Now that spring has sprung and summer will be here before you know it, I thought it would be a perfect time to enroll my three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son in swim lessons. After all, summer fun is sure to mean enjoying the pool! The first place I called was the Little Otter Swim School.
According to the Center for Disease Control, children aged 1-4 have the highest drowning rate. This is terrifying. The best thing I could do is to make sure my kids are prepared and ready to tackle the water. This is something that the Little Otter takes seriously and ensures that those critical safety measures are taught.
My one-year-old is in the Otter Baby II class. I get in the water with him as we begin practicing some of the fundamentals including familiarizing themselves with being in the water, having water poured over their heads, coordination and even taking their first dunks under water. I love how hands on I get to be with helping him learn to swim!
Each class begins with songs and warming up in the water. The parent-baby classes are in a separate pool, which is great so that the bigger kids aren’t splashing the little ones and you are really able to focus on your baby. We then begin to practice balance in the water, as he holds onto a noodle while he picks up floating toys in the water and helps put them back in a bucket. This really strengthens their coordination in the water and help them get even more comfortable in the water. During our time in the pool, we explore five different stations that all focus the kids around different areas of swimming fundamentals. Just to name a few:
– One station the kids hold a little otter plastic toy while you help them float on their backs. There are also a ton of large, colorful fish dangling above the pools for the kids to enjoy when they’re floating on their back.
– One station helps the kids learn how to reach out of the pool on their elbows and knees as they try to knock over foam animals setting outside the pool.
– One station on the steps of the pool help the kids reach under water to grab weighted rings. This stresses not only coordination in the water, but encourages kids to start putting their face into the water. Goggles are easily available should you want to have your little one use them. Good luck getting them to keep them on though!
During each class there are a total of five stations to rotate to and they vary them up class-to-class to keep your little one trying new things.
The instructors are so good with the kids, too. Each child receives one-on-one time. For my son’s one-on-one time, the instructor gradually poured water over my son’s head, making him familiar with the sensation. She die this a few times before having him “swim” to me. The first few times were above water and just recently he went under water for the first time! This was SO exciting to see! Of course as a parent, I held my breath and then when he came up with a big smile across his face, I was elated! Throughout the 30-minute class the instructors explain every task in great detail and how it helps strengthen the kids’ swim skills.
I look forward to sharing much, much more from the Little Otter Swim School. I encourage you to reach out to them to learn more about how they can help your kids learn the fundamentals of swimming just in time for summer!