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Benefits of Swim Lessons for Preschoolers

Enrolling your preschooler in swim lessons at Emler is a decision you won’t regret! Getting your child an early start on swimming will not only propel their learning but also prepare them for water safety situations. The benefits of preschool swim lessons include:

Swim Camp Benefit
  • Water safety
  • Physical development
  • Cognitive development
  • Independence
  • Social interactions
  • One-on-one bonding time in the pool
  • Comfort in the water
  • Fun memories

Preschool Swim Classes

Explore our preschool class levels consist of swimming lessons for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds designed to provide your child with confidence in the water. Even without any prior swimming experience, any 3-year-old student will begin at Level 3 and progress into Levels 4 & 5 as goals are achieved. Swim lessons for 4-year-olds begin at level 6 where they will learn basic water safety skills and will quickly advance to more technical skills through levels 7-9. All preschool swim classes have a small 4:1 instructor-student ratio to ensure fun and consistent learning. You will be amazed at just how much your child will learn during a 30-minute class using our play-based approach that utilizes fun inflatable rings, toys, and fins.

Littles (ages 2-35 mos) 3 levels
Bathtime Babies Level 1 Level 2
Tots (age 3) 3 levels
Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Kids (age 4+) 4 levels
Level 6 Level 7 Level 8 Level 9
Advanced (age 6+) 2 levels + Swim Team
Level 10 Level 11 STEALTH Swim Team

Level 3

age 3 years
Age: 3 30 Min Class Student Teacher Ratio: 4:1 Adult Participation: No

During this 3-year-old swim class your child will learn how to kick 5 feet through the water, how to hold their breath for 10 seconds, our “Jump, Turn, Swim” method, and will be introduced to back floating.

  • “Jump, Turn, Swim” method
  • Kick 5ft through the water
  • Hold breath for 10 seconds
  • Begin back floating

Level 4

age 3 years
Age: 3 30 Min Class Student Teacher Ratio: 4:1 Adult Participation: No
Kick 5ft through water 10 second breath control Basic comfort with floating

Our intermediate preschooler swim class teaches children how to kick 12 feet through the water, become more comfortable with backfloating, advance their “Jump, Turn, Swim” safety skills, and begin learning to roll over to breathe on their back.

  • “Jump, Turn, Swim” method
  • Kick 12ft through the water
  • Comfort with backfloating
  • Begin rollover breaths

Level 5

age 3 years
Age: 3 30 Min Class Student Teacher Ratio: 4:1 Adult Participation: No
Kick 12ft through water Comfortable with backfloat

Children will leave this class learning how to kick 20 feet through the water, mastering their ability to roll onto their back to breathe, working on breathing as they swim on their stomachs, and becoming independent backfloating.

  • Kick 20ft through the water
  • Independent backfloating
  • Breathing while swimming
  • Master rollover breathing

Level 6

age 4+ years
Age: 4+ 30 Min Class Student Teacher Ratio: 4:1 Adult Participation: No

With no prerequisites, this class is the perfect place to start for older preschoolers. Kids will learn how to kick 15 feet through the water, hold their breath for 10 seconds, get introduced to our “Jump, Turn, Swim” safety method, and begin learning backfloat and freestyle arms.

  • “Jump, Turn, Swim” method
  • Kick 15ft through the water
  • Hold breath for 10 seconds underwater
  • Backfloating
  • Freestyle arms

Level 7

age 4+ years
Age: 4+ 30 Min Class Student Teacher Ratio: 4:1 Adult Participation: No
Kick 15ft through water 10 second breath control Comfort with floating on back and front

This preschool swim class teaches children to swim with freestyle arms independently for 20 feet, advance their “Jump, Turn, Swim” safety skills, and perfect their front and rollover breaths.

  • “Jump, Turn, Swim” method
  • Kick 20ft through the water
  • Rollover breathing

Level 8

age 5+ years
Age: 5+ 30 Min Class Student Teacher Ratio: 4:1 Adult Participation: No
Freestyle swim 20ft independently Independent front and rollover breath

This preschooler swim class is all about advancing skills. Your child will leave Level 8 knowing how to swim with freestyle arms and do elementary backstroke for 30 feet. They’ll also begin to learn how to tread water and take side breaths while swimming.

  • Freestyle arms
  • Begin backstroke for 30ft
  • Tread water
  • Side breaths

Level 9

age 5+ years
Age: 5+ 30 Min Class Student Teacher Ratio: 4:1 Adult Participation: No
Freestyle swim 30ft independently with rhythmic side breathing

Level 9 is where skill are truly developed. Your preschooler will learn how to swim competitive freestyle and backstroke the entire width of the pool.

  • Swim competitive freestyle
  • Swim competitive backstroke

Private Swim Lessons

Discover the benefits of personalized one-on-one instruction with our private swim lessons. Ideal for those who thrive in a one-on-one setting or seek focused attention to master specific skills, these sessions can also complement group swim classes. Available at all our swim school locations across Texas, Oregon, Kansas, Indiana, and Colorado, our private lessons provide a unique and focused approach to cater to your preschooler’s individual needs.

Find a Swim School Near You

Unlock a world of aquatic wonders by empowering your child with essential life skills! Immerse them in the enriching experience of Emler's acclaimed curriculum, available at over 30 school locations offering swim lessons for preschoolers in Texas (Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio), Oregon (Portland), Kansas (Kansas City), Indiana (Fort Wayne), and Colorado (Colorado Springs). Each splash becomes a stepping stone toward a lifetime of water enjoyment. For enrollment details and to kickstart the journey, contact your local Emler Swim School today!


Parents and preschoolers both love Emler! See why we have a 4.8+-star average Google review:

Frequently Asked Questions

What do parents do during a swim lesson?

You're welcome to wait in the observation room during your preschooler's swim lessons or in a chair on the nearby deck. Please do not leave the facility during lessons. For safety, parents are asked to keep their eyes on their child at all times before, during and after the swim lesson. No one is better at keeping a watchful eye on their child than a parent.

How does my child move up from one level to the next?

Each swim student’s progress is evaluated by an Emler manager every four lessons, or once a month. As your swimmer meets the goals of their class, we will update you on the progress of their swimming skills. Once they pass all the goals for their class, we will promote your swimmer to the next Level!

Why Do Emler's Preschool Swim Classes Start at Level 3?

Level 1 is specifically for our infants who are learning how to swim. As a preschooler, your child needs to be in an independent class (non-parent participation) with other children their age to see the most progress.

How long will it take my preschooler to learn how to swim?

While individual progress varies, 99% of Emler students typically achieve independent swimming within the first 4-5 months of enrollment, thanks to our award-winning curriculum and nurturing environment. Monthly evaluations by an Emler Manager ensure that your child receives any necessary additional support to reach their swim goals.

Will my child have the same instructor every week?

We do our best to have the same teacher in our preschool swim classes every week because we know it is important to build trust and comfort. However, we do periodically have substitute teachers in class if your current teacher has a planned vacation, isn’t feeling well, or has other unforeseen reasons. Don’t worry, though! All our substitutes go through the same training as your assigned instructor.

What types of training/certifications do your instructors have?

Emler swim instructors are required to complete online curriculum training and pass an exam to continue with in-water training. If passed, our instructors will complete 30 hours of in-water training beside one of our certified veteran teachers, complete an intensive In-Water Orientation course, and must pass an in-water assessment before teaching classes of their own. Emler instructors also participate in several H2O (Huddle 2 Optimize) Meetings a year. These meetings include new teaching techniques and safety improvements. EAPs (Emergency Action Plans) are also practiced regularly by each shift of teachers, so Emler instructors are ready for an emergency.

What is Clothesline Day?

Three times annually, our swimmers attend class dressed in both clothes and bathing suits. Students will start their preschooler swim lesson by practicing their Jump, Turn, Swim safety skills to experience the sensation of being in the pool fully clothed. We want them to get real emergency experience in a safe and nurturing environment so they can increase their confidence in getting back to safety.

What is Boat Safety Day?

Three times a year we teach children about boat safety. Your swimmer will learn how to yell for help, put on, swim, and float in a life jacket, and other lifesaving skills. These swim lessons for preschoolers are fun because they get to sit in a blow-up boat and experience something different while also learning important skills.

What is “swim out for prize?”

We teach with toys in our 3-year-old classes. At the end class, each swimmer will swim out to a final prize that they get to take home with them!

How do you reward my child for hitting milestones?

We celebrate your swimmer’s milestones in a few different ways. We’re big fans of high fives and celebratory clapping at Emler—which always brings smiles to the faces of our swimmers! We also give hand stamps, ribbons, and do other fun celebrations to let our swimmers know they are doing a great job.

Why are you teaching my child to breathe with their head up instead of to the side?

We believe it is important for children to be able to learn multiple ways of breathing when they are swimming. We teach a gradual progression of 4 different types of breathing in our classes for children. Those 4 will be a front breath, a rollover breath, a rolling breath and a side breath.

Why does my child wear fins in class?

Emler incorporates fins during preschool swim lessons because they assist in the improvement of body position, and they enhance propulsion through the water. The younger the swimmer is, the more important kicking correctly is.

Why do you take away fins as the weeks progress?

Each semester, students are introduced to new stroke techniques and swim longer distances. Utilizing fins near the beginning of a semester will give extra propulsion so the students can accomplish new strokes and longer distances. As the students become more proficient in swimming, we remove one fin and eventually both fins to ensure they master the techniques.

When will my child learn how to tread water?

We introduce treading water in Level 8.

Why is my child being taught to rollover on their back while swimming?

We teach children to do a rollover breath so they know how to breathe if they ever get tired while swimming.