Tag Archives: swim training

Swim Step 3: Swim Training

Editor’s Note: This is the third post in our three-part series focused on teaching children to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program. The steps include Swim Step 1: Water IntroductionSwim Step 2: Water Exploration, and Swim Step 3: Swim Training. Swim along with us and teach your child the skills of a lifetime!

They grow up so fast, don’t they? If you’re reading this, your child should have the skills from swim steps 1 and 2 down, and they should be between the ages of 4-6! Here, they’ll begin using kickboards and start to learn paddle-like strokes while wearing flotation devices! Remember, they are still learning, so be sure that you, or another responsible adult continues to be with them and available to help while they are in the water.

There are so many positive effects of teaching your children to swim at an early age. Studies show that children who are taught to swim by the age of 5 have increased confidence, are ahead in their cognitive and physical development and are more likely to have higher IQ’s (due to an early exposure to sensory and motor stimuli in the water). Learning this skill by this age can also help in developing math skills. Finally, better oral expression and social skills are also wonderful benefits of swimming.

 

During your child’s Swim Step 3 training, they should continue wearing swim training flotation aids like the Sea Squirt Swim Trainer Life Jacket or Power Swimr. These wearable flotation devices help them stay in well-balanced swimming positions and they’re easily adjustable.

 

These vests help them to use their arms and kick their legs- training them to develop coordination for independent movement in the water.

As your child progresses, and continues to wear the Power Swimr or Sea Squirts Swim Assist Vest, you can begin to take 1 of the 9 flotation pads out at a time.

Make sure you continue to encourage and be patient with them as they are still learning. Also, remind them never to swim without proper supervision.

A great swim training practice is to allow your child to stand where their toes can just touch the bottom of the pool. Then, tell them to try to use their arms and legs to spin around in a circle.

Another great technique is to begin to back away as your child swims (even using the doggie-paddle method) toward you. This gives them the opportunity to control where and how they get around the pool.

Consider signing them up for organized swim lessons. These are great for children (particularly those 4+), as it encourages confidence and can further their love of spending time in the water! The USA Swim Foundation is a great resource for finding swim lessons for your child. Make sure to check with your child’s swim instructor on the requirements for swim training equipment before he or she starts their swimming lessons. Some instructors may require U.S. Coast Guard Approved swim gear such as the Sea Squirts Swim Trainer Life Jackets.

Be sure to take a look at the video on Swim Step 3 training. And don’t forget to use your other resources: Review the American Red Cross water safety checklist and visit our resources page on TeachMeToSwim.com.

SwimWays Swim Sweater

Water Exploration: Swim Step 2

Editor’s Note: This is the second post in our three-part series focused on teaching children to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program. The steps include Swim Step 1: Water Introduction, Swim Step 2: Water Exploration, and Swim Step 3: Swim Training. Swim along with us and teach your child the skills of a lifetime!

Congratulations! If your child has completed the skills in Swim Step 1,  you’re ready to walk them through Swim Step 2! This step is about helping your child gain some independence and more confidence in the water. Here is where they’ll begin to paddle and kick, which are important building blocks for their future swim training.

Here’s a list of skills your child will be working on in SwimSteps 2: floating, kicking, splashing, and paddling! They’ll be building muscle coordination and balance in this step as well. At this stage, your child should be wearing a flotation aid, such as; Swim VestFloat Shorty or Swim Sweater. (Please note that our Swim Steps flotation aids aren’t life-saving devices and are only meant for swim training. We do however, have kids PFD life vests here!)

There are so many positive effects of teaching your children to swim at an early age. Studies show that children who are taught to swim by the age of 5 have increased confidence, are ahead in their cognitive and physical development and are more likely to have higher IQ’s (due to an early exposure to sensory and motor stimuli in the water). Learning this skill by this age can also help in developing math skills. Finally, better oral expression and social skills are also wonderful benefits of swimming.

1. Touch Supervision

Swim Step 2- SwimWays Swim Sweater

 

It’s very important that you stay within arm’s reach of your child (known as Touch Supervision) while they continue to explore the water in this step. This will help to build trust and security in the pool, as well as gain some independence.

2. Fun + Instruction

Swim Step 2- SwimWays Pick Me Up Pelican

 

Combine your little one’s swim training with time spent with a swim instructor and time directed at having fun in the pool. You can even use floating pool toys such as Pick Me Up Pelican. Place the floating toys around the pool and as your child begins to swim over to collect them, they’ll be developing hand-eye coordination, balance, and confidence! But remember to stay within arm’s reach of your child.

3. Breath Control

Swim Step 2- Finding Dory Swim Goggles

 

Breath control is the next step, and a great way to do this is by using games. Lower and raise a toy above and below the surface of the water. Make sure they also have goggles to keep water out of their eyes.

After you’re child has completed these skill sets, and is between the ages of 4-6, they’ll be ready for Swim Step 3!

Be sure to take a look at the video on Swim Step 2 training. And don’t forget to use your other resources: review the American Red Cross water safety checklist and visit our resources page on TeachMeToSwim.com.

Save the Date for the 7th Annual Swimways National Learn to Swim Day on Saturday, May 19th

Save the date for the 7th annual Swimways National Learn to Swim Day on Saturday, May 19th!

We started National Learn to Swim Day seven years ago as part of water safety month to help raise awareness about the importance of learning to swim to help prevent childhood drowning*. Learn more about how you can get involved at the National Learn to Swim Day website, and get tips on how to host your own National Learn to Swim Day event.

*Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-4? Help turn this tragedy around by teaching your kids to swim and practicing water safety with your family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swim Step 3: Teaching Kids to Swim

Editor’s Note: This is the third post in our three-part series focused on teaching kids to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program. The steps include Swim Step 1: Water Introduction, Swim Step 2: Water Exploration, and Swim Step 3: Swim Training. Swim along with us and teach your child the skills of a lifetime!


After introducing your child to the pool, watching them explore the water and gain confidence, the time has finally arrived to start swim training! You may choose to enroll your child in formal swim lessons right away or begin with some exercises at home or use a combination of both methods for a balanced approach.

At this stage, your child will start testing their limits of what they can do, so it’s important to remember to stay within arms reach of your child and remind them that they should never be in the water without an adult who knows how to swim.

Formal Swim Lessons

If you are going the route of formal swim lessons, a great place to start your search for a swim instructor is using the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Local Partners. Additional swim lesson providers include the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and your local YMCA.

An experienced swim instructor can be an excellent partner in your child’s learning to swim journey, and group classes can help your child gain confidence along with their peers, particularly for children four and older. (Further Reading: Choosing a Formal Swim Instructor by Mario Vittone)

Swim Training Aids

Power SwimrFor teaching kids at home, you may wish to use a flotation aid such as the SwimWays Power Swimr swim vest. (There are differing opinions about the use of flotation aids in swim lessons, so we recommend reading more about this subject before you decide what’s best for your child.)

Power Swimr flotation padsThe SwimWays Power Swimr is a graduated swim trainer that includes 9 removable inner flotation pads inside (5 in the back and 4 in the front.)

As your child gains confidence and skill, remove the pads one at a time to gradually move your child into a proper forward swimming position.

Graduated swim trainers enable your child to learn at his or her own pace. It’s helpful to think of the Power Swimr like training wheels for the pool.

Power Swimr graduated swim training system

Important note: If you are heading to a community pool or club to practice swimming with your child, check to see if there are any restrictions on flotation aids. Some pools require a Coast Guard-approved device such as our Swim Trainer PFD.

Tips from Our Swimming Expert

Watch this video to see some swim training tips in action!

If your kids are learning to swim this summer, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and share your experience with us and other parents! Connect with our Swim Steps ambassadors who are also teaching their kids to swim this summer too.