A pre-school swimmer with blue goggles and a red woggle smiles at the camera

Getting ready to go into the water without a grown-up

When they turn three – or thereabouts – our little Nemos graduate from their toddler swimming classes and move into Nemo Pre-school lessons. It’s a pretty big deal! First and foremost, because they have done so amazingly well. And secondly? Nemo Pre-school classes are where children start coming into the water without their grown-up. How exciting is that?!

Preparing your child for pre-school swimming lessons

Moving to Nemo Pre-school lessons is a big step – for little Nemos and their grown-ups. It’s an exciting one too, of course, but it’s natural for some children to feel a little anxious about this step.

We only recommend moving children from toddler to pre-school lessons when they are ready. We consider not only their swimming ability, but also their listening skills, their independence, and their emotional readiness.

To help make the transition as smooth – and as exciting – as possible, here are our handy tips to help children settle quickly into their new ‘big kid’ classes.

A toddler smiles at the camera while enjoying a swimming lesson
The move from toddler to preschool swimming lessons is a big and exciting step

Talk to them about their new classes

We will talk to children in toddler lessons about moving to pre-school sessions. We do this so that they – and you, as grown-ups – know what to expect.

Away from lessons, it’s really helpful if you continue these conversations – tell your little Nemo how clever they are, and how proud of them you are now that they are moving to big boy or girl swimming lessons. 

Let them see

If you can, why not see if you can bring them along to watch a pre-school lesson – so they can see exactly what happens. That way, they will get to see where you will be sitting and so on, which can really help.

Make a big fuss

You’ll be doing this already, we are sure, but really do heap on the praise! Your little Nemo has done so well, they are so amazing, they don’t need mummy and daddy in the water anymore as they are so fantastic.

Carry on this at home as well. If they put their shoes on by themselves – “wow, how clever are you!”; they clear their own plate after tea – “you did that all by yourself, what a big boy/girl!”.

The more praise the better, especially as they get closer to making that transition into big kid lessons.

Picking their own swimming costume, goggles or even SwimFin is a great way to get kids involved

Get them involved

Ahead of starting their Nemo Pre-school lessons, why not take your little Nemo to pick out a new swimming costume? After all, they will need a big boy or girl costume now they are going into big boy/girl lessons.

Get them to pick out their own goggles too – these will come in really handy in their pre-school lessons when we work to encourage them to put their face in the water. And, now they are three, we do recommend that goggles become a part of their swimming attire.

Got a question?

Don’t forget that our friendly support teams are always on hand to help. If you ever have a question or need some swimming advice, just get in touch!

>> Contact your local Nemo Swimming branch