Oklahoma City family fun brings life skills that start from the time children are so small.
My toddler finished up swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School – Edmond as the year was ending and we've had some time to reflect on the experience. Gabriel just turned 3 and he's at the perfect age to look forward to a lesson each week. I can definitely confirm that my kindergartner gets better with each passing Thursday class but it's harder for parents to know how smaller children are doing when they can't always tell us in the most expressive ways.
Being in the water with Gabriel at the last level where a parent would participate gave me a chance to see how his skills and comfort with the water progressed. What surprised me most was that progression from somewhat fearful to willing to listen, participate and learn.
As promised, I'm reporting back with three tips for how to make the most of toddler swimming lessons. Here's the advice I would share for a family getting started with swim lessons:
- Ask for help: The class sizes at Goldfish are very small; that's a huge plus because the instructor is more available and can be responsive to hesitation. We never had more than three other mom/baby pairs in ours at the same time, which means there's time for your child to catch onto the skill being taught. Skills are demonstrated with plastic dolls but actual children are much less cooperative; sometimes, your threenager will choose to participate more for someone else than for you. Our instructor was happy to take Gabriel and show him exactly what to do.
- Start with goggles: The fact that the water isn't chlorinated is a huge advantage over other pools but kids don't seem eager to put their faces in the water no matter what. Goggles aren't required for young children but they can be helpful to solve the "There's water in my eyes!" dilemma. Get used to wearing them in the shower or bathtub at home. It's less disruptive than stopping to wipe eyes on a poolside towel every few minutes.
- Know that your child will get better: Consistency is a huge plus at Goldfish. Class routines, songs and how this process goes become familiar to your child, which also gives toddlers confidence. Gabriel was singing the class songs in the bathtub by the time we finished his sessions. The goal isn't independent swimming at his age but more water comfort and basic safety, along with some swim skills. I saw reluctance improve vastly and his last two classes were really his best.
There's a perpetual lesson model that would've kept us enrolled rather than worrying about semester breaks but I'm at my third trimester and less comfortable in swimwear. Enrollment fees are valid for a year after signing up, though, so when we're ready to come back, it'll be a simple process to get started again. Isaac is still going strong for now and we'll sum up his experience in early March when he's finished too. In the meantime, I just might go back and float in the water now and then during Family Swim times since that's a relaxing activity at the end of pregnancy and fees are capped at just $15 per family during those Tuesday morning and Saturday dates.
It's not too early to look ahead to spring and summer swimming lessons. Click here for more info in our After-School Activities Guide.