Step-by-Step: The 6 Stages of Childhood Swim Lessons at Premier Aquatic Services

Swim Lesson Stages

At Premier Aquatic Services, we reject the sink or swim mentality of old. Each child learns to swim at his or her own pace, and in order to develop a lifelong love of the water, that natural pace should be respected and nurtured. Therefore, we developed a six-stage program for our childhood swim lessons, built around skill-oriented goals.

Simply put, each little swimmer must master specific skills before progressing on to the next level, regardless of the child’s age.

Level 1 – Jellyfish

Developed for those who are brand new to swimming, the first level of swim lessons are perfect for those who have no prior experience. In this class, children learn to hold their breath and put their faces in the water. They also develop a bond with and trust for their instructor, as they build the courage to jump from the stairs to their instructor.

Level 2 – Tadpole

Progressing from the Jellyfish stage, children in this level are already proficient in holding their breath and putting their faces in the water. Now, they begin to learn how to float, fetch toys underwater, and perform basic strokes with the help of their instructor. In this stage, they grasp rhythmic breathing and explore the freestyle stroke.

Level 3 – Minnow

To advance into the Minnow stage, children are able to float unassisted for up to five seconds, retrieve toys in four feet of water, and perform assisted back floats. Level 3 classes teach them how to float on their back without assistance, move independently from the front floating position to a back float position, and kick in streamline for 15 feet. Additionally, children further develop their freestyle stroke by beginning to learn how to side breath with assistance from the instructor.

Level 4 – Guppy

Already able to float on their backs, transition from front floats to back floats, and perform assisted side breathing, Level 4 classes progress children’s strength and technique. Here, children begin to kick in streamline on their front and back. They develop their backstroke and learn to swim freestyle with unassisted side breathing. Additionally, they start developing diving skills by performing sit dives.

Level 5 – Lionfish

Students entering the Lionfish classes are moving through the water unassisted with skill. Now, they begin to learn new techniques, including the breaststroke and butterfly kick. They also graduate from sit dives to knee dives.

Level 6 – Dolphin

The final stage before “Pre Team” levels, children finalize the development of their core swimming skills. In the Level 6 class, they become proficient at all four competitive strokes – freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Additionally, they learn to become comfortable with deck dives.

Classes for Younger and Older Students

For children under the age of three, Premier Aquatic Services offers Parent & Me classes that introduce babies to the water. For older and more skilled swimmers, Premier Aquatic Services offers Pre Team and Swim Team programs designed to continue to develop a child’s skills and prepare them for more competitive programs.

To learn more about our swim lesson programs and register your family for spring and summer classes, visit our aquatic services page. For more information on water safety, follow us on Facebook.