Swimming is an essential life skill that every child should learn, and while kids aren’t generally ready for independent swimming classes until about the age of 3 or 4 years, many parents choose to start much earlier. Here are our top picks for diving in with your tiny tot around Seattle and the Eastside.
The city of Seattle operates 10 public pools and offers lessons to participants as young as 6 months at most locations. Classes fill up fast, so prepare to jump on registration and be flexible with schedules.
At Goldfish, parents participate with babes from ages 4 to 24 months; young swimmers who are older than that have their own group while mom and dad watch from the air-conditioned viewing gallery. Lesson sign-ups run year-round.
Located in the Lynnwood Recreation Center, this popular facility boasts three different pools, including an 85-degree recreation pool with water slides, a water playground and a lazy river. Lessons with mom or dad are available for little ones between the ages 6 months and 3 years old.
The shallow leisure pool at this awesome aquatics center hovers at a comfy 88 degrees and is equipped with spray toys, a lazy river and babe-friendly beach entry for before- and after-class play. Parent-tot lessons are open to kids as young as 9 months, with independent classes offered to students age 3 and older.
North Seattle, Mukilteo
SwimGuru instructors are serious about drowning prevention, and their focus is on teaching survival skills, with independent instruction beginning as soon as your baby can walk. Classes do tend to get booked up from two to three months in advance, so plan ahead.
SafeSplash’s small-group lessons offer two parent-tot and two toddler transition levels for students as young as 6 months old; registration is ongoing and billed on a monthly basis, with your spot held indefinitely once you sign up.
WaterBabies’ philosophy is to empower parents with the skills to teach their child to swim, which means parents do most of the hands-on work in the water with their kids, who range in age from 4 months to 3+ years, while instructors provide coaching on techniques.
Private, semiprivate and group lessons of three or four students are offered at this nationwide franchise. Registration is on a rolling basis, but group lessons run in four-week increments and tend to fill up.