We started Zoey on swimming lessons when she turned 6 months old. It was the youngest anyone would take. Many of the swim schools and private instructors we researched started the children at 1 years old. However, given the number of un-fenced swimming pools in Singapore, we decided that we wanted to equip Zoey with good water confidence from a young age.
Zoey started at Marsden Swim School in September 2013. It is a small sheltered swimming pool at The Grandstand (formerly Turf City). It is fairly far for us, but it was one of the few places we found that would take kids her age and have a heated pool. When she first started, she could not even walk and had just started crawling. She was the tiniest baby in a class full of kids who were 6 months or more older than her. However, I think being around older children made it easier for her to learn. After all, kids learn via imitation and having a group of children show her how to swim was the fastest way to improve. In fact, she can now swim from the platform, through a hoop and towards me. Not bad for a 2.5 year old.
Nowadays I try to bring her out for water play as much as possible. It helps that we have access to a few private condo pools and we recently discovered some very nice public water play areas. Like this one at the top of the new Sports Hub at stadium.
It has a huge structure with 4 slides, loads of water wheels, a 0.6 m play pool and even baby swings! Lovely place to bring kids for water fun. Plus it’s free!
The best part about bringing her to water play areas is knowing she is equipped with the knowledge of how to hold her breath underwater. So I can observe her from afar and don’t have to hover over her all the time. She also doesn’t cling onto me and is quite happy to run around playing on her own. She often makes friends with other kids, sometimes trying to ‘help’ younger toddlers by holding their hands or chasing after the older kids around the play areas. Her water confidence as compared to other kids her age is pretty good.
Here’s a sample of the past 3 days in the pools.
I hope that she will be able to swim independently by the time she turns 3. As they say, practise makes perfect, so I am also hoping to get more chances to practise with her. In fact, she’s going to be so happy when she finds out we are going on a swimming play date tomorrow!