Our Classes

At Baby Paddlers we understand how quickly your baby develops which is why our baby swimming classes are split into three levels, tailored to their developmental stage.  We encourage babies to attend from birth, however we welcome all abilities and welcome you to join at any time. We love to work with parents on improving your child’s water confidence so if in doubt give us a call and we can talk through everything we do.

Swimming comes naturally to babies, they are born with special reflexes one of which closes their epiglottis to stop water entering the lungs. This reflex is present even with simple raindrops falling on the face and will show itself by baby taking what looks like a small gasp inwards. At Baby Paddlers we then use cues to create word association and recognition so that they understand when they are going underwater. All this works progressively towards breath control as they move through to the toddler and preschool years.

Underwater swimming is only a small part of what we do, our main aim is to develop water confidence using toys, songs and lots of fun. Word association and recognition is a big part of what we do, encouraging children to kick, paddle, swim, jump, hold on – all so important in the early years.

Our baby and toddler swimming classes have a maximum of 8 and our preschool classes a maximum of 6, this ensures that your child is in a fun group environment but has the opportunity for one on one time with the teacher.

baby swimming lesson

Babies (0-18 months)

For our younger paddlers we are teaching you and your baby to be water confident. We do this by teaching you a number of activities using toys and song. Through our use of repeat commands your baby will quickly build an understanding and confidence in the water.

By 18 months many of the babies we have taught are comfortable to swim under the water, as well as act out commands such as holding on to the side of the pool and jumping in with support by their own choice. It is also a very special bonding time with your baby, a chance to be close and to encourage movement in the water that they could not do on land!

Toddlers (18 months – 3 years)

Toddlers are a whole different ball game, our aim is to teach the movements needed for swimming. This includes teaching kicking, safe entry into the water and using their arms to create a paddling movement (or roar like a tiger!).

At this age it’s really important to continue swimming on a regular basis and also go as a family as often as you can. We make these classes as fun as we can, lots of jumping off floats and chasing balls round the pool, we understand that they need to associate swimming with fun and you will both learn lots about safety exercises along the way.

toddler swimming underwater
child swimming lesson underwater

Pre-Schoolers (3 -4 years)

At this age we will start to get parents out of the water, this is often a gradual process and we work with parents on the best time to do this.

What we are working towards at this age is swimming independently and understanding how they can be safe in the water. Water confidence is of course still important and for some that may be starting their swimming journey this is especially important so we play games and ensure they still associate swimming with fun.

These classes have a maximum of 6, it’s important that they can remain in a group at this age and still play games. We use swimming aids like shark fins, arm rings and woggles to encourage independence in the water. As they begin to get the physical capability to keep themselves afloat (this is very unique to each child) we will begin to teach them how to kick their legs, tread water effectively and safely enter and exit the water by themselves. This is especially important that they can understand how to be safe which for most parents is the essential thing about paying for swimming classes!