3 Simple Ways to Know If Your Child is Ready for Swimming Classes

Covering approximately 71% of our Earth, water is indeed everywhere! This is the reason why swimming has consistently been one of the most important skills a child needs at a young age.

Apart from its life-saving benefit, swimming is also a sport that has proven to enhance cognitive development. Most young swimmers actually perform better than their non-swimming peers in school.

But before you get too eager and start registering your child for swimming classes, you must know if it is the right time for them to begin.

Here are three simple ways to know if your child is ready for swimming classes!

1. Is your child at the right age for swimming?

The very first thing you need to make sure is that your child is attending a swimming class that is suited to his/ her age and maturity.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

There are different swimming classes, each with its own benefits, for children of different ages.

For babies (6 months to 2 years)

Baby swimming classesare suitable for little ones below 2 years old. Parents are expected to be in the water with their babies for swimming classes.

Babies will learn how to float on the water (an important water safety skill!) and control their breath. Such classes are a great way for a parent with bond with their child.

For toddlers (2 to 4 years)

Toddler swimming classes will prepare your child for the Learn to Swim programme. If your child is showing signs of discomfort with water (upset with water on the face, uncomfortable playing in shallow water), it is advisable that your toddler joins a swim programme.

Toddlers will learn under a fun environment. Water toys should be provided and games and activities will stimulate your child’s senses. It’ll be a blast under the sun and in the pool.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

Besides enjoying his/ her time in the water, your child will also learn breath control, free floating, to return to a point of safety if they fall into a body of water, and basic swimming skills such as flutter kick.

For children five and above

Learn to Swim programmes emphasise on teaching efficient swimming strokes, water survival skills and basic lifesaving skills. A full programme will see your child learning the 4 main swimming strokes, front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly stroke.

A study conducted by Griffith University in Australia has shown that children who learn swimming reach developmental milestones earlier than children who don’t. Besides better motor skills (using a pencil to write, drawing shapes and lines), these children also display more advanced language and math skills.

All that aside, swimming is ultimately an essential life skill that every child should learn. There’s no better assurance for a parent than knowing that your child can swim and will be safe in the water.

If there’s an enrichment class you would like to sign your child up for, swimming is definitely high on the list of skills to acquire.

2. Is your child able to follow instructions?

Your kid’s ability to listen to instructions is the next important consideration.

Listening to the swim coach is mandatory for swimming lessons to go smoothly and safely.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

By 2 years old, your child should be able to listen to one part instructions. By age 4, they should be able to understand and follow more complex directions.

If your kid is still having difficulty being attentive and unable to follow given instructions, it may be better to sign your child up for private swimming sessions instead of group lessons so he/ she gets individual attention.

As a parent, remember to lay out clear expectations you have of your children. Encourage and compliment them when they follow instructions. When they don’t, chide them gently.

3. Is your child a people person?

To determine if your child is ready for swimming classes, it is good to have a better understanding of how they react in a larger group as compared to a small group.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

If your child is comfortable with strangers and enjoys social interaction, a group swimming class will be more suitable. Group lessons provide the dynamic aspect of peer learning and positive peer pressure. Children will also get to build on their social skills!

However, if your child is uncomfortable being around many people, having them attend private swimming lessons might be a better idea. Private lessons will keep your child focused and at ease. Individual attention also means that your child is highly likely to learn and progress faster than in a group lesson.

At the end of it all, no one knows your child better than you!

Swimming lessons are crucial for children at a young age. With encouragement and communication, you can stretch your child to learn new skills and face challenges head on. What a great way to prepare them for primary school and more!

(Header Image Credit: Pixabay)

Also, read 5 Easy Ways to Unplug Your Kids from Technology