Guest Post by Caitlin Kovnat, Head Instructor at Smile Swim School
As the weather starts to change and the sun starts to shine it’s time to start thinking about swim lessons. Here are 5 tips to help prepare for your child’s first swim lessons:
1. Toys: Learning how to swim can be scary and intimidating. Getting some new pool toys to encourage skills can help build confidence for the initial lesson. Start with playing in the bath and when it’s time to begin the lessons offer to test the new toys in the pool during the lesson. They will go crazy for the idea, and it helps build excitement!
2. Goggles: Although not required, finding a quality pair of goggles can be very beneficial for lessons. Go for the good brands and skip the kind with the character lenses, light up blinkees, or other gimmicks. They tend to leak and cause more stress than the cute fish frame is worth. Speedo and TYR are some of the best.
3. Swim Diapers: All children under the age of 3 should wear a swim diaper. These cloth diapers are specifically designed for the pool. They fit tighter than regular diapers and help contain your baby’s fecal matter and prevent it from getting into the pool. We all share the water we swim in, and each of us needs to do our part to help keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy.
4. Sun Protection: Swimming outside can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it also comes with sun risks! Rash guards, and sunscreen are very important. Make sure the child is covered at least 5 minutes before entering the pool for their lesson. By giving time the cream can set into the skin fully, which minimalizes the chances of running into their eyes (which can be pretty painful) and won’t wash off the minute they enter the pool.
5. Attitude and Rules: Go over pool rules on lesson day. I recommend showing your child a picture of their instructor to help build a connection and trust. Explain that this person is a friend, but also a teacher. Getting your child pumped up for swim lessons is a great way to ensure a fun time. Positive attitude is key in the learning process!
If you’re in the Austin area and looking for private swim instruction this summer, we highly recommend Smile Swim School. Caitlin has been teaching private and semi-private lessons for 9 years. You can contact Caitlin at smileswimaustin[at]gmail.com or on her Facebook page here. Hurry because she books up fast.