Are you thinking about signing your baby or toddler up for swim lessons? Maybe you’re not sure if they’re ready or if there’s a certain age that is best. Swim lessons don’t come cheap these days, so you want to make sure that the cost is worth it. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tell if your child is ready to take swim lessons and key ages where you can expect them to learn lifelong swim skills.
Are Infant Swim Programs Necessary?
Infant swim programs have grown in popularity in recent years, with infants as young as 6 months going for dips in the pool with Mom or Dad. You’ve probably seen plenty of these photos in your news feed. Does this mean that you need to enroll your baby in swim lessons before they fall behind their peers? No.
Though baby swim classes have their benefits, your child will not have the motor skills needed for swim stroke development at this age. Rather, taking a swim class with your infant gets them familiar with the water. They can even practice basic skills like floating, rolling over on their back and other basic motor skills.
Toddlers also have plenty to gain from being introduced to the water early on. Between the ages of 2-4, children are ready to begin exploring swimming, and this helps prepare them for formal stroke development. If your child is a toddler, enrolling them in a swim program will get them comfortable in the water and increase their movement and mobility.
Kindergarten: Best Age to Learn Swim Skills
The ideal age for learning specific swimming skills is around 5-½ years old, regardless of when the child was introduced to water. So if your child has no formal swimming lessons, that’s okay. They’re not behind and will perform just as well as their trained peers. The only difference may be that they will require more time getting comfortable in the water.
Swim training can begin around 1-3 years old and should be continuous for 5-10 years. When you do choose to start your child in swim lessons, they should take part in annual swim programs that continue to build on one another. Swimming is a great workout and is good for muscle strength and mobility. Most importantly, it teaches your child essential swimming and water survival skills that can save a life one day.
Of course – if you have your own backyard swimming pool, you can take your kids for a swim at any time!