What It is:
Aqua-tots is a swim school. They have an indoor facility that is specifically for teaching children how to swim. The pool and the area around the pool are heated and kept at 90 degrees year round so that it is comfortable for children of all ages to learn. Parent and tot classes go from 4 months to 30 months. After that the child is in the pool without the parent. All classes are 30 minutes long.
Aqua-tots is located in Costa Mesa with a new location opening in Orange sometime summer 2017.
What We Did:.
The Location: In addition to the pool, Aqua-tots has lockers and a changing area that includes changing rooms and tables for the littler ones. They also provide hairdryers and some toiletries. What really surprised us is that they have mini dryers for swimsuits! They aren’t hot they just spin the suits and now you don’t have to worry about taking home dripping swimsuits!
They also have a shop up front for drinks and snacks as well as some swimming gear. For those with older kids, and other kids, they have a small play area.
Class: C was in Level 1 since he that class is for kids 4 months to 1 year The first thing that happens is the Welcome Song. It is a song that welcomes the kids to class and the parent moves them around in the water a little bit.
Each parent is given a toy, sort of like a bath toy, to have the kids play with. The parent throws the toy and moves the child towards it. There is a different toy that is dropped on the step in the pool to help them understand that the water isn’t solid.
Then it is time to have them learn to kick! They lay on their stomach on the parent’s shoulder and kick while the parent moves through the water. After that it is time to float on their backs. I have noticed a ton of kids hate this. But it does get easier. For whatever reason this is C’s favorite part.
During this time the instructor works with each parent and child to do pass backs between the instructor and parent. Depending on how advanced your child is (and how brave you are as a parent!) you can have your child go underwater. After a few classes we now let C do that, but the instructors are always right there and will help you know when is the right time for your child. Whenever they are going to have any part of the child’s head get wet they do a 1-2-3 count so the child starts to learn to expect it.
They also work on teaching kids that safe places in the pool are the edges. Even in the youngest classes, they have the kids touch and grab onto the wall or climb (with parent help mostly) onto the edge. They also teach that if you need air to roll onto your back. There are several exercises that they do to reinforce these concepts. Near the end they get out a giant floating toy that the kids sit on. It is another way that they teach safe areas. They simulate the kids falling in and going back to the floating toy.
The very last thing in every class is the goodbye song. It is very similar to the welcome song. But it helps the kids know that class is ending and is more of a routine.
- Classes are no larger than 4 students.
- Sometimes you get a private lesson when other students cancel!
- The facility is super clean.
- Staff are friendly and know every student by name.
- Safety is key here!
Not So Good:
- Some of the “best” class times (at least for us) were full.
The following is a cost breakdown from the Aqua-tots website. There are social media discounts and referral discounts. So make sure you ask about those!
Aqua-tots has been very good to us. We keep going because we know that it is incredibly important to know how to swim and we want C to be comfortable in the water. They know C and remember what he needs to work on. We like the system they use with milestones for each level. There are cards for each student that say what they need to work on and what they are doing well. Additionally, each instructor talks to the student’s parent(s) after class to let them know how it went.