The Best Time to Sign Your Child Up for Swimming Lessons and Six Other Tips on Teaching Your Little One to Swim

Teaching your child to swim can be very exciting and rewarding. Do you have doubts about whether your child is ready? Every child is different, but take a peek at what the experts are recommending.

1. Begin water activities between the ages of 6 months – 3 years in order to get your child  comfortable with the water. This can include playing games and skill building to help children familiarize themselves with their surroundings.

2. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends beginning formal swimming lessons at age 4. Kourtney Eidam from Parents magazine says at this age children are “developmentally able to learn skills needed to stay afloat.” If you are unsure if your child is ready, observe their behavior in the pool and ask how they feel about learning to swim. Rest assured, swimming instructors are trained to help children at all stages of learning.

3. Find a local swimming program that matches your child’s water skills. If he or she is very comfortable and has a lot of swimming experience, you might want to consider a level above the first-timers.

4. The best time of year to sign your child up for swimming lessons is in the winter. Tina Ramser, a swimming instructor with 15 years of experience, suggests that your child will receive more individual attention, better instruction, more consistent lesson times and an overall better experience.

5. The worst time of year, believe it or not, is August! Ramser explains that swimming instructors are worn out, less available, and that August is an overall busy month, which might lead to cancelled appointments.

6. The learning should not just take place at lessons. If you have a pool at home, encourage your child to practice what was learned in class. If you don’t have a pool, utilize other options such as local beaches, lakes, community pools, etc.

7. No matter the age, always keep an eye on your child. Accidents happen even to the best swimmers, so execute every safety precaution possible.

Hopefully, now you feel more at ease about this upcoming adventure. For more information about swimming lessons check out Tina Ramser’s blog: http://squidkid.org/author/tina-ramser/

Or for more information on what you read here visit: http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/outdoor/teach-your-child-to-swim/    or   http://squidkid.org/the-best-and-worst-time-to-teach-your-kids-to-swim/

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