Swim lessons set a positive foundation towards a lifetime of participation and enjoyment in a variety of water sports and aquatic venues on, in, and around the water. The park district swim lessons program models guidelines by the World Aquatic Babies & Children Network. Swim lesson instructors are certified in CPR and First Aid.
Instructor to Swimmer Ratios
|Bubble Club – Tadpoles||1:12|
|Bubble Club – Frogs||1:3|
|Swim Academy Prep||1:4|
Ratios are subject to change.
Using a variety of activities, games and songs, instructors will encourage participants to develop a lifelong enjoyment of the water. Learn to perform flutter kicks, entering and exiting the water and basic water safety skills. Children who are not toilet trained must wear a swim diaper.
Tadpoles – Ages 6-36 months
This program requires active, in-water participation of the adult and child. Class includes group and free-time activities.
Frogs – Ages 3-4
Through activities, games and practice, children will build confidence in the water and learn basic swim skills. Hopping to Make A Difference! Thanks to a special partnership with the Pauly D Foundation, an advocate of water safety and drowning prevention, the Frogs swim lesson level is free. For more details: click here
Swim Academy Prep – Ages 4-5
Develop swim strokes and water safety skills. Learn to float with and without a lifejacket, eventually fully submerge yourself under the water, and various progressions of kicking. Swimmers will be grouped by skill level. Lessons will be conducted in an average water depth of three feet. If your child is not comfortable in this depth, staff recommends enrolling in Bubble Club. Children who are not toilet-trained must wear a swim diaper. Swimmers must perform all skills to advance to the next level.
Beginner 1: Learn to enter and exit the water without assistance. Begin to get face, nose and eyes wet. Introduction of front kicks, back kicks, front float and back float. Review pool rules and water safety. Must perform all skills to advance.
Beginner 2: Learn to jump into water, comfortably submerse yourself, perform unsupported front/back glide and float. Float with lifejacket. Review pool rules and water safety. Must perform all skills to advance.
Beginner 3: Learn to jump into chest deep water, comfortably submerse yourself five times, and perform unsupported front and back kicks. Introduction to pop-up or roll-over breathing and backstroke. Review pool rules and water safety. Must perform all skills to advance.
Swim Academy – Ages 5+
Learn stroke development and water safety skills throughout four program levels. Swimmer assessments will be performed by instructors the first day of each session for proper skill level prerequisites. Level adjustment is not automatic and may take several sessions/seasons to progress. Swimmers must perform all skills to advance to the next level.
Level 100: Learn to enter and exit the water with confidence, breath control through comfortable submersions, front and back kicks, and freestyle without side breathing.
Level 200: Learn freestyle with side breathing, flutter kicking on back, streamline flutter kicking, backstroke, freestyle, and breath control.
Level 300: Learn backstroke, freestyle with side breathing, breast, and butterfly kick.
Level 400: Learn scissor kick, sidestroke, elementary backstroke, sculling tread kicks, and treading water.
Private Swim Lessons – Ages 3+
With one-on-one instruction, individual attention is given to a swimmer who may be shy around the water or for someone looking to improve stroke work and technique. You must give 24 hours’ notice to reschedule or cancel a private lesson. If no notice is given, you will be charged for the lesson. Requests for specific instructors are accepted, but not guaranteed.
Customized Private Swim Lessons – Ages 3+
Want to register for a swim lesson, but none of the available times work for your schedule? Instructors will work directly with you to find a time that is mutually convenient. Swimmers will receive a total of two hours of instruction. Beginning May 27, swim lesson punch passes will be available for purchase at PCC or OTTER. Participants will be contacted by the Swim Lesson Coordinator within five business days of a punch pass purchase, but not prior to June 6.
Family Swim Lessons – Ages 3+
Interested in a fun family activity that teaches a very important life skill? Going on a family vacation? Instructors will cater lesson plans to meet the needs and schedule of your family. Individual swimming skills will strengthen while your family learns about water safety and helping one another. Families receive a total of three hours of instruction. Beginning May 27, swim lesson punch passes will be available for purchase at PCC or OTTER. Participants will be contacted by the Swim Lesson Coordinator within five business days of a punch pass purchase, but not prior to June 6.
Swim Lessons FAQs
May I stay during my child’s swim lesson?
Absolutely, in fact staff encourages it. Chairs are available for your leisure.
• At Otter Cove Aquatic Park: on the pool deck under the shade structures or in the grass areas.
• At Swanson Pool: on the upper concession deck, in the sand play area, on the pool deck or grass area near swim lesson.
Can I, or other children not registered in the swim lesson program, go into the water during lessons?
For their safety, children not participating in swim lessons must be supervised by a parent/guardian, away from the water.
What if there is inclement weather the day of my child’s lesson?
Staff’s goal is to make up every missed lesson; make-ups will be held on Fridays for rainout or holiday make-ups. If weather causes multiple cancellations, staff cannot guarantee make-up lessons. There are no make-ups for personal scheduling conflicts resulting in a swimmer’s absence.
Can I register for the swim lesson program after the session has started?
Staff will do their best to make accommodations. However registration is not guaranteed.
What if I need to withdraw from the swim lesson program?
We wish you did not have to leave, but are able to assist.
14 days or less notice: There are no refunds for the swim lesson program unless a medical slip from a physician is provided.
What if there is inclement weather the day of my child’s lesson?
Call the Swim Lesson Hotline at 630-513-4377 for updates 15 to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled lesson. Swim program cancellations will also be posted on Facebook.
What should I bring to swim lessons?
To be ready for your lesson, be dress in swimsuit and put your towel on a deck chair to use after class. Goggles are highly recommended; participants are encouraged to practice with them at home first. Apply sunscreen a minimum of 15 minutes prior to your lesson for it to be most effective.
What are some other tips for success?
Participants are encouraged to arrive at least five minutes early for lessons. Hair past the chin should be pulled back. Please use the restroom prior to your lesson.
How do I know what level my child should be in?
On the first day of each session, staff will perform a skills test to assess those students who do not know their swim level. Each student learns and progresses at his/her own pace. It may take several sessions/seasons to progress. If you have questions, speak with your child’s instructor before or after class. The Lesson Coordinator(s), who oversee the swim lesson daily activits, is also available for any questions and/or comments.
To view the Swim Lesson Skill Outline: click here
For information on lifeguard camps and courses: click here