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You Just Gotta See This!


Orange County Swim Lessons for Kids

SwimLabs opened for business last week in Lake Forest offering Orange County swim lessons for kids, but I can almost guarantee you have never seen a swim school like this before!

They are offering a Grand Opening special for Tiny Oranges readers: get 20% off any package or set of lessons purchased now through 10/31/13.

It’s such an awesome deal, I am going to buy a set of lessons for both of my girls!

SwimLabs Lake Forest Facility

Last week I took my own tiny orange down to check it out and experience a swim lesson first hand. I was a little perplexed at first by the location in a nice business center off Bake Parkway, because I wouldn’t have visualized a swim school there. I was even more surprised to walk into their beautiful, spacious facility, which held a modern waiting area with three SwimLabs pools behind glass doors.

The waiting area is made with the comfort of parents in mind. It has a nice set of chairs, Wifi, three big screen TV’s for you to watch your kids, a coffee station, and even a play area for little siblings.

Going into the winter months (or as winter as we get in SoCal), SwimLabs is a great option for Orange County swim lessons for kids given its cozy indoor setting with 85-90 degree heated pools to avoid chattering lips on little ones.

There are also showers and changing rooms so you can bring a change of clothes and have your kiddos walk out with the shower out of the way.


SwimLabs Swim Lessons

When Morgan started her lesson I was in awe.

With multiple video cameras equipped in the pools, kids can do a practice stroke or kick, and then immediately watch themselves on time delay on the screen above.

With group lessons, this works beautifully, as kids can watch themselves on the bench while the next swimmer takes their turn.

The pool also has a “monkey bar” on top of the jet, so kids can hold on and practice what it feels like to have their body buoyed in the correct position, along with practicing their kicks and side breathing. It is so brilliant. Doesn’t that just make sense?

Our instructor, Lyndsey, was so loving and supportive. In just 30 short minutes, Morgan had improved her kicks tremendously. When we got in the car afterwards Morgan yelled, “I want to go back every day!!” 


SwimLabs Swim Lesson Offerings 

Private Lessons: You can book 30 minute private lessons for one, two, three or four kids you know. This is great if you have siblings or friends who want to take the lessons together because you can pick the times that work best for you.

Group Lessons: Group lessons 30 minute lessons with a 4:1 ratio and are offered at different times throughout the week.

ParentTot Lessons: Mommy and me swim lessons, or rather parent and me swim lessons, are offered for kids ages 1-3 where a parent participates in the water with their little one.

SwimJam: Four consecutive days of lessons to keep your little one in the water practicing their skills!

TeamPrep: These classes are for 7 -12 year olds who have experience on swim teams and want to improve their strokes for summer league swim team. This 4 day program includes video analysis.

And More! That is only a few of the offerings at SwimLabs Lake Forest and their Orange County swim lessons for kids, but they also have lessons for competitive adult swimmers. The high tech capabilities of visual feedback is extremely effective in helping improve stroke and form.

This would be a fabulous place to take any kids preparing for Junior Lifeguard tryouts in Orange County!

20% off Through October 

Mention Tiny Oranges when you book any package of lessons now through October 31st, 2013 and you will receive 20% off! 

For more information, visit:

Follow SwimLabs Lake Forest on Facebook & Twitter 

[Disclosure: SwimLabs Lake Forest is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor and I am thrilled to share their swim lessons with you!]

Lil Swimmers, Inc. – OC Swim Lessons for Kids

Isn’t it great when your kids try something new and love it? That was my experience when one of our Sponsors, Lil Swimmers, Inc., a company specializing in South OC swim lessons for kidsinvited my little ones to try a lesson in Laguna Niguel. They are also offering Tiny Oranges readers a free trial swim lesson as well, details below!

My daughter Georgia is 4 years old and has never taken a swim lesson before (I know, I’m a little late to the party, but please don’t judge!). So, when I pulled up to Michelle’s home to take our first swim lesson I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.

Luckily, Michelle, the owner and instructor of Lil Swimmers, Inc. was patient and caring with my newbie and helped get her acclimated with the water.

Within 15 minutes she was floating unassisted. Disclaimer: she was probably floating on her own for only a couple of seconds, but I was still wildly impressed!

After my lesson I asked Michelle a few questions that I thought would be helpful for anyone looking for a great place to take their kids in South OC for swim lessons.

Interview with Owner/Swim Instructor,
Michelle of Lil Swimmers  

I see from your website FAQ’s that the Red Cross suggests starting lessons no earlier than 6 months. What age do you recommend parents start swim lessons? Do you have a favorite age to teach?

The Red Cross suggests 6 months, but at that age the class is a parent and me class, it’s all about getting comfortable in the water and educating parents on ways to hold their children in the water to help facilitate future learning.  It’s a fantastic building block but by no means required. 

The real learning to swim without assistance takes place around 15-18 months.

For any family with a pool or water on their property, I strongly suggest starting swim lessons by this age.  Having a pool at my home, my own kids were in the water as early as 4 months and safe enough for me to sit on the edge and watch them play by 18 to 20 months.

My favorite age is probably 18-24 months; they’re so cute and their personalities are really forming. Even though they are still so young, they are also very capable. And I just love their little voices!

Older children are great for different reasons; with the big kids I’m able to explain things to them and know that they’re getting it. I love seeing the quick progress of their strokes and observing the bonds formed with fellow swimmers.

You offer both private and group lessons, what would you say are the benefits and challenges (if any) to both options?

Private lessons are great because the child learns quicker, but they are expensive.  And the child doesn’t get to watch and learn from a peer.  They also don’t get to play as much when they are by themselves.  What’s great, is that our semi private lessons only have 2 children sharing 30 minutes.  I feel parents get the best of both worlds!

What can parents do to help their kids learn to love and respect the water?

Start at bath time, don’t be shy about getting your child’s face wet in the bath.  One of the biggest challenges instructors face with new students is that the child doesn’t like to get their faces wet.

The more comfortable they are with this simple step, the better.  Another easy thing parents can do is to discuss the lessons and the instructor in a positive way. Hearing how proud their parents are, really encourages the kids.

What made you want to become a swim instructor?

I became a swim instructor because of my love of the outdoors, the water, and kids.

When my husband and I moved into our home, I was not working.  He encouraged me to find something that I could be passionate about instead of just looking for available jobs.  He kept telling me to do what I love instead of looking for a position to fill. 

As a child, I lived in the water.  We had a pool and water skied as a family.  Teaching lessons started out as more of a hobby.  Luckily, I was good at it and really enjoyed the kids and their families.  Once I had my own kids, I had a better understanding of the importance of water safety and the service that I was providing.  I have made great friends with many of the parents that I’ve met.  I feel so fortunate to have my work.

I love that answer! There’s nothing better than making a living at something you love. Kudos to your husband for being so encouraging. Okay, last question. I love the calm, balanced approach you have to teaching kids to swim. Do you have any go to tricks you use if the child is struggling with nerves in the water?

For any kids struggling with nerves, be calm and consistent.  They need to feel secure, and I do that by using gentle words and by holding them in a way that makes them feel that you are in control and that you will take care of them.

Often, I see instructors try to make the kids happy by trying to make them laugh or distract them.  I don’t think that is the right approach.  They are terrified for their lives and it should be acknowledged.  They need to know that the person in charge is confident and trustworthy.

Our instructors tell the children exactly what’s going to happen and when, so that the child quickly learns what the expectations are.  There are no surprises. Once they are comfortable, then everyone has more fun!

Michelle, thanks so much for your sharing your answers with us. I’ve learned a lot about your teaching style and I think our readers have too.

Free Trial for Tiny Oranges Readers

Now for the best part. Michelle has generously offered all Tiny Oranges readers a free trial swim lesson at Lil Swimmers if you call now through June 30th, 2013 and mention this post!

South Orange County Swim Lessons
Laguna Niguel


Michelle Coulston
oclilswimmers {at}

[Disclosure: Lil Swimmers, Inc. is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor and I received a complimentary lesson to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own!]