How To Prepare For Swim Lessons

Swim lessons are so important for kids who don’t know how to swim. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years of age. However, swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88%. That’s amazing! Swim lessons do cost money and take time from a busy schedule. If you do plan on taking swim lessons, there are many ways you can prepare so you can get the most “bang for your buck”.

Talk about swim lessons with your kids

Some kids are afraid of the water. Other kids have “stranger danger”. Whatever your child might struggle with, you can talk about swim lessons at home. Talk about swim lessons in a positive way. You can say things like:

    • “Learning to swim is so much fun!”

    • “I remember taking swim lessons as a kid. I had a blast!”

    • “So and so took swim lessons. I heard they really enjoyed it!”

No one likes to be surprised with something that makes them uncomfortable. Talk about it positively a lot and as far in advance as you can!

Role play

Role playing is a great way for kids to prepare for something big that is coming up. This works for doctor visits, teeth cleanings, and being on stage too!

You can pretend that you are in a pool. Switch between being the teacher and the student. Talk about jumping in, getting their face wet, taking big breaths and holding it, splashing their feet, and the like.

This can help them prepare for the instructor-student dynamic as well as process what skills they might practice.

Watch videos of positive swim lessons

Some kids really enjoy videos of other kids doing stuff. Watching a swim lesson where a kid is having fun is a great way to get them prepared to have fun!

These videos can be random videos on the internet, a family member, or a friend. Getting a video of someone they know is usually more powerful to a child. Maybe you can get a video of someone they look up to swimming in the pool or taking a swim lesson. If you can’t, any video helps!

Read books about swim lessons

Similar to watching videos, you can read books about swimming and taking swim lessons. Taking the time together to read a book not only brings you and your child closer together, but also gives them the chance to ask questions.

There are books galore about swim lessons. Find the book with your favorite character or person learning to swim and enjoy!

This may not makes sense for your kid, but we would not recommend reading a book about a student who is scared about taking swim lessons. Even if the story ends positively, there is no need to show them someone who is afraid. They might think they should be afraid, even if they have no bad past experiences.

The one exception to this is a child who is already afraid. In that case, reading a book about a student over coming their fears of swimming is a fantastic idea!

Practice in the bath tub

We have a whole article about this, so I will be brief here.

The bath tub is the BEST place to practice skills for beginner swimmers. It is a safe, warm, familiar place to try new things with someone who cares about them.

Just makes sure you never leave your child alone in the tub. EVER! Whatever it is, it isn’t worth the life of your child.

Take your kid to the pool before their first swim lesson

Taking your kid to the pool does cost money and time, but it is worth it.

Swim lessons are not a great time to have their first pool experience. There is a stranger there that is trying to get them to do things they have never done before. There are new sights, sounds, smells, and textures. It can be an overwhelming first-time experience.

It is far better to go to the pool several times before their first swim lesson. When you go, put no pressure on the situation. Bring their favorite bath toys to carry over that positive association. You may even want to go with someone they enjoy spending time with, like a friend or uncle. Take your time! There is no rush. If they are slow to get in the pool, that is okay. Try to make it the most positive first experience at the pool that you can.

We have compiled a list of every place available to swim publicly. Check it out!

Let’s do this!

All these things can really help your child feel comfortable with swim lessons. We, of course, provide swim lessons. Check them out! Our vision is “A Drowning-Free Knoxville”. We hope you will join us in fulfilling that vision.