The Red Cross divides their swimming lessons into three categories; Red Cross Preschool, Red Cross Swim Kids, and Red Cross Adult.  In this post, we will be focusing on the Red Cross Preschool swimming levels:  Starfish, Duck, Sea Turtle, Sea Otter, Salamander, Sunfish, Crocodile, & Whale.  We hope that this post will help you understand the progression that your child(ren) will be working through during their swimming lessons!

Swimmers stay in the Red Cross Preschool category from the age of 4 months to 6 years old. The first three Preschool levels are parented classes. In Starfish, swimmers are aged 4 months-12 months and the classes are geared towards the parents. The parents learn techniques to hold their children while in the pool. The next parented level is Duck. In Duck, swimmers are aged 12 months-24 months. This level continues to focus on educating the parents while also getting the swimmers to attempt to kick and be submerged in the water. The last parented level is Sea Turtle, this level is for swimmers aged 24 months-36 months. This level is used to prepare the swimmers to be able to begin taking lessons without their parent. The focus is on developing their kick and their rhythmic breathing.

Following the parented levels, there are five Red Cross Preschool levels for swimmers aged 3-6 years old. These levels start with Sea Otter. Often times swimmers first start swimming in Sea Otter, without having taken any parented classes. As such, the goal of Sea Otter is to get swimmers comfortable in the water, specifically being comfortable to put their whole face in the water. In this level all skills are done with assistance.

Salamander is the next level, and the first level where swimmers have to complete all skills by themselves in order to move to the next level. Swimmers must be able to swim 2m on their front and back in order to move on to Sunfish. In Sunfish the distance swimmers must now swim is 5m. In addition, if the facility is able to accommodate this, swimmers learn to become comfortable in the deep end. Following Sunfish is Crocodile. In this level not only does the distance swimmers have to swim increase (from 5m to 7m) but swimmers also develop more technique by beginning to learn to breathe on their side with sides glides.

The last Red Cross preschool level is Whale. In this level swimmers are expected to swim 10m, both on their back and their front. Swimmers start to develop their front crawl by breathing on their side when swimming front swim rather than by lifting their head in front. Swimmers stay in this level until they turn 6, where they then are able to move into Swim Kids 3.

Some additional information regarding the preschool swimming levels can be found on the Red Cross website: Red Cross Swim Preschool (4 months to 6 years)

With Hippo in the Bathtub, we require students in the Preschool swimming levels to sign up for six 30 minute lessons in order to attempt a level.  To register your child, please visit our facility pages (Nepean or Trainyards).