swimming boy

Technical toddler swimming

It feels like we’re on a real roll at the moment with N’s swimming.  He’s really enjoying it, and even though there’s certain things he still moans about doing, he will eventually give them a go…if it is only the once.

hiding inside a swimming locker
Yep, we can still see you!

I can’t believe how technical the strokes are being taught, even though the children still seem so young.  Some in our class can swim 10 metres without an aid, so it shouldn’t really be surprising given so much of the swimming learnt so far has been almost training their subconscious and limbs to understand and know what they should be doing.  Eventually after practising over and over again (within fun activities and props), something seems to click and they’ll get it.

The main theme was swimming on their backs, which isn’t N’s forte. Mostly because he still dislikes being on his back, and tells me ‘I can’t do it’, even though I’ve seen him before swimming with a float on his back with no problems.  But this was technical arms, with them being taught how to get the right arm and hand movement and direction.  I don’t ever remember being taught anything technical, I suppose because my classes were just general school lessons with lots of us in the pool.

They were taught lead with the thumb, then turn the hand and put the little finger in first.  All made sense to me, although much as I tried to explain it to N I’m not sure his first attempt was really sinking in.  He did have a good go with his right arm, but refused to switch arms and float.  He does struggle with the concept of a straight arm (or legs when he’s kicking as young children so often do), but hopefully it’s a start and he’ll be able to practice over time.

As well as swimming on their backs and working on how far they could swim on their front, it’s also been great to see the rapport with the teachers.  Our usual teacher Lynsey is unfortunately winding down from teaching classes, so we’re having classes with different teachers to wean the children off Lynsey.  Given the reaction the children had at seeing her again after a couple of weeks off, it’s evident how much they look up to their swim teachers.

What’s a credit to Water Babies, is that however much the children love their normal teacher, if there’s a change of teacher, there doesn’t seem to be much of an impact on the children’s behaviour, they still want to swim well.  Obviously all the swimming teachers have a different delivery of teaching, and a different way of getting the best out of the kids, but once the children realise that the teacher expects them to show what they can do, they’re off and swimming.

It does amuse me how much chat the pre-schoolers give…I dread to think what they’ll be like once they’re at school and a bit older!

What do you like about the swimming lessons your children do?  And what’s their favourite part?


Disclosure: We swim with and blog for Water Babies, but all words and opinions are my own.

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  1. I am glad you’ve found good swimming lessons. I feel they are really important. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going swimming with all 4 of my boys if they hadn’t have had lessons. I guess for me I like that they all swim regularly as it is great exercise.

  2. Oh water babies sound great. I love taking the kids swimming we do ours with puddleducks. I have been really lucky to have the same teacher for three years for buba and a year with mm so she has got to know the kids and i well and they have done brilliant with their swimming. Great post. I think no matter what company they go to its such a great skill to learn. Thanks for linking Share With Me #sharewithme

    1. Many independents round by us have started as parents or something to do with Water Babies and then set up their own. It’s great to have a consistent teacher. We’ve moved days 3 times so had different teachers, and then when a teacher’s ill or on holiday, we might have a different one. Definitely better when the children are older, as the teachers can understand each child’s personality and learning style. Although I think Water Babies must talk a lot about the children’s progress as any different teacher subbing, always seems to know what they’re all up to! No hiding there.

  3. I’ve also been surprised and impressed at what children are taught so early, for example to swim like dolphins to learn butterfly legs. I found it very interesting when I was taking both children for lessons and seeing how the foundations were built in 1yos class and really developed by the 4yos class

    1. I can’t say we’re anywhere near butterfly stage but the way they teach is so much better and clearer than I was taught.

      There are private lessons in the other end of the pool when we’re in and they teach breast stroke arms and legs movement in ‘animal’ terms, so frog, elephant and something else that I can’t now remember. Clever

  4. Wow that’s really impressive! I’m all for getting kids to start swimming young.
    I watched the 6yo swim the other day (first time I’d seen him) and I couldn’t help but smile at the attempts! Great that they give it such a good go.

  5. I haven’t thought of bringing my baby to a swimming class, but when I put her one time in a pool, she loved it.. stayed for quite a long time. I think I’m gonna enroll her when she turns 2.. or 3?

    1. Some children do take to it really well. Definitely worth starting early, or at least going regularly (I wouldn’t without lessons!), to keep her interest.

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