I’m pretty pumped about the American Red Cross’s “Swim” app. It’s available to download for FREE on the App Store, and provides parents with a checklist for tracking swimming progress starting at the preschool level. (I can happily report I’ve already geeked out… I set up a profile for Molly and checked off “blowing bubbles.” Yes, it’s a bit premature; she just turned one.) The app also includes these features (redcross.org):
- Progress tracker for goals achieved in swimming lessons
- Stroke videos and performance charts to help with proper techniques
- “Help your children” activities that reinforce what is covered in lessons
- Water safety information for parents on a variety of aquatic environments
The early years – 0 to 3 – are mainly about developing a sense of security and comfort in the water in order to prepare children for learning to swim. The app does not provide a checklist for what this means, although it is a great tool for looking at what instructors expect at each stage and tracking what your preschool-aged (or older) child can do. As with any report card, skills may be more complicated than they appear on paper, so it is best to have a trained instructor clarify the expectations for you and your child. At the very least, you can preview the direction we’re headed!