A parent’s guide to swim lessons in NJ

Five Star Swim School

Spring and summer are quickly approaching and with that warm weather comes exposure to the many bodies of water that families love to frequent at this time of year.

Living in this great state of New Jersey, surrounded by beaches, lakes, pools, rivers, and water parks, there is no doubt that learning to swim is a top priority. When starting your learn to swim journey, I suggest starting young and sticking with regular swim lessons to ensure your child is strongly equipped with the life-saving skill of safely navigating the water.

Five Start Swim School Logo

Five Star Swim School has locations all throughout New Jersey and offers swim instruction for infants as young as six months old.

But you may ask…

What can a six-month-old infant learn in the swimming pool when they are so young?

The answer is so many things.

As an infant enters the pool for the first time, they will experience the comfort and familiarity of the water. At Five Star Swim School, infants, babies, and toddlers are taught to swim with a parent in the pool and involved with their learning experience.

Having a parent close by will give them the support that is needed. The infant classes at Five Star are designed to be a bonding experience between parent and child.

The swim lesson for infants and toddlers will cover the essential skills of blow bubbles, submersion, arm and leg movements in the water, floating on the back, pulling themselves up on the wall, and jumping in the water. These parent and child-style classes are a fun introduction to swimming skills.

The swimming class incorporates cheerful songs and colorful toys that are sure to capture your baby’s attention. By starting to swim under the age of 2, your child will carry on their love and comfort in the pool to the next stages of swimming.

Image of a swimming instructor and a toddler swimming in a pool at the Five Start Swim School in NJ

When children are 2.5 years old, at Five Star Swim School, they are ready to learn the next stage of swimming without a parent in the pool. This swim class for toddlers is called Guppies. The Guppies age group is 2.5 to 5 years old. If your child is in this age group and has not yet had exposure to swim lessons, that is ok, learning to swim as a toddler is another great age to start. Now that your child has mastered walking, talking, and many other milestones, learning to swim is another great challenge for them to tackle.

About Our Instructors

The instructors at Five Star Swim School focus largely on this age group of toddlers and young children and teach them how to swim in a way that is fun and advantageous. These swim classes, without a parent in the pool, are designed to get your child swimming quickly. The swimming skills that your child will learn at this level include blowing bubbles, pushing off the wall in a glide position, floating on the front and back, arm movements that will help them make forward motion in the water (never doggy paddles!), and leg movements.

The amazing instructors at Five Star Swim School will introduce submersion, climbing out and jumping in the pool in a way that will challenge and encourage your child to reach the next level. Swim lessons at Five Star Swim School are taught without a flotation device so as to not give the swimmer a false sense of security. Without a floatation, swimmers will learn the properties of water and the proper swim body position right off the bat.

The swim instructors provide one on one assistance to each child throughout the swim lesson. Being that Five Star has a low student-to-instructor ratio of 3:1, each child is sure to get multiple turns learning the skills with the attention of their swim instructor.

Progressing Through the Levels

As children learning to swim progress their skills, they are moved to the next level. Five Star Swim School has 20 different age groups and levels since each child is placed in a group based on both their age and skill level. The age groups are 6 months – 2.5 years old, 2.5-5 years old, 5-8 years old, 8-12 years old, and 12-15 years old. This ensures each child will learn to swim in a small group of their peers. Five Star Swim School offers swim assessments or trial swim classes to determine which level will be the best fit to start in.

Each time a child moves up in their swim skills, they are awarded with a certificate. It is a joy to celebrate the accomplishments of a child learning to swim. It is amazing to see how children grow in their ability and confidence when they stick with a skill. What better skill to master than learning to swim, it is the only sport that can save your life! As a parent, we all want the best for our children and the best is Five Star Swim School.

Kids at swim school in NJ

You may be asking…

What else do I need to know about swim lessons before I start?

Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions from parents of children learning to swim for the first time.

What gear will I need to purchase?

At Five Star Swim School all the swim equipment is provided during the lesson. You will not need to bring anything such as kickboards or flotation devices. The three things needed are goggles, swim suit, and towel.

What should my child wear?

Your swimmer will need a bathing suit and goggles. For any swimmers who are not potty trained, they must wear a swim diaper too. Five Star has swim diapers and other swim gear for sale in their swim shop. You can come dressed and ready in your swim suit or you can utilize the locker rooms or changing rooms to change on site.

Why do they need goggles and what kind will they need?

Goggles are used from age 2.5 and older because it will increase the comfort of putting the child’s face in the water as they learn to swim.

In order to learn the swim strokes properly, having your face in the water is a necessity, and goggles will help. Swimming goggles that cover only the eyes (no diving or scuba masks!) and are high quality. 

How to look for high-quality goggles?

Again, Five Star Swim School sells goggles in the swim shop that are of top-notch quality. You should be looking for lenses that are clear, suction that is not easily separated from the lenses (this is the part that will leak water into your child’s eye), and straps that are adjustable and can be separated on the back of the head to keep in place.

Is a swim cap required?

At Five Star Swim School, a swim cap is not required. A swim cap can be a good idea to keep your child’s hair out of their face and less of a distraction when learning to swim. Due to contrary belief of many parents, a swim cap is not designed to keep hair dry. Hair will still get wet when using a cap, but the swim cap will keep everything in place so the child can focus on swimming. Swim caps are more prevalently used for swim teams or higher-level swimmers to reduce drag and be able to move through the water quickly and seamlessly.

Kids swimming in a pool at Five Star Swim School in New Jersey

What if my child cries during the lesson?

Not to worry, many children will cry when starting swimming lessons. Your child won’t be the first and surely won’t be the last. The best way for parents to respond to their child crying, is to stay calm and confident. Walk your child to the pool and let them know you will be watching and get them again when they are all done. Communicate with the swim instructor and be on the same page. Trust that the staff at Five Star Swim School are trained for this type of behavior. They will introduce the child to the pool by easing them in and orienting them in the water.

Can I take my child in the pool to get them used to it?

Yes, this is a great idea to help acclimate a scared or reluctant child to the pool. Many Five Star Swim School locations offer open swim. Open Swim is a time reserved for families to use the pool for fun and leisure. There are no swim lessons or other activities going on at the time of Open Swim and you do not have to be a member or enrolled with the school in order to participate. Daily and monthly passes are available.

When will my child move up to the next level?

Do not get discouraged or caught up about why or when your child will move up in level. Each child moves at their own pace and some children will master skills more quickly than others. The best way to see a quicker advancement in levels is to enroll for more than once a week or a couple swim lessons with visits to open swim or reinforcement of skills learned in a pool at home. Practice and consistency will go hand in hand as your child learns to swim. When a student is ready to move up in skill level you will be notified by a Five Star Swim School staff member. The front desk will assist you in getting
placed in the new level.

Does my child need private swim lessons?

The answer is typically no. Five Star Swim School has found that parents and children love group lessons when they are small and specialized. Children get to learn along with their peers and while still getting a good amount of individualized attention from their instructor. That is the beauty of a 3:1 ratio, skills are learned and fun is had! A private swim lesson may be recommended if it is deemed necessary for safety reasons.

Is 30 minutes enough time for my child?

Five Star Swim School recommends 30-minute swim lessons for both young and older children. With young swimmers, their attention span is on the shorter side. Kids don’t last much longer than 30
minutes when they need to listen and pay attention. You will find that young swimmers tend to become tired or distractible when kept in the water for longer than 30 minutes. For older children and higher levels, they are swimming with very little break time during their lesson at Five Star Swim School, so the time frame of 30 minutes works perfectly! Remember, swimming exercises every muscle in the body. That is quite a work out for children and adolescents. They will surely leave the pool with the right mix of tired and refreshed.

What happens when you miss a lesson?

Five Star Swim School understands that lessons will inevitably be missed due to illness, injury, vacations, and interference from other activities. When a class is missed it can be made up on another day. See a front desk staff member at your location for more details on makeup lessons.

What are the facilities like at Five Star Swim School?

Each Five Star Swim School is equipped with locker rooms or changing rooms and showers. They also have baby changing stations and hair dryers. There are plenty of places for parents to watch their child’s lesson including on the pool deck and in the lobby. Free wi-fi is available for guests too!

Now that you have a good understanding of what to expect at your child’s first swim lesson, what is the next step? Well, the next step after reading this article is to call or visit FiveStarSwimSchool.com to schedule a trial class.

A trial class is the best way to start as it will allow you to see the facility and how lessons are taught prior to making any decisions. I am sure your decision will be an easy one once you see the comfort of the facility and environment and how much fun and learning are accomplished in just one 30-minute swim lesson at Five Star Swim School!

There are many New Jersey swim school locations – Eatontown, Edison, East Hanover, Princeton, Cherry Hill, Deptford, and Galloway. With more NJ swim schools coming in the near future, a Five Star Swim School will surely be close by.



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