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Hometown Hernando

Parent-child swimming classes instill a splash of confidence at Hernando Branch YMCA

No warning. They will get wet.

Splash around some, dunk their heads — these kids are learning to love the water.

During the child-parent swim classes at the Hernando Branch YMCA in Spring Hill, swimmers learn the basics of swimming — including water enrichment and aquatic readiness — all to prepare for more serious swim lessons.

"We want them to feel that water in their face isn't so unusual," aquatics manager Lisa Cunningham said. "There are more fun activities here than just doing laps in the pool."

For instance, the parents will stand in a circle and help their children wade through the pool and work out motions swimming to songs such as The Wheels on the Bus or Ring Around the Rosy.

Children, from 6 months to 3 years of age, will learn stroke development, kicking, getting their face splashed, as well as what to do if they fall in the water and to float on their own.

"When I was a kid, I did all the Mommy and Me classes in the pool and I was swimming laps by age 6," Cunningham said. "And our class gets children to do anything with water. This is to get them ready for the next level of swimming."

It's as if the class teaches pool etiquette. It helps them learn to be around water, but it also lets parents bond with their kids. Especially the little ones, who may need to be coaxed into the deep end.

But that's what the class is for.

"It is great for bonding," Cunningham said. "Sometimes at that age, they aren't ready to be by themselves yet. Here, they get familiar with the water with a parent, not with a stranger. Then, they can work at home, on the skills we teach, in the bathtub or their own pool.

"Either way, they'll be ready for the next level."

For more information on activities at the YMCA, call (352) 688-9622.

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Parent-child swimming classes instill a splash of confidence at Hernando Branch YMCA 05/27/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:00pm]
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