Swimming is not just a life skill; it's a passport to a lifetime of adventure, fitness, and fun. Here in New Zealand, swimming is almost a rite of passage for every child, and at Fulton Swim School, we believe every Kiwi kid deserves to feel safe and happy in the water. 

But with all the different swimming styles, where do you even begin? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here's a breakdown of the essential swimming strokes your child should learn, so they can conquer the waves (or the local pool) with ease.

Safety First: Building Confidence in the Water

Before we even get to the swimming strokes, let’s talk about water confidence. This means ensuring your child feels comfortable and safe in an aquatic environment. This initial stage is about developing a positive relationship with water, understanding breath control, and mastering basic safety skills. 

During our swimming lessons, your child will become comfortable putting their face in the water, blowing bubbles, and floating independently. Our qualified instructors use fun and engaging techniques to help your little one develop a positive relationship with the water, setting the stage for a lifetime of aquatic enjoyment.

The Freestyle

A great first swimming stroke, the freestyle is a fantastic all-rounder. It's a smooth, efficient stroke that provides a workout for the entire body and builds stamina.

The freestyle is perfect for young swimmers because it’s a fairly intuitive swimming stroke that incorporates simple arm movements, offers a solid foundation for bilateral breathing (breathing on both sides), and helps to develop coordination between the right and left sides of the body. 

The Backstroke

Next up is the backstroke. The backstroke is a fantastic alternative to freestyle that offers its own unique set of benefits for your child. Floating on your back is a relaxing and natural position, making it ideal for kids who might feel a little apprehensive about putting their face in the water.

This swimming stroke also strengthens the back muscles, improves posture, and encourages strong, straight kicks. The arm movements teach coordination in a different orientation, helping to develop your child’s spatial awareness and balance.

For many children, the backstroke is a revelation. It teaches them to trust the water to support them which is an essential step in becoming a confident swimmer. 

Swimming strokes Backstroke

The Breaststroke

For kids who love a bit of a challenge, the breaststroke offers a fun and dynamic option. One of the most technical swimming strokes, the breaststroke is a medley of synchronised arm movements and frog kicks—the frog-like kicking motion is a lot of fun to learn and master for most children! 

Breaststroke engages a wide range of muscle groups, making it a great all-around exercise. It also incorporates a unique breathing pattern that allows your child’s head to rise naturally above the water, helping them to develop their natural buoyancy and making them feel more comfortable in the water.

We usually introduce breaststroke into our school age level swimming lessons once the child is comfortable with some of the less technical strokes.

The Butterfly

The butterfly is often the last swimming stroke taught to children. Because it’s often considered the most challenging stroke, the butterfly is best tackled after your child has mastered the basics. 

This swimming stroke requires a high level of coordination between arms, legs, and breathing, making it a great way to push boundaries and develop physical skills. While it may seem daunting at first, the butterfly stroke offers unparalleled benefits for children in terms of upper body strength, core conditioning, and cardiovascular fitness.

Building Blocks for Life

Learning these swimming strokes at our swim school isn't just about technique; it's about building confidence, endurance, and a love for swimming that can last a lifetime. Each stroke introduces a new set of skills and challenges, preparing children not just for safety in the water, but for the joy and health benefits swimming brings.

It’s important to remember that every child's journey in swimming is unique. Some may take to one stroke quickly, while another might require more practice and patience. Celebrating each milestone, whether it’s mastering the flutter kick or completing a lap without stopping, is crucial. 

At Fulton Swim School we take a personalised approach to swimming lessons for children, tailoring our sessions to your child's individual needs and developmental stage. Our instructors are experts at creating a fun and supportive environment, ensuring your child feels comfortable and encouraged every step of the way.

best Swim stroke

Beyond the Strokes

Learning to swim is more than just mastering swimming strokes. We also equip your child with crucial water safety skills, including:

  • Treading Water: This vital skill allows children to stay afloat while they calmly wait for assistance.
  • Exiting a Pool Safely: Knowing how to safely exit a pool, especially in an unfamiliar environment, is essential.
  • Water Safety: We teach children the fundamentals of water safety, including how to recognise and respond to emergencies.

Dive in With Us

At Fulton Swim School, we're committed to providing a comprehensive swimming education that goes beyond just swimming strokes. We're about nurturing a lifelong love for swimming, ensuring each child we teach can explore the water safely and with confidence. 

Whether your child is just starting out or looking to refine their strokes, we're here to support them every stroke of the way. To find out more about the swimming lessons we offer or to book your child in for a swim lesson, get in touch with us today!