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My one-year old daughter stood at the edge of the pool, knees bent and hesitant. I stood below her, in the pool, ready to catch her. I turned to my wife to signal to her to watch Big M’s first jump. I turned back and reached out my hands to catch my daughter. But when I looked at the edge of the pool, she was gone.
I looked down and saw bubbles on the water. I could make out her brown hair smeared among the blue of the pool. But before I could reach down to grab my daughter, she sprang up to the surface of the water. I grabbed her, ready to flip her so that her stomach was on my arm and I could smack her back, thinking she must’ve swallowed water. But before I could do so, her eyes widened and a smile crossed her face.
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Relax,” the swimming instructor said. “Kids instinctively stop breathing when they go under water.”
That was my daughter’s first day of swimming class. And as a father-daughter duo, we’ve come a long way. Her in her swimming abilities and me being more relaxed. I now throw my daughter, now four years old, into the deep end of the pool knowing she’ll hold her own.
And I’m happy about this. I think swimming is a necessary life skill. And I’m glad my daughter is learning how to master her body.
Signing your son or daughter up for swimming classes is a big deal if you think about it. You obviously want your kids to be safe. You want them to get the best instruction possible. And you want to make sure the swimming skills they learn at swimming class are transferable to other pools or even the beach or lake or river.
And it takes a reputable and qualified swimming school to pull these things off.
What You’re Going to Learn in This Guide
You’re going to learn what your son or daughter will learn at swimming class, what questions to ask prospective swimming schools, and which three popular swimming schools in Bangkok live up to their promises.
What Your Kid’s Going to Learn
From personal experience and research, what I found is that most swimming schools in Bangkok teach kids the same things in the same sequence and use roughly the same methods. That means songs and games for babies and toddlers and formal training for kids and teens.
What separates one school from the next, though, is the quality of instructors. As with all realms of teaching, if your son or daughter has a passionate and patient and encouraging swimming instructor, they’ll feed off the instructor’s energy and be more comfortable in the pool.
I’ve also noticed that some instructors tend to be more patient and less aggressive with students. Whereas other instructors are patient but more aggressive. I prefer aggressive teachers who are going to push my daughters just beyond their limits. But having an aggressive teacher the first time around can be a bit nerve-racking. Especially if you’re not yet comfortable with your baby or toddler going under water.
So in addition to having fun, playing games, and interacting with their teacher and other kids, your son or daughter is going to learn a few important things about swimming.
The first two things your son or daughter will learn is how to “monkey climb” across the edge of the pool and how to climb out. If your son or daughter ever falls into a pool, you want them knowing how to make it to the edge and using their hands to “walk” down to the ladder or pull themselves out of the pool. They’ll pick up on other safety habits like walking around the pool, going in and out using the stairs, and being aware of other people around them in the pool.
It’s amazing how kids instinctively know not to breath when under water. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be confident to go under right away. It takes time and a good teacher to make it happen. Your kid’s swimming instructor should know how to make kids feel comfortable going under water and handle the process in small stages. When this happens your son’s or daughter’s confidence will grow.
Your son or daughter won’t only be learning how to swim, but how to swim correctly. You’re son’s or daughter’s swimming instructor should instill good technique from the beginning. Bad habits are hard to correct.
Important Questions To Ask
You’ll probably have your own questions to ask the swimming school, questions based on the needs of your daughter or son. But here a three general questions you’ll want to ask prospective swimming schools.
Are your instructors certified?
When my family and I first moved to Thailand, we decided to rent a condo in Bangkok. The condo had a great big outdoor pool. And after school and on weekends, lots of parents who lived in the condo would drop their kids off at the pool to learn with unqualified swimming instructors. They were basically people who spent a lot of time in the pool and taught people on the side for money. But watching the instructors–and having had my daughters enrolled in a swimming school–I noticed the instructors didn’t know much about teaching kids how to swim. And I wondered, if anything serious were to happen, would they know how to help the kid. I’m sure all swimming schools hire only certified instructors, but it’s worth asking.
Do your instructors know CPR and first aid?
If the swimming instructor is certified, then most likely they’ll be qualified to give CPR and first aid. But you should ask about the swimming school’s policy when it comes to this. Do schools require their instructors to renew their qualifications every six months? every year? Do they check upon hiring the instructor and then never check again? Ask important questions.
What’s your policy on missed classes?
Your daughter or son will probably miss a few swimming classes during their term. At roughly 650 baht per class, you want to make sure your kids can make up any missed classes. Most schools will let them make up missed classes, but make up classes are on the school’s terms. This means your daughter or son will have to make up their missed classes when it’s convenient for the school, not for you.
Aside from the safety aspects of swimming class, location is the next most important thing you’ll want to consider when enrolling your kids in a Bangkok swimming class. When you tack on time and extra money spent on gas, swimming classes tend to be more expensive than what’s written on paper. So try to pick a swimming school that close to you.
When you go to the swimming school to check it out, take a peek around the outside of the school. Most swimming schools are outdoors, covered by a canopy. This means the quality of air on the outside of the school will effect the quality of air on the inside of the pool.
And if you need help getting to any of the swimming schools mentioned below, don’t forget to check out our guide to Bangkok transportation.
Below are three popular swimming schools in or near Bangkok.
Bangkok Dolphins has four locations around Bangkok. Their main office is at Sukhumvit 49/9 inside the Racquet Club. They have a swim center for infants and kids on Udom Suk Road. And they offer swimming courses for infants in two locations: one on Rama 4 and then other at Sukhumvit 39. All their instructors teach in English and are certified under AustSwim or STA.
Bangkok Dolphins offers swimming courses for babies and children. They hold squad training for children looking to compete. You can also rent out their facilities for parties and events. And you can enroll your son or daughter in one of their short-term swimming camps.
Swimming for Babies
This course aims to build your infant’s confidence in the water, while educating you—the parent—on water safety. Swimming for Babies is once a week, for thirty minutes a day.
Swimming for Children
This course aims to show children how to swim in a safe and enjoyable way. Like the Swimming for Babies course, you will be in the pool with your kid while they swim. Swimming for children is once a week, for thirty minutes a day.
Prices for the babies and children swimming courses are the same and depend on term length. Here’s an overview of costs.
|Bangkok Dolphins’ Terms||Costs|
|Ten-week term||6,500 baht|
|Thirteen-week term||8,450 baht|
|Seventeen-week term||11,050 baht|
|Registration fee||1,000 baht for one child|
1,500 baht per family
If your son or daughter has completed the general swimming classes and earned a Sea Level II certificate, they can join the squad training classes. These classes are aimed at kids who want to compete or train like they’re going to compete.
Parties and Events
If you’d like to have your son’s or daughter’s next birthday party or special event at Bangkok Dolphins, you can rent their pool and facilities. It’ll cost you 7,000 baht per hour for parties of twenty children in their Bangkok locations. If you book a party in one of the swim centers outside of Bangkok, it’ll cost you 11,500 baht per ninety minutes.
Twice a year, you can enroll your son or daughter in one of Bangkok Dolphins’ Swimming Camps. Their swimming camps are just about four weeks long. Swimming camp classes start at 9:00am everyday and end at 2:15pm. The cost is 7,500 baht.
Bangkok Dolphins has three terms a year. The first term begins in August of each year and ends in December. The second term begins in January and ends in April. The third term begins in April and ends in July. Below is the remaining schedule for 2018.
If you’re interested in enrolling your kids in Bangkok Dolphins or celebrating a party or event at one of their swim centers, here’s how to get in touch with them.
Bangkok Dolphins Head Office
Sukhumvit 49/9 Racquet Club
Wattana Bangkok 10110
Phone 02 712 9297–8
Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm
Infant Center Yenakart
Rama 4, Soi Yenakart
Sathorn, Bangkok 10120
Phone 083 2980519
Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday
9am to 5pm
Infant Center Sukhumvit
No 1 Promsri Soi1, Sukhumvit 39
Wattana Bangkok 10110
Phone 02 6627859 or 081 6222799
Monday – Sunday 9am to 5pm
Udomsuk Swim Center
1 Chalermprakiat Ror 9 Soi 13
Nongbon Pravet, Bangkok 10250
Phone 089 5536989
Although they refer to themselves as Aquababies Bangna, their swimming school is located off Bangna Trad in Bangphli, Samut Prakan. Aquababies courses are designed after the popular UK swimming school, Aquababies UK.
Unlike Bangkok Dolphins and Lets Asia, Aquababies doesn’t offer any competitive swimming classes. Instead, they focus on swimming classes for infants, toddlers, and kids. And they also offer mother-child boding classes.
|Ten-week term||8,400 baht|
Aquababies Baby Swimming course is designed for newborn babies or infants up to a year old. In this course, babies strengthen their swimming muscles. They also build water confidence. And parents and babies get to bond.
Aquababies Toddler Swimming course is aimed at toddlers and kids up to 6 years old. In the course, kids will learn the basic techniques of freestyle swimming, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.
Contact Aquababies for the start of their next term.
If you’re interested in enrolling your infant, toddler, or kid in one of Aquababies swimming classes, contact them below.
Lets Asia Swimming School
Bangphli, Samut Prakan 10540
Lets Asia is located on Sukhumvit Soi 31. They pride themselves on their training methods, which blend Japanese and Canadian strategies. And the owners are decorated swimmers, having competed and excelled in Canada’s and Japan’s swimming circuits.
Lets Asia offers swimming courses for babies, children, and adults. They also take part in International School of Bangkok swim meets, so they have swimming courses for serious swimmers as well. Joining the swim team is by invite only. You can rent out their facilities for birthday parties or enroll your son or daughter in one of their camps.
Little Splasher swimming course is for children four months to seven years old and goes by age group. In the Little Splasher course, Lets Asia’s goal is to get your son or daughter to swim alone for at least three meters. One of the parents or guardians must be in the pool with their son or daughter in this course.
Fast Fins swimming course is for children who’ve graduated from the Little Splasher’s course. In this course, your son or daughter will learn all the major swimming strokes and be encouraged to swim between twenty-five and fifty meters. Kids who excel in this course will be invited to the Lets Asia swim team.
|Lets Asia’s Terms||Costs|
|Twelve-week term||7,000 baht|
|Sixteen-week term||9,300 baht|
|Nineteen-week course||10,400 baht|
Parties and Events
To host your son’s or daughter’s next birthday party or event with Lets Asia, you have a few options. The first choice is to have the party at their pool or your pool. For 7,000 baht, you’ll get 2 instructors, equipment, and games for one hour. You’re limited to 20 kids age four or younger, or 25 kids age five or younger. Your second choice is to have your kid’s party at their playground at The First Steps International Preschool. This will cost you 3,500 baht.
Every December, Lets Asia hosts an all-day sports camp. Your son or daughter will get to play sports, swim, and do arts and crafts from 9:00am to 2:15pm every day. Swimming camps at Lets Asia will run you 1,600 baht a day, or 7,000 baht per week.
Lets Asia has three terms a year. The first terms begins in August and ends in December. The second terms begins in January and ends in July. Below is the upcoming Little Splasher’s schedule for January of 2018. They have yet to release a schedule for their Fast Fins course.
If you’re interested in enrolling your kids in Lets Asia or celebrating a party or event at their swim center, here’s how to get in touch with them.
Lets Asia Swimming School
80 Sukhumvit Soi 31
Wattana, Bangkok 10110
At Thailand Starter Kit, we often talk about how to save time and money in Bangkok. And when it comes to swimming classes you also want to be sure you’re getting the most for your time and money. No matter which swimming school you choose for your baby, toddler, kid, or competitive teen, make sure the instructors are qualified and experienced. One mishap in the swimming pool could pull your kid’s confidence in the wrong direction. But encouragement, guidance, and patience could push your kid in the right direction and make learning how to swim an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.