to hold their breath, open their eyes underwater and blow bubbles are all part of the lesson. As a child becomes more comfortable, the lessons will eventually focus on swimming lengths, floating on their back and jumping in and out of the water.
How will it benefit my child?
The main goal of swimming lessons is to familiarise your child with the fun as well as the dangers that water poses. Swimming lessons provide a great chance for you and your child to connect through songs and games in a social setting. They also allow you to cool off on hot days and practice a number of skills needed to swim.
Who is it for?
Swimming lessons are offered from as young as four months old. However, you can expect to get into the water with your little one as well. Most schools will have your child swim on their own around the age of 2 or 3 depending on what level they are at. Swimming lessons will continue for as long as you wish.
How much does it cost?
Swimming lessons are not cheap. In fact, a single half an hour lesson will generally cost you around $15 to $20 depending on the swim school. Most schools require that you pay by the term which includes around ten weekly sessions and runs in conjunction with the state school term.
How can I get involved?
There are thousands of swim schools located across Australia. Many swim schools are offered through your local swimming pool or YMCA while others are offered through private swim schools. Other swim teachers offer private lessons in their own backyard or private swimming pool. Choosing the right swim school for your child will depend on their individual needs. How does your child learn the best? Will they be more comfortable by themselves or with other children? It pays to have a look around before signing up for a term as most schools will not reimburse you if your child doesn’t like it or does not feel comfortable.
What do I need?
You will need bathers/swimmers/togs for your child. Babies and children under the age of 3 will be required to wear a swim nappy of some sort. You can purchase disposable ones at your local supermarket or buy speciality designed reusable swim nappies through children’s clothing stores. You will also need to bring a towel, shoes, goggles and clothes for your child. Most swim schools provide a changing area with showers and toilets and some include a play area for siblings to play while the lesson is on. If you are swimming with your child, then you will need to wear swimmers as well.
Let your kids learn safe swimming while having fun.
Jenna Galley lives in Cairns, Queensland with her husband, two small children, Jacob and Jade, and dog Koah. She is a freelance writer and small business owner as well as an avid reader and wine drinker.