When our twins became more active, my husband and I looked for activities we could do together with our tots that weren’t only beneficial for their development, but would also be fun for them. We opted for Kindermusik and also swimming.
I shopped around for baby swimming coaches and found Erika Peres Swimming most suited to our needs. After speaking to Erika, we signed our then 6-month old tots up for a term of 10 swim sessions (that can be used over 12 weeks). Our 14-month old twins now have 20 swim lessons under their little belts. Here is my review of the programme:
RM100 for initial registration (one-off) and RM500 for 10 sessions that can be used over 12 weeks.
Tropicana Golf and Country Club, Desa Park City’s Clubhouse, Kid Safari International School in Bangsar, Kelab Golf Negara Subang, Cahaya Spk Shah Alam and Valencia in Sungai Buloh. As class timings at each location may vary from semester to semester, it is best to call or email for class schedules.
- Erika and her team are all qualified swimming coaches. Erika, who has a Masters in Children’s Physical Development, had a career in Physical Education and was a swimming coach in Brazil before she came to Malaysia with her family. There’s also coach Mahni who is an engineer by training; and Nana who has a Sports Science degree and was a previous state swimmer. All have Bronze Medallion lifesaving certifications.
- Erika grew her kids swimming academy in an organic manner. She first designed the swimming programme for her son. Friends were so impressed by her young son’s abilities in the water that they persuaded her to give private classes out of her pool at home. The classes then grew larger and had to be moved to commercial locations with better facilities.
- Erika only takes on babies that are six months or older. As a physical education specialist, she reasons that the body temperature for babies younger than 6 months would not be stable. Also, the older babies would have had their major immunisation shots and be less prone to infections.
- The team has carefully selected locations with pools that are warmer and so, are more comfortable for babies and children.
- Babies and children from 6 months to 3 years are taught in parent and child classes; grouped into time slots with kids of similar skills and age bands. The goal is to get these babies swimming independently without floats by 2 to 3 years of age.
- Their programme is systematically structured:
- At 6 months, babies should be able to do 1-second dives, sit on the edge of the pool before jumping into the water and balance on a noodle.
- By 1 year, they are able to dive down to the pool floor, swim a short distance from the edge to their parent, and kick while on a noodle.
- Between 18 months to 3 years, your child should be swimming longer distances, diving to pick up toys and moving through the water in a coordinated manner.
- 4 to 5 year olds are taught more advanced water survival skills and proper strokes in groups of three kids of the same level.
- Kids older than 6 years can pursue swimming certifications.
- The programme for babies presents a good combination of exercises and drills that encourage water familiarisation and purposeful play; whilst promoting the best infant self rescue methods and water survival skills.
- It is fun and educational as the coaches use songs, toys and games. Repetitions with music really help to drive home concepts like up, down, side-to-side, blowing bubbles, cleaning up etc.
- We also find that compared to one-on-one lessons, these group lessons benefit our babies from a socialisation aspect as it teaches them to interact with other children.
- Whilst the lessons itself are great, there’s sometimes confusion or miscommunication in relation to class dates and times. Also, sometimes classes are cancelled (due to lack of attendance) but parents aren’t informed. Just be aware of this and confirm the timings before each session.
- It isn’t easy bathing and changing a baby on your own after lessons, especially in changing rooms that aren’t child-friendly. So, do ensure you plan for this.
I’d recommend lessons with Erika Peres Swimming. They help promote family bonding, and your children’s cognitive and physical development. It’s been interesting for us to observe our twins’ progress since they started. Our initial sessions were often fraught with tears but at last weekend’s class, our babies laughed and gave us high fives before jumping off on their own from the pool ledge into the water. Our kids are becoming healthier and happier, whilst having fun in the process.
Being a small homegrown business, they still have teething issues to iron out. However, Erika and her team are genuinely open to constructive criticism and take on feedback graciously. They are continuously looking into improving the way they operate.
Makchic mummies who are interested in Erika Peres Swimming can call 012-731 6372 / 012-331 6372 or email [email protected]. You can also visit their Facebook pages Erika Peres Swimming and Erika Peres Soccer.
Date Reviewed: August / September 2014
Li-Hsian recently left a career in corporate communications to become a full-time mum to twins. She is learning new things daily as she tries to balance the romance of motherhood with the messy realities of her latest role.
Image Credit: Li-Hsian