How to Get Your Kids Ready for Their First Swimming Lesson How to Get Your Kids Ready for Their First Swimming Lesson

How to Get Your Kids Ready for Their First Swimming Lesson

Your first swimming lesson can be a scary prospect. And that’s true for everyone – whether you’re a young swimmer, an adult learner, or a parent of someone who’s learning to swim.

It’s a new experience in an unfamiliar environment, with new people, new equipment, and a whole new set of skills to learn.

(You can trust us on this one. Our SOUL CAP co-founders didn’t learn to swim until they were adults – and that first lesson wasn’t easy!)

But for kids in particular, the first swim lesson can be daunting. There’s a lot going on, and they’ll need all the help they can get to make it a positive and rewarding experience.

Here’s what you can do as a parent to help:

Get them used to the water

The first step starts long before the first lesson – and it’s all about getting them comfortable in water.

If you’re lucky enough to live near the sea, you can take your kids for a supervised paddle at the beach. They can walk, sit, and play in the shallow waters, and start to get used to the feeling of being in and surrounded by water.

(It also doesn’t hurt that most kids love the beach. There are plenty of exciting distractions to keep them occupied, and that means they won’t be too focused on the water itself.)

If you don’t live near a beach, there’s a much simpler option:

Run a bath, and play some games.

With a half-filled bath and some close supervision, you can help your kid to learn the basics of how to float, how to move around, and how to keep their head above the water.

And once they’re used to being in water in a safe and familiar environment, they’ll be much more ready to tackle their first swimming lesson.

Let your kids choose their swim gear

It’s easy to focus on the scariest parts of a swimming lesson – the unfamiliar people and the water itself.

But the clothes and equipment are unfamiliar, too. And the feeling of wearing strange, wet clothes is only going to make things worse.

So when you’re shopping for the things your kid needs to swim, get them involved in the process. Let them choose a swimming costume with a design they like, or a swimming cap for kids in their favourite colour.

Once you’ve found the right swim stuff, you can start to help them get used to wearing it. Tell them why they need it, show them how to put it on, and get them wearing it at the beach or in the bath.

When they get to their first lesson, there’ll be one less thing that’s new and strange – and they’ll already be used to the feeling of wearing a wet swimming costume in the water.

Visit the pool before the lesson

If your kid has never been to a pool before, it’s bound to be a strange experience.

There’s the smell of chlorine, the echoing sounds of splashing water, and a whole crowd of loud and excited kids and parents.

So to make that first visit a little less stressful, you can take the lesson completely out of it – by visiting the same pool a few days beforehand, and keeping things light and casual.

You could simply stop by and take a look around, to let your kid absorb the sights and sounds.

Or if they’re feeling brave, you could book a family fun session and let them experience the water without the extra stress of a new teacher or new kids.

If you can, you could also try and meet the swimming coach. Even a quick ‘hello’ and a few encouraging words can make all the difference – so your kid will see a familiar face when they finally show up to their swim lesson.

Be prepared and arrive early

When the time finally comes on the day of the lesson, you should do everything you can to be prepared.

The first thing to do is to pack the right stuff – everything your kid might need, and every potential hiccup accounted for.

Here’s a quick checklist with some of the things you’ll need:

  • Your kids’ favourite swim suit
  • A junior swim cap to protect their hair
  • Their swim goggles (if they’re using them)
  • A large towel (or maybe two!) - we also sell a microfiber hair towel
  • Shampoo and soap – to wash the chlorine out as soon as possible
  • A comb or a brush
  • Bottles of water and light snacks
  • A set of warm clothes for after the lesson
  • And coins for the lockers in the changing room.

But beyond all that preparation, there’s one other important thing to remember:

Leave plenty of time, and get there early!

Your kid’s first swimming lesson is already a potentially stressful situation. And a last-minute rush or a dash from the carpark is only going to make them feel more nervous.

So try and do everything you can to make the whole process easy and stress-free – driving to the pool, parking the car, finding a locker and getting changed – and you’ll have a kid that’s relaxed and calm, and ready to start their first lesson with confidence.

Looking for swim gear that’s made for kids?

The first swimming lesson is all about preparation. And that means getting the right swimwear and swim gear as early as possible.

Our new SOUL CAP Junior is designed specifically for kids with long or voluminous hair – giving them skin-friendly protection from the harsh effects of chlorine and pool-water.

(And with a full range of colours, your kid can pick their favourite cap!)

Check out our full range of swim caps in our new online shop – and help your kid get the protection and confidence they need for their first time in the water.

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