Toddlers will often get scared of things they don’t know or understand. Unfamiliar environments, new faces, and uncomfortable scenarios can make most children scared. This is where the comfort of parents comes into play.
Swimming lessons are no different from new environments that might make your kid anxious, especially if it’s their first time in the water. Parents should be supportive of their children as they learn how to swim.
If you’re worried about how you can prepare your child for their first swimming course for kids, here are seven things you can do to make their lesson safe and fun.
How to prepare your toddler for swimming lessons
To prepare your child for their first class, there are seven fun activities that you could do at home.
Play in the bathtub
If you think your kids need extra time acclimating to a body of water, you can always use your bathtub for practice. Fill up your bathtub and try activities like submerging their head underwater and blowing bubbles to ease their fear of water. Doing this for a few days before the start of their classes will help them gain confidence around water. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can grab a big water basin, fill it with water, and play with them in your backyard.
During their initial lessons, toddlers who are not used to playing around water tend to cry. You can avoid this by helping them get used to the pool experience beforehand.
This tip also applies to getting your kids used to wearing their swimwear.
Explain how the classes work through roleplay
Speaking of roleplay, pretending to have a swim class is also a good way to prepare your child for actual swimming lessons. If this is the first time your kid will try group classes, you should explain how things work through roleplaying. This is an effective strategy used by many experts in helping toddlers deal with and explore complex scenarios. You can show them what to expect during their first day and introduce them to the swim instructor using their toys.
Some kids don’t immediately follow the instructions of adults they don’t know. But through this method, you can teach your toddler to trust their swim instructor and to obey them during class and whenever they are in the water.
Introduce them to the instructor
Now that they know how their group lessons work, you can introduce them to their actual swim instructor.
Having a familiar face in an unfamiliar environment can help ease your child’s fears. By establishing a relationship between your toddler and their instructor, your kid will feel more comfortable during their lessons.
Visit the facility before classes
Showing your kid where the lessons will take place is also a good way to help ease their fears of the unknown.
You can bring your child to the pool a day before their classes begin and allow them to explore the place as they would like to. If possible, you can also observe ongoing lessons with them so that they can see what a typical swimming lesson scenario looks like. It’s also at this time when your kid can ask you questions about the lessons, the place, and their instructor so they can be more comfortable once classes start. Showing them where they’ll be in the next couple of weeks will help your kid transition properly.
Create a reward system
A reward system is another excellent way to prepare them for swimming lessons. Creating a reward system for your kids is an effective tool for teaching them how to behave appropriately. Positive reinforcement lets your kid act and lean towards ideal behavior that earns them rewards and favors.
Reward your kids with something of high value every time they come home from their swimming lesson. Simple praises during their classes can also help! Additionally, this technique rewards your kids for the achievements or progress they’ve made during their classes.
Attend their first class with them
Knowing that you’ll be with them during their first day can make all the difference to your kid. Your presence will help them feel more relaxed, secure, and confident to join and participate.
You can accompany them during their first three days and offer to pick them up after their lessons for the remaining sessions. So long as they know that you’ll be close by during their first class, it will encourage your kids to participate and enjoy the course.
Make Swimming Lessons Fun Before They Even Begin
With your help, learning can become a fun experience for your kids. Additionally, if you think that your toddler is not prepared enough for group lessons, there’s always the option of private toddler swim lessons.
Private toddler swim lessons are for kids who would benefit more from one-on-one sessions. Unlike group lessons, the swim instructor’s attention focuses on your toddler. Before you enroll your child in any swimming course, make sure you spend some time assessing their needs. The best swimming class for your toddler depends on their needs and wants.