We finished our swiming lessons for the summer holidays last week and we were suitably subdued that we would be missing our Water Babies adventures over the summer but even more so that our swimming teacher was moving on to pastures new. There are some of our Water Babies friends that are not continuing their lessons next term due to circumstances, which meant that there were more goodbyes to be said before the end of term.
It got me thinking about the transition from Water Babies as some of our group are now obviously gaining exceptional water skills, not purely life saving and enjoyment but the ability to swim freely. So when does the transition happen from baby swimming to "just swimming".
I can't imagine putting my youngest into traditional swimming lessons at the present time, in fact I think it would be counter productive to her confidence and development and in talking to Water Babies, they tell me that the transition period is usually around the age of 4 (so we definitely have some time!).
There are lots of things to consider and prepare for in the transition to main stream lessons, even at ages 4 and above, such as;
- Before hand, take your child to the pool and ensure they can get in and out of the pool on their own
- Explain to them that you will not be in the pool with them but you will be near by
- Visit the venue before hand and show child where they will be swimming and where you will be sitting – it may mean you cannot see them swim
- Help them pack their own swim bag (so they also know everything they need to bring home with them too!)
- Explain to them that they should wait for you at a set point for collection after their lesson and not go with any one they do not know
- Buy a swim hat – it is likely they will have to wear one so you might as well try it on before hand (my eldest was not a fan of this when she started her lessons but she just snaps it on her own head now).
I never forget the tears and trantrums that we had with my eldest when she started traditional swimming lessons, so I know that it is important to make the transition from Water Babies to main stream lessons a smooth one. Thankfully it is not something I need to think about for another 12 months or so ...... or maybe it is me that is not ready to make the transition and accept that my water baby is growing up.