Little Snapper

Welcome to SwimWest’s Little Snapper Level!

Water Acclimation

Welcome to SwimWest’s Little Snapper Level! 

At SwimWest, we focus on getting your little one comfortable in the water with as much or as little involvement as needed from parents or guardians. The Little Snapper level is a transitional class where parents gradually move from sitting with the class to being an observer. This class will work on beginner skills through encouragement, bonding and play. When your child’s comfort grows, the parent will gradually transition away from the class. 
Be sure to watch our Little Snapper video!

What happens in Little Snapper? 

Our instructors introduce new swimming and water safety skills that are developmentally appropriate for young children.

  • All Little Snapper swimmers can stop by the front desk to pick out a complimentary swim cap to wear during lessons. If they do not want to wear the cap, we will not let it ruin the lesson, but we will keep encouraging them. 
  • The parent/guardian starts out sitting with their feet in the pool and helping their swimmer stay seated between turns with the teacher.
  • At first, the parent/guardian usually wears a swimming suit or clothes they are willing to get wet. They do not need to get into the pool.
  • Parents/Guardians gradually transition away from the class as their swimmer becomes more comfortable with the teacher. This transition may take one class or several based on comfort level. 

Certain milestones are necessary for successful completion of Little Snapper, including:  

  • Learning to be comfortable without a parent/guardian. 
  • Practicing breath control and comfort in the water. 
  • Pushing off stairs to teacher independently.
  • Practicing back floating assisted by their teacher. 

How can parents/guardians help? 

Even when you aren’t in the water you play an essential role in Little Snapper. Your enthusiasm and guidance can make your child’s early aquatic experience fun and rewarding. 

  • Cheer for all of the swimmers in the class.
  • Be encouraging to boost your child’s confidence as you move from being pool-side with them to watching them gain independence. 
  • Understand that children develop swimming skills at different rates. 


Where do we go from here? 

Children move through Little Snapper based on their mastery of the skills required at this level. After successfully demonstrating the completion requirements from Little Snapper, children are eligible for the Angelfish level.

How can you build on your child’s swimming experience? 

  • Take your child to public or family swim times to increase his or her comfort level and confidence in the water. 
  • Encourage your child to continue explore the water during bath time. 

Swim Diapers:  

SwimWest requires all children under 36 months to wear two well-fitting, reusable swim diapers at the same time. Children over 36 months who are not fully potty trained are also required to wear two reusable swim diapers. If you chose the Splash About Happy Nappy brand swim diapers, only one is required. We do not allow disposable diapers (such as Little Swimmers) in our pool. The backs of disposable swim diapers are not tight enough to hold in solids, and the lining inside them can disintegrate which clogs the pool filters. Reusable swim diapers are available for purchase at SwimWest and other retailers. Please view this video for more information on our swim diaper policy. Swim Diaper policy video.