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Swim Lessons

Not sure which level you should start at? Check out our swim lesson conversion chart!

Li'l Dippers Swimming Lessons
 
You're never too young to enjoy the water! For children between 3 months and 5 years old, the YMCA Li'l Dippers program will introduce your baby, toddler, or preschooler to the basics of swimming. 

We have developed each level in Li'l Dippers with your child's natural growth and development in mind. We know each child is unique, so our YMCA swim instructors encourage your child to progress at their own pace to reach their potential. There are eight levels in the YMCA L'il Dipper program: Splashers, Bubblers, Bobbers, Floaters, Gliders, Divers, Surfers, and Dippers. Explore all the levels to find the one that's right for your child.
 
Splashers
As the first level of our YMCA Li'l Dipper program, Splashers is a great way to introduce babies 3-18 months old to the water. Parents get in on the fun by participating with their children. At this early stage, children are still learning a lot about their environment. The goal of Splashers is to make children and parents comfortable in the water together and (of course) to learn to splash with arms and legs! Splashers is led by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who knows how to create a fun, stimulating environment for babies to get their splash on!

Bubblers
The second level of our YMCA Li'l Dipper program, Bubblers, is for children 18 months - 3 years old. We work with you to introduce your child to new movements in the water, including holding the wall, kicking feet, and blowing bubbles. Parents get in on the fun by participating with their children. Bubblers is led by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who knows how to create a fun, stimulating environment for you and your little one, encouraging bonding and skill development in the water.
 
Bobbers
The third level of our YMCA Li'l Dipper program, Bobbers, is for children 3-5 years old who are new to swimming. Children are encouraged to attend without a parent. In Bobbers, we'll continue to introduce fun activities in the water to activate the movements that will eventually lead to swimming. By the end, your child will be comfortable having their face in the water, and will have learned basic movements while being supported. Bobbers is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will help your children feel comfortable in the water without a parent.
 
Floaters
The fourth level of our YMCA Li'l Dipper program, Floaters, is for children 3-5 years old who have completed Bobbers or equivalent. In Floaters, we introduce floating and gliding, and continue to practice other movements. Through structured activities and play, children will also become comfortable submerging themselves under water. Children are encouraged to attend independent of their parent. Floaters is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will continue to encourage your child to build their confidence in the water.

Gliders
The fifth level of our YMCA Li'l Dipper program, Gliders, is for children who are 3-5 years old and have completed Floaters or show an equivalent level of competence. In Gliders, children will combine kicking with gliding to learn how to propel themselves through the water. Gliders is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will encourage your child's progression. Children are encouraged to attend without a parent.

Divers
The sixth level of our YMCA Li'l Dipper program, Divers, is for children who are 3-5 years old and have completed Gliders or show an equivalent level of skill. In Divers, children will combine all the skills they have learned so far to swim on their front and back unaided for a distance of 10 metres. Your child will also learn to jump into and float in deep water unassisted. Divers is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will tailor the learning experience to your child's needs. Children are encouraged to attend without a parent.

Surfers
The seventh level of our YMCA Li'l Dipper swim program, Surfers, is for children 3-5 years old who have completed Divers or show an equivalent level of competence. In Surfers, we'll continue to help your child develop front and back swimming skills and build up to a distance of 15 metres. And now that your child is comfortable jumping into the water, we'll work on some creative, fun entries — ker-splash! Surfers is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will share their love of swimming with your child. Children are encouraged to attend independent of their parent.

Dippers
The eighth and final level of our YMCA Li'l Dipper swim program, Dippers, is for children who are 3-5 years old and have completed Surfers or show an equivalent skill level. In Dippers, we'll introduce the front and back crawl as well as underwater swimming. Children at this level will have achieved a foundation of swimming skills and be able to front swim a distance of 25 metres. Dippers is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will inspire your child to reach their potential in the water. Children are encouraged to attend independent of their parent.

Learn to Swim Program
Swimming lessons for children 6-12 years old who have mastered basic swimming skills, the YMCA Learn to Swim program is a series of four swimming lessons focused on technique, stroke development and endurance. During the program, your child will have the opportunity to meet new people and explore other facets of aquatics, like competitive swimming, water sports, and aquafit classes. At the YMCA, we believe that swimming benefits your child through better health, new friends, and self-confidence. That's why we encourage your child to take an active part in their learning, connect with others, and share in our passion for swimming. It's the healthy thing to do!
 
Otter
An introductory level for beginner swimmers aged 6-12 years old, Otter will teach your child the basics of pool safety, going underwater, and gliding on their front and back. The first of four levels in our national YMCA Learn to Swim program, Otter teaches your child how to stay safe in the water and to develop their swimming skills. During these classes, your child will also select from an optional list of skills to learn during the session. Otters is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who encourages your child to actively participate in their own learning.

Seal
Seal is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Otter or who have equivalent skills. In this level they will further develop the skills of gliding, kicking, and submerging. The second of four levels in our national YMCA Learn to Swim program, Seal teaches your child how to stay safe in the water and to develop their swimming skills. During this these classes, children will also select from an optional list of skills to learn during the session. Seal is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will encourage the children to build their confidence in the water.

Dolphin
Dolphin is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Seal or who demonstrate an equivalent skill set. Your child will be introduced to swimming on their front, back, and underwater. The third of four levels in our national YMCA Learn to Swim program, Dolphin teaches kids how to stay safe in the water and to develop their swimming skills. During these classes, your child will also select from an optional list of skills to learn during the session. Dolphin is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will be cheering your child on as they complete their first full swim strokes!

Swimmer
Swimmer is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Dolphin or have equivalent skills. In this class, kids will learn front and back crawl, and how to tread water. The last level in our national YMCA Learn to Swim program, Swimmer teaches children how to stay safe in the water and to develop their swimming skills. Children at this level will have achieved a solid foundation of swimming skills and be able to front swim for a distance of 25 metres. Swimmer is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will inspire your child to reach their potential in the water.

YMCA Star Program
 
Helping swimmers become leaders! Children who have completed the YMCA Learn to Swim Program or equivalent can develop more advanced skills through the YMCA Star Program.

Star levels 1-4 help children continue to build on skills learned in the Learn to Swim program and introduces other aspects of swimming such as water sports and lifesaving.

Star Leadership Program
Children 10 years or older who are competent swimmers can take the YMCA Star Leadership Program to continue to nurture their love of swimming and build towards more advanced aquatics certifications.
Combining leadership opportunities with the Lifesaving Society's Canadian Swim Patrol program, the YMCA Star Leadership Program consists of three levels - Star 5, Star 6, and Star 7 - that develop first aid, lifesaving, and advanced swimming skills. Successful Star 7 participants will be able to seamlessly move into Bronze Star or Bronze Medallion.

The YMCA Star Leadership Program encourages swimmers to work together in groups to reach their goals. Your child will be eligible for the Canadian Swim Patrol's Rookie, Ranger, and Star certifications after completing the YMCA Star Leadership Program.
 
Star 1
Star 1 is for children 6-12 years old who have completed the Swimmer level in our Learn to Swim program. In this class, kids will learn to use the whip kick on their back and the egg-beater motion for treading water. We will help your child continue to develop front and back crawl technique and endurance. As the first level of our YMCA Star Program, In Star 1 we also introduce your child to other aspects of swimming. Kids select which new skills they would like to learn from a list that includes competitive swimming, lifesaving, synchronized swimming, aquatic fitness, and water polo. Star 1 is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will guide your child through each lesson.

Star 2
Star 2 is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Star 1 or who show an equivalent skill level. At this level we focus on the backstroke, and continue to help kids refine their stroke technique and increase their endurance. The second level of our YMCA Star Program, in Star 2 we continue to encourage your child to build on the optional skills they selected in Star 1. Your child may choose to try something new, or continue to focus on one area — the choice is theirs! Optional skills include competitive swimming, lifesaving, synchronized swimming, aquatic fitness, and water polo. Star 2 is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will share their passion for swimming.
 
Star 3
The third level of our YMCA Star Program, Star 3 is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Star 2 or who show an equivalent skill level. In this level your child will focus on the breaststroke and egg-beater motion for treading water, while continuing to build endurance in the pool. We will also introduce young swimmers to introductory lifesaving concepts. Building on the optional skills learned in Star 2, kids will select from a new set of skills they would like to learn. They may choose to try something new or focus in on one area — the choice is theirs! Skills include competitive swimming, lifesaving, synchronized swimming, aquatic fitness, and water polo. Star 3 is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will nurture the love of swimming in your child.

Star 4
Star 4 is for children 6-12 years old who have completed Star 3 or who show an equivalent skill level. In this level we will help your child focus on the sidestroke, and we will continue to introduce lifesaving skills. Your child will also continue to explore other interests in the pool by selecting more optional skills to learn. They may choose to try something new or focus in on one area — the choice is theirs! Options include competitive swimming, lifesaving, synchronized swimming, aquatic fitness, or water polo. Star 4 is taught in small groups by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor who will work with your child to learn each new skill.
 
Star 5
Star 5 is for children 10 years and older who have completed Star 4 or who show an equivalent skill level. We will introduce the butterfly stroke along with lifesaving and first aid elements from the Rookie and Ranger levels of the Canadian Swim Patrol program. Swimmers will also have the opportunity to continue to develop advanced aquatics skills by selecting from a range of options: advanced strokes, water polo, synchronized swimming, or aquatic fitness. Led by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor, swimmers will work together in groups to reach their goals. After completion of Star 5, your child will be eligible to be certified as a Rookie in the Canadian Swim Patrol program.

Star 6
Star 6 is for children 10 years and older who have completed Star 5 or show an equivalent skill level. Swimmers will continue to develop lifesaving and first aid skills at the Ranger and Star level of the Canadian Swim Patrol program. They will also begin to learn how to teach others to swim. Star 6 encourages your child to take responsibility for their own learning outcomes by selecting optional skills to learn, including advanced strokes, water polo, synchronized swimming, or aquatic fitness. Led by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor, swimmers can work together in groups to reach their goals. After completion of Star 6, your child will be eligible to be certified as a Ranger in the Canadian Swim Patrol program.
 
Star 7
Star 7 is for children 10 years and older who have completed Star 6 or show an equivalent skill level, and have a strong interest in pursuing more advanced aquatics certifications. Star 7 bridges to the YMCA Assistant Swim Instructor and Lifesaving Society's Bronze programs. In addition to first aid and lifesaving skills, swimmers will also continue to build their abilities by selecting from a list of optional skills to learn, including advanced strokes, water polo, synchronized swimming, or aquatic fitness. Star 7 is lead by a certified YMCA Swim Instructor and runs for an hour as a club. Swimmers work together to reach their goals and practice lifesaving skills with each other. At the end of Star 7, your child will be eligible to be certified as a Star in the Canadian Swim Patrol program.

Private Swim Lessons
Is your child stuck on a certain stroke or need help getting comfortable in the large pool? Are you looking to enhance your strokes or confidence in the pool? Then private lessons are the way to go! This is a great way to improve self esteem and confidence for any age in the water. Click here for request form .

Y Torpedoes
By registering your child in Y Torpedoes, you are giving them the opportunity to experience what a swim team is like, with a chance to show off these new skills at a swim meet at the end of the program. Coaches run drills to improve stroke technique and speed, as well as teach other important components to racing such as dive entries and flip turns. This program is divided into two levels, Torpedoes One and Torpedoes Two, and is designed for children ages who have passed Star 4 .

Junior Lifeguard Club
Junior Lifeguard Club is a fun, fast paced opportunity for swimmers to stay active in the water while learning rescue skills from experienced lifeguard role models. As part of the program participants will be tested for and receive their bronze star, bronze medallion and bronze cross - at no extra cost. Prerequisite: Must be able to swim 25m of the pool continuously.

If you have any questions regarding Aquatics programs or pool rental please contact Mustafa Shafi, Aquatics Manager at mshafi@ymcawo.ca or 519-419-1267 X4514 .


Spring/Summer Aquatics Barcodes


To view your child's online swim lesson report card
https://swimgen.net/search/weymca

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