We all know that swim lessons are great for kids — and that we should get our kids in the water ASAP. But, as parents, especially parents of young children, it can be such a production getting to swim lessons. The gear. The swim diapers. The nap times. Committing to a 6- or 8-week “Mommy & Me” class can seem daunting. And expensive.
Hubbard Swim School gets it. And so committed are they to the benefits of infant swim lessons, that they offer parents a very appealing alternative:
Free Baby Splash classes.
7 days a week, all year long. Amazing, right? And these 30-minute classes are the perfect length for babies. You can easily find a class to fit you and your baby’s schedule.
Last week, I took my 2-year-old to observe a Baby Splash class. Cincinnati’s Hubbard Swim School is located in the Kids First Sports Complex on Kemper Road, and it’s very easy to find. We met with Manager John LaGrange, whose passion and commitment to the Hubbard philosophy is inspiring. John explained that the main goal of Baby Splash classes is getting babies (and parents) comfortable in the water. Not only is teaching babies how to swim extremely important in terms of safety, there are also myriad developmental benefits. Kids that start swimming before the age of 1 walk and talk sooner. They begin reading earlier. They learn important social skills at a younger age.
It’s also over-the-top adorable. Because, babies. Tiny swim suits. Coos and smiles. The first thing I noticed was how happy the babies were. These infants were all between 2 and 6 months, so you’d expect some fussing and crying. But all the babies were so happy and mellow.
Hubbard’s swim classes promote parent-child bonding through lots of skin-to-skin touch and eye contact. And they’re not just for moms — John said that Hubbard’s classes are also extremely popular with dads!
During the 30-minute class, the instructor, Tammy, ran through a variety of songs and simple exercises aimed to help acclimate the babies to the water and build strength. There’s a verbal cue all the instructors use to let swimmers know they’re about to go under water (or sprinkled gently with water, as in the Baby Splash class). The babies got to practice tummy time on a giant raft. It was pretty cool to see six babies practicing tummy time in the middle of a pool!
After class, Harvey and I changed into our suits to participate in a Little Snapper class. (The locker rooms, by the way, are amazing. Lots of light. Lots of places to put your stuff. Very clean and easy to navigate with kids!) This is the next level after Baby Splash, and classes are divided into three groups based on age.
Harvey and I got to practice swim strokes, kicks and blowing bubbles, all through a variety of songs and exercises. Harvey loved the little ledge at the side of the pool, which allowed him to stand waist-deep in the water. (The water, by the way, is 90 degrees and feels amazing!) Tammy also brought out the slide, which floats in the water as kids slide into their parent’s arms. It was fun, very positive experience in the water that I know he’ll remember.
There are several different class times offered throughout the week; advanced registration is required. Hubbard Swim School is located at Kids First Sports Complex, 7900 E. Kemper Road, Cincinnati OH 45249. For more information or to register for a class, call 513-530-0123 or visit www.hubbardswim.com.