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Swim Lesson Curriculum for Kids: An Overview of What to Expect

When finding the appropriate swim classes for your kid, you need to consider their age, skill, and the kind of class you want them to take. And to determine what an excellent swimming course for kids looks like, you need to have a good idea of what classes and techniques are included in a swim lesson curriculum.

This article will help you understand a basic swim lesson plan and the different children’s swimming lessons available today.

What a basic swim lesson plan looks like

Swimming lesson plans for kids differ from one another. Some classes focus on water safety, while others are for learning basic and complex swimming techniques. 

It can be difficult for parents to know which swimming lessons are perfect for their kids since there are many to choose from. Thankfully, there are ways for parents to determine the suitable class for their children, starting with understanding what a basic lesson plan looks like. Regardless of the age group or kind of class a swim program belongs in, there are five things that all curriculums should have.


The first thing that a basic swim lesson plan should have is the duration of each class they will have.

For instance, a 30-minute swim lesson curriculum for infants and toddlers will look different than a 30-minute class for older kids. Note that in younger classes, parents will be in the water, incorporating a variety of play and fun with learning critical survival skills. As children grow, the formal instruction in their 30-minute lessons will increase. Lessons and teaching points

The lesson of each session dictates the different teaching points the swim instructor will use and the central goal of each session. 

Swimming lesson plans for beginners often start their sessions with confidence building and include teaching points like making big splashes using their hands and feet. These should give you an idea of what your kids will learn through each session with their instructors, especially when they are just starting.


Warm-up exercises before swimming classes are essential to prevent injuries during the session. An excellent swimming course for kids will include a list of warm-up activities students will do before the lesson starts. 

Practices and activities

This section of the curriculum mentions the bulk of the practices that the students will do. These can include other complementary activities that will prepare your kid for future lessons. 

Each session of your kid’s swimming class will tackle techniques and other studies mentioned in their previous courses; hence, their lesson plan should connect their teachings from one session to another. 


Some instructors advise the parents to provide their kids with the proper swimming accessories they would need for their lessons. 

For example, some instructors use floats as buoyancy aids for students who need extra assistance learning specific techniques. Keep in mind that kids have varying developmental skills, which is why some students learn faster than others. So, to ensure that no student gets left behind, some instructors ask kids to bring specific equipment and set the pace of the class accordingly. 

Different Types of Children’s Swimming Lessons

Now that you know what a primary swimming lesson plan should look like, let’s talk about the different swimming classes offered in most swim clinics. Most of these can be categorized into two: age and class.

By age

Because kids have different skill levels depending on age, various classes are developed for multiple age groups. 

For instance, infant swimming lessons are for students below the age of one and focus on acclimating infants to the feeling of being in the water. Because infants have yet to develop the skills they need to breathe underwater, their lessons don’t include basic swimming techniques. Instructors will only ask parents to accompany their kids in water play activities. 

On the other hand, toddler lessons are more for learning about water safety and preventing accidents. Like infants, kids under four aren’t ready for formal swimming techniques, so instructors focus on teaching them how to stay safe around the water. This is also why these classes still require parents to be heavily involved.

Formal lessons will begin once students reach the age of four years old. When your kid reaches this age, they can slowly coordinate their movements to do and memorize strokes. They will also start learning how to kick their feet to swim. 

The older a child grows, the better they can get the hang of doing complex swimming techniques. If they love the water, you can continue enrolling them in formal lessons or even consider competitive swimming and coaching!

All of these classes, regardless of the age group they cater to and the different lessons they offer, aim to teach kids proper water safety and survival skills and involve parents in the process whenever necessary.

By class size

Aside from age group, class size is another factor that categorizes the different swimming lessons offered in your area. Generally, there are two kinds of swimming programs that you can choose from, group or private programs. 

Group classes mean your kid will learn to swim alongside other kids their age. Group swimming lessons are great for kids with excellent or developing social skills, as it allows them to interact with other children in a safe and fun environment. 

These classes are perfect if your child knows how to follow instructions well. But, if your kid has trouble socializing or wants the majority of the attention, private lessons could be more appropriate for them.

Unlike group classes, private lessons can have fewer students or be one-on-one sessions. Private swimming lessons give your kid more attention from their teacher, allowing them to stay more focused on the teaching point of the session. Private classes are perfect for kids who are not as sociable.

With these factors in mind, you can now choose between group classes or private lessons, depending on what your child needs. Find which class best suits your child to have the best experience possible while learning how to swim.

Experience the Bear Paddle difference

Bear Paddle’s program stands out in its story-based approach to learning!

BearPaddle created small classes with a new theme every month, guaranteeing students immersive swimming lessons! And with various locations across the US, we ensure that your kid’s lessons remain convenient for busy parents like yourself. 

If you want to learn more about our programs, visit our website!

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