What better way to introduce your tots to the healing power of water than through swim lessons! Summer is upon us and it’s the perfect time to get the bathing suits out and the kids in the pool. Teaching your child to swim can have significant long term health benefits including strengthening their heart, lungs, and respiratory system. Read on to find the best spot in the Portland area to take your child for their first swim classes!

photo: kbossey via flickr

Portland Parks and Recreation
Open swim times and lessons are available basically every day of the week through Portland Parks and Recreation. They have a comprehensive list of 12 different pools across the city that offer all sorts of options. They have five indoor pools  open all year and the seven outdoor pools that are open from mid-June through the end of August. You’ll find a combination of instructors and all sorts of classes including their family and teen swim time slots. Classes are affordable and located all over the city!
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks

Children of the Sea 
At Children of the Sea you will find a creative water world where the pool is the classroom and learning is fun for everyone! They believe that every child can learn to love and respect the water. They use lots of stimulation, positive reinforcement, practice & patience, and hands on instruction to help kids master skills while having a blast. Their facility is open seven days a week and is appropriate for kids as young as 4 months. They offer small class sizes with certified instructors. Children of the Sea is located near Washington Square Mall and is welcoming of all families! If your child is ready to learn how to swim browse through their swim programs to find a class that is perfect for your little one.  Don’t forget to check out their swim summer camp options!

10170 SW Nimbus Ave., Suite H-7
Online: childrenofthesea.com

photo: Steel Wool via flickr

DolFUN Swim Academy
DolFUN Swim Academy has two locations, in NE Portland and Tualatin. Their pools are kept between 88 and 92 degrees and are ideal for young tots. They use lots of songs and games to teach safety techniques to help encourage retention of skills. They teach kids of all ages how to be safe in and around the water, breath control, buoyancy, and balance. They believe that kids should focus on mastering the water’s natural forces to influence brain development and aquatic comfort. They offer classes for kids as young as 2 to 8 years old.

Airport Learning Tree Day School
12029 NE Ainsworth Circle #100, Portland

20553 SW 94th Ave., Tualatin
Online: dolfunswimacademy.com

Swimbabes is Oregon’s first swimming school offering classes to kids of ALL ages, literally. At Swimbabes they believe the earlier a child is introduced to water the easier is it to teach them to swim. They have two SynchroBabies™ class options for the tiniest of the babes. Sign up for the 10-15 week class or for the older 4 – 6 month series. Infants and young babies are taught submersion, back floating, and breath control. For those a bit older there’s the SynchroTots™ and Basic Water Awareness classes. These classes are designed for babies 7 months old to 3 years old. This offering has a focus on water comfort, assisted back floating, breath holding, and teaching the parent how to assist their child in the water.  Class options go up to age 7.

10552 SE 52nd Ave., Milwaukie
Online: swimbabes.net

Cascade Athletics Club
Cascade Athletics Club has 3 locations in the Portland Metro area. They have been teaching swimming lessons for over 30 years and continue to provide small class sizes and individual attention. The Kids Aquatics Programs have excellent teacher to student ratios that allow instructors to give lots of personal feedback. For beginner levels the classes have a max of 5 kids in a class. As the levels increase class sizes can get up to 8 kids. If your child needs more individualized attention private sessions are also available. If your child is a member there’s a $15 discount. Non members pay $73 for series. Kids classes are only in the Gresham and Fisher’s Landing Locations. Check the full schedule of classes here.

Portland 503-257-4142
Gresham 503-665-4142
Vancouver 360-597-1100
Online: cascadeac.com

photo: Philms via flickr

Mittleman Jewish Community Center
New to swimming? At the Mittleman Jewish Community Center kids are offered free swim assessments to help you determine the best level. There are parent and child classes for the wee ones still under age 2, a puddle jumpers class for kids ages 2-4, and a variety of preschool and youth offerings. The pool is heated to a perfect 94 degrees keeping all kids warm and cozy during their lessons. Skilled instructors cover topics like how to enter and exit the pool, how to submerge their faces and exhale under water, along with many other independent floating, swimming, and jumping instruction. Private lessons are also available.

Membership is not required to use the pool.

Ages: 6 months and up
Location: 6651 SW Capitol Highway
Online: oregonjcc.org

Where do you take your kids for swim lessons?  Let us know in the comments section!

— Elissa Cirignotta


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