Most children start taking swimming lessons from around 3 years of age. Here are a few tips for making this whole process of learning swimming a pleasant one:
Picking the Right Swim School: Do your research and pick the right school. You need a school which is caring, friendly plus uses the right techniques to teach swimming. Speak to your friends and get their recommendation as well. Don’t pick a school solely based on its proximity to where you live. Also, different schools use different teaching methods. Some swim schools concentrate very heavily on getting the stroke right - right from the first class. Others concentrate on stroke correction at a much later stage.
Preparation for the Swim Class: It is probably a good idea to buy a water proof swimming bag. - good investment. Before you leave for the class, check that you have a towel, swimming costume, swim cap, googles and a spare outfit to change into.
If you have trouble getting the swim cap on to your child’s head, put some talcum powder into the cap and rub it so that it spreads evenly across the inside of the swim cap. Make sure the swim googles are not too tight. If your child shivers a lot when in water, then this will make your child uncomfortable. Rub Vaseline on your child’s leg and other exposed parts of the body. This will reduce the shivering. If it is still a major problem, then buy a specially designed swim suit – a suit specifically designed to make you feel warmer.
Your child should not have any food for at least 1 to 2 hours before her/his swimming lesson.
Floaties: Different parents have different views about floaties…Some schools don’t mind if your child uses floaties but others strictly frown upon them. They believe that floaties give your child a false sense of security and comfort. They believe that when a child is off floaties, he or she will find it difficult to learn and adjust - they might get too accustomed to them.
During The Swimming Lessons: Don’t put too much pressure on your child. Every child learns swimming in their own time. If you are however unhappy with the teacher, let the teacher or the supervisor know. It is probably good for the teacher to receive some feedback as well. Be patient and encouraging. Don’t push and have huge expectations. Most schools have levels – different kids are at different levels. And as they get better, they advance through the levels. Don’t put pressure on the teacher to move the child forward to a different level. Trust their judgment and this makes it easier for everyone.
After The Swimming Lesson: Give your child a shower after every lesson (however clean the pool is). The kids can get very hungry after a swimming lesson. I normally take a snack with me so that I can give it to them after tidying up.
Holiday Swimming Activities: If you feel your child needs extra classes, then holidays can be a good time to book the child in for extra lessons. Holidays are quite relaxed and your child can improve their swimming at a quicker pace - without any added pressures of home work etc.
Sandy Naidu runs a website called http://www.OzKidsActivities.com
. This website is a comprehensive directory of kids activities and kids classes in Australia. There are also lots of entertainment and school holiday activities listed on the website. Visit Kids Activities
for more information