Kids Swimming Academy Introduction
Giving your children the opportunity to learn to swing through children’s swimming lessons at a kids swimming academy is an essential step in the process of them growing up. Swimming has so many benefits to young children and is also an essential lifeskill so that your children can stay safe when they are in the water and have the ability to help if they see someone in need, The aim of this article is to educate you as parents on the key benefits of swimming, giving some targets to track your child’s progress and also some technical information that will help you to give your children the right information when you are talking with them about swimming or practicing swimming at home outside of their swimming lessons.
The Benefits Of Children’s Swimming Lessons
Swimming Is An Important Lifeskill
Being confident in the water and be able to swim reasonable distances without tiring is an important lifeskill so that children can swim in open spaces and take part in water sports. The skills developed at within kids swimming lessons allow them to be confident in the water and opens up a broad range of opportunities as they grow up.
As children learn to swim they accomplish some big milestones and this can give children big boosts in self confidence. At our kids swim academy we use a badge system for when children achieve key distances in the early stages and also have a tiered ability program so that children and parents alike can track their progress and gain more confidence with every swimming lesson.
Cardio Vascular Fitness
Swimming is a fantastic low impact sport for the development of cardio vascular fitness and is a whole body workout the burns off a lot of calories.
Due to the nature of swimming being a relatively low resistance high repetition movement swimming helps to increase muscle tone and endurance throughout the whole body and helps swimmers to become naturally fit athletes.
Fun and Enjoyment
When children are competent in the water swimming can be a really fun activity for young children outside of swimming classes. With the great weather here in Dubai going to a local or home pool can be great fun for all the family with fun games such as water polo a big hit with young children.
Key Milestones In Kids Swimming Classes
From our experiences as swimming coaches at Dubai swim academies one of the most common questions that we are asked after swimming classes relates to the rate of progress that children within the kids swimming lesson are making. This section acts as a rough guideline for how the average child will progress as they learn to swim. Note that this is an average and individual progress does vary dependent on a variety of factors such as natural ability and previous experience. At our children’s swimming academy we also ensure that children only progress to the next stage of their development if they have complete confidence at the previous level. As swimming trainers we would like to express that it is vital that you as parents also follow this method to ensure that your child enjoys swimming and doesn’t try to take on activities that are too challenging which could result in a loss of confidence or worse injury.
6 Months To 1 Year Olds Swimming Lessons
At this stage the sole aim of the time in the pool with your little one is allowing them to gain confidence in the water and have fun. Of course at this stage children need to be supervised by an adult at all times. Here are some tips on making sure that your child has a positive learn to swim experience at this young age:
- At all times your child should be held in the water by the parent, no matter how shallow the water you should be with your child at all times whilst they are in the swimming pool.
- At this age this best way to get your child to love the water is to play fun water games.
- To make the experience pleasant and fun for your child it is a good idea to move around and sing whilst you are in the water so that your child can get used to the feeling of having the water around them.
- Be sure to keep your child’s head above water at all times, children at this age are prone to swallowing large amounts of water as have no concept of holding their breath.
- Make sure your child is wearing a swimming diaper whilst in the pool!
Two To Three Year Old Swimming Lessons
At this stage children become more interactive in the water which allows for the introduction of pool toys and games. At this age it is essential that your child has appropriate flotation devices. At our kids swimming academy we recommend that floatation devices used by children at this age should support their back or stomach rather than the arms. Here’s some tips to help your child to develop the prerequisite in water skills that they will need in order to start working on swimming strokes in the next stage.
- Games where you throw the ball near to your child so that they can reach for it are ideal at this age. This encourages them to move their arms and legs to move short distances in the pool which acts as a foundation for stroke development later.
- Teaching your child how to blow bubbles in the water at this age is a great way to get them confident with the water around their faces without panicking which will help for submerging the head in later stages as your child further develops their stroke.
- Take the time to help your child to get comfortable floating on both their front and their back. This is a prerequisite skill that sets the foundation for the development of the four key strokes in kids swimming classes which will be discussed later.
- Be aware of children being over confident at this age and think that they can go solo in the pool without really having developed the skills that they need to survive through swimming lessons. Children should be supervised in the pool at all times. Make sure that all toys are packed away and pool gates are locked to reduce the temptation of your child to jump into the pool unattended.
Four To Six Year Old Swimming Lessons
During kids swimming classes for four year olds we typically find that children develop the ability to float in the water without aides which allows us to begin teaching the fundamentals of the stroke. Note that if your child is not self sufficient in the water at this age don’t worry, you can either get your child involved in a basic learn to swim program that emphasizes buoyancy and water confidence or spend some time at your home or local swimming pool working with your child to gain confidence floating, here’s a few exercises below that you can use to get your child through this process:
The aim here is to eliminate fear so that your child can transition to learning the strokes (discussed later). Here are some key tips for helping your children at this phase:
- Enroll your child to a kids swimming academy in Dubai where they will be able to gain an understanding of the basic aspects of swimming.
- Practice outside of the children’s swimming lessons is a great way to accelerate progress at this age and can be done by reach supervision where your child can swim solo but you are always in the pool with your child in reach in case they panic.
- At this stage allow your child to develop at their own pace and don’t push them into activities that they are not ready for that could risk them developing an aversion to water in the early stages of swimming without floatation aide.
- At this age swimming can become a great social activity with friends and family. That said never assume that another adult is watching your child in the water, they are your responsibility!
Six Year Old and Above Old Swimming Activities Lessons
At six children can are able to learn swimming strokes and should be confident underwater.
- At this age try activities where your child can jump int the water and resurface on their own.
- Retrieving objects from the bottom of shallow pools can be a fun way to improve underwater confidence
- Children at this age should be encourages to take kids swimming lessons with two main aims, firstly mastering the 5 essential kids swimming skills and secondly to learn the main 4 swimming strokes which will be discussed in the next section
5 Essential Kids Swimming Skills
Mastering these 5 essential areas of swimming will act as a great foundation for your child to build upon in their kids swimming classes as they learn to swim.
Being able to control breathing is an essential part of swimming, as young swimmer children should be able to control their breath to fall into the rhythm of their stroke pattern for all of the four different strokes. The first step to developing this skill is plunging the head underwater and breathing out through the nose and water and then coming up to inhale. This can then be progressed to doing this with the arms outstretched holding the side of the pool and then breathing to the side. As a third progression the same breathing technique can be applied whilst gliding, as explained in the next section.
Gliding is an activity that is primarily used to develop a streamlined body position within kids swimming lessons. At our kids swimming academy gliding is practiced by pushing off the wall with an emphasis on the two below key swimming coaching points:
- The arms fully outstretched pressed against the side of the head and the ears.
- The finger tips outstretched as much as possible with one hand under the other.
- The body surface, from hands, along the arms, down the shoulders and back should be one smooth surface without a ‘head bump’
- The core should be engaged with all of the muscles in the body pulling towards the centre
Coordination and Core Strength
When children begin to learn to swim during kids swim classes it is normal for movements to be uncoordinated with the arms and body out of sync. The first step here is for children to engage the core so that the muscle in the hips can begin to propel the body forwards and also provide buoyancy. From here the arm movements can be made more smooth and in time with the movement of the lower body.
Learning The Strokes
Children should then begin to learn the strokes by mastering the technical elements discussed in the next section for each. During our kids swimming lessons we often start by teaching children breaststroke which whilst being slightly more complex provides a more gentle stroke that allows for children to swim for longer periods without tiring. This can act as a great stepping stone for the more demanding strokes.
Diving is an essential part of swimming and can give children a significant competitive edge when it comes to racing within inter kids swimming academy meets. Be sure that when your child is practicing diving that there is always a life guard present and that you use the deeper end of the pool. Diving should be done as a progression with technique being emphasized at all stages. Children should start diving by outstretching the arms and then curling the body down and into the water until they fall in before progressing into a more athletic starting position propelling the body upwards and forwards off the blocks for a fast racing start.
The 4 Strokes Taught In Kids Swimming Lessons
As your children establish the above 5 keys areas it is also important that they learn the four strokes that are central to all children’s swimming lessons. For each stroke we aim to give children friendly, easy to digest techniques accompanied by a video with some key kids swimming coaching points:
- Float on your front with the head facing into the water.
- Try to extend the arms out in front to make the body as long as possible.
- Pull one arm under the body all the way to the thigh.
- Bring the arm out of the water keeping the elbow high before extending the arm out in front of you again to enter the water in front of the head.
- The arms should work continuously so that one arm is ready to exit the water as the other exits.
- Float in the water with the chest and face facing down and the hands outstretched together.
- Again make the body as long as possible.
- Bend the legs slowly and bring the knees towards the body.
- Bend at the ankles so that the feet point outwards.
- Then kick back and downwards before snapping the feet together.
- This stroke involves floating on the back with the ears in the water and the eyes looking upwards towards the sky.
- Kick the legs up and down keeping the ankles floppy, trying to make the feet like flippers or a dolphins fin is a great image for children to try to recreate here.
- The feet should kick alternating and in a fast continuous motion.
- The arms should start outstretched with one arm being brought out of the water in an arc motion.
- The hand should then enter the water with the little fingers first before pulling the arm through the water all the way to your thigh.
- The arms should work continuously so that one arm is ready to exit the water as the other exits.
- The body should start as out stretched as possible.
- The swimmer should then undulate the body from the feet all the way up to the head in a whipping action.
- The feet should be pressed closed together pushing down on the water with the top of the feet.
- The arms should enter the water together and then pull all the way down to the hips.
- The hands should then come out of the water together in a wide arcing motion before entering the water above the head.
- The breath should be taken towards the end of the pull with the head entering the water as the arms sweep over.
How To Find Children’s Swimming Near Me?
We hope that you enjoyed the article and are ready to get your child involved in swimming classes or are now more informed on the next steps that need to be taken to accelerate your child’s progress in kids swimming lessons. If you are looking for a kids swimming academy in Dubai than why not give Kidster a try. With this unique program your child will receive either 4 or 8 classes per month of swimming in our tiered ability swimming academy where your kid progress alongside other children of similar age and ability. To get started with Kidster you can take a 30 day free trial which gives you access to our swimming program as well as coaching in 8 other sports. Our swimming program launches in September 2020 as part of Kidster and we hope to see your child with us to improve there skills whether it is there first time in the pool or if they are an experienced swimmer trying to achieve a new PB!