At which age can my child become a "SchwimmMonster"?
When your child starts a swimming course as a MiniMonster he/she needs to be four years old. But the "best age" to start learning swimming varies for every child. When your child starts a course he or she should be able to concentrate for the time of a 40 Minute lesson and not be afraid of being apart from his parents.
You can prepare your child already at home or in a swimming pool for a swimming course.
How can I prepare my child for a swimming course?
Diving or submersion is one basic skill and it is at the same time a very important requirement for the learning of swimming. If your child does not like water in his/her face, than you should start to train this with your child before starting a course at home. Let your child blow with mouth and nose bubbles or small balls at the surface of the water. One good exercise is to let water run down the face under the shower or splash water in the face for washing it. Let your child put parts of his/her face (like chin, ears, nose, and front) into the water up until submersion of the whole face. Your child can try this out under your supervision in the bathtub (without foam of course) or the swimming pool. In the pool your child can hold itself at the border and dive the face or even the whole head under water. You should support your child in those exercises but not force it. Some children just need more time for this important step.
If your child starts with kicking and moving the arms in the water with armbands, you could try out a swimming belt (like Schloris). With a swimming belt the children can easier move in the water horizontally and they are able to move their arms. It is important to let your child do the movements its way and not to try to teach coordinated swimming movements. Those first child-oriented movements help your child to develop its own feeling for the water.
What should my child bring to the first lesson?
A bathing suit or trunks (no shorts), a towel and soap for the shower. Bring flip-flops if needed and don't forget the hat for afterwards. If your child has already swimming goggles please bring them (starting at MidiMonster level) as well as a swimming cap (especially if your child has long hair). Please see also next chapter for the swimming cap.
Why is a swimming cap important?
A big proportion of body heat is lost by the head. A swimming cap keeps not only the head warm, but lowers the heat that is lost by the head. This is a clear advantage for children who are easily cold. A swimming cap keeps long hair together and the child is not bothered by the hair in its face and swimming goggles stay in place better if you use a cap. You can also purchase a swimming cap with the logo of the SchwimmMonster Club® from me.
What is important when you buy swimming goggles?
Swimming goggles are not necessary for the first swimming course (MiniMonster). The children should first get used to dive without goggles. Once they have accomplished this step, they can use swimming goggles for the following course as a MidiMonster. The purchase of swimming goggles could therefore be also good reward. I also bring some goggles to the swimming lessons so that the children can try them out first. If you want to buy swimming goggles, please do so with your child. Your child needs to try them on since the fit is different. You can test the fit by using the following method: press the goggles lightly on the face of your child without using the straps. If the goggles don’t fall down right away then the fit is ok.
How is the first lesson?
Please be around 15 minutes earlier at the pool. You have then enough time to get your child changed and to make him/her go to the toilets. After a short introduction the children say goodbye to their parents and we start the course. We discover the pool and move in and maybe under water. The parents can watch the last 5 minutes of the lesson.
Can the parents watch the course?
The parents bring their child at the beginning of the course to the pool and fetch them there at the end of the course. Once the course has started the parents have “spare time”! This way the children can concentrate very well on the tasks. The last 5 minutes all parents are welcome to watch next to the pool (without shoes!). The children are then very often proud to show what they have learned. As a mother I know very well, that you are curious about the development of your child in the water. This is another reason why I have created the progress booklet (“SchwimmMonster Buch”). You receive this booklet about every 4 weeks to take home and to look together with your child and to celebrate the development in the water.
How can I support my child in learning swimming?
First of all, give your child the time he/she needs. Every child is different and most likely every child has had various experiences with water. Therefore, he/she needs sometimes more and sometimes less time for certain steps. I recommend also going to a swimming pool additionally to the swimming lesson. Your child will be proud in showing you the movements he/she can already make. Compliment your child as often as possible. I can give you some exercises or games you can do with your child in the water. But it is nevertheless important to have fun. Don’t force your child since this will cause resistance and fear.