Teaching pre-school-aged children

A pre school aged girl wearing blue floaties and holding onto the pool edge 

The gap between Infant Aquatics & School Age lessons can seem huge, the pre-school age group often have the skills to participate in higher stages but lack the maturity these skills need. As daunting as it may seem to have up to four 3-year olds jumping around in your class, it can provide for some serious fun and a great feeling of accomplishment watching them improve

To ensure your classes run smoothly and effectively you need to understand students of this age group (3-5 years old) generally don’t yet have the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. When teaching stroke skills, it is important to keep them swimming as much as possible to avoid distraction - techniques such as wave & chain swimming will help with this.

With other skills like exhaling under water (bubbles), floating and other movements in water, it can be useful to use a circuit setup. This would include multiple stations where students move around and try them all. This will help with keeping all students engaged, as well as allowing students to have as much practice with skills as possible. With the circuits it is important to keep all activities within the lane space you are working in, also only include one skill that will require your assistance with the rest being skills students can carry out on their own e.g. blowing bubbles.

The pre-school age group is one of the most rewarding to teach as they can improve in no time at all. They will require patience & compassion, but with the right techniques the skills they learn at this stage of their life will provide the foundations for their swimming journey.

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