Learning to swim – What it feels like for a kid

Kids swimming lessons, what does it actually feel like for a kid who is learning to swim.

Kids’ bodies and physical abilities, sensory experiences, feelings, motivations, and perceptions of success all differ from those of adults, and they all affect how kids learn to swim. When we are teaching your kids to swim, take the time to put yourself in their shoes.

Let’s just IMAGINE for a little bit! We may have forgotten how to do this but let’s give it a try today.

Imagine that your head is large compared to the rest of your body. How does that feel when you’re trying to float or balance in the water?

Imagine that your limbs are short compared to your torso. How do you move through the water with limited leverage?

Imagine that your lung capacity is a lot smaller than a grownup’s. Does that make figuring out how to deal with your breath while you’re swimming more complicated?

Imagine that you’ve got not much mass, a lot of skin relative to that mass, and low body fat. Can you feel how fast your body loses heat to the water?

Can you feel how much less buoyant you are than an adult, thanks to your tiny bit of fat and small internal air flotation devices (aka lungs)? Wow, it’s not easy to figure out how to float! Big old head, not a lot of buoyancy.

Plus, your body is changing every single day. All that growing is exhausting! And you haven’t learned yet to predict when you’ll reach the end of your rope or to read the signs that tell you you’re getting cranky because you’re tired. You’re always surprised when you hit the exhaustion wall without warning. Every time.

Now move back into your own shoes! What a relief. Remind yourself that when we are teaching your kids to swim, their little bodies give them some extra challenges when it comes to learning to swim. Every child’s body is different and therefore slightly different challenges for them and the teacher during kids swimming lessons.

The better we, as teachers and you as their parents, understand what your kids are experiencing, the easier and more effective the process of teaching them to swim will be. Children are different than adults. (Surprise!) Understanding their differences will help us all put ourselves in your child’s place and try to respond to their needs. Responding to your child’s needs will help to make the learning process fun and effective for all of us.


Our qualified instructors provide kids swimming lessons weekly and on Saturday morning’s in the heart of the Byron Shire at our swim facility at Billinudgel.

We also have kids swimming intensives during the school holidays.

Contact Ruth on 02 6680 1614 for more information

learning to swim with tamara


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