Learning to Swim: Tiny Tadpoles

Tiny Tadpoles is a Red Cross certified infant aquatics class held at the Garden School’s outdoor pool on 79th street between Northern Boulevard and 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights.   Margaret Murray, an instructor with over 15 years of experience, leads ½ hour classes on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings over seven weeks. Classes are grouped based on age, with one class for children 6 months to 2 years, another for children 2 to 4 years, and one mixed age class for children 6 months to 4 years.

When we first arrived to our Thursday afternoon class for 6 month olds to 2 year olds, Margaret warmly greeted us and immediately encouraged parents to enter the pool and familiarize their children with the water.  The Garden School’s pool is outdoors and is not heated. The temperature was definitely on the chilly side, but reasonable and at 5 o’clock the pool is completely shaded, leaving little need to slather our children with additional sunscreen. There is a lifeguard present for the duration of the class.

Once the class began, Margaret led us in song while demonstrating movements such as bouncing, pulling, kicking, floating and blowing bubbles.  Using toys, Margaret encouraged our children to pull and reach.  Margaret also performed an exercise with each child herself with the parent close by to foster independence in the pool.

As the class approached 25 minutes it became very clear to us why the class is only 30 minutes long.  Attention spans had reached their max, as did each child’s tolerance for the chilly water. We closed with another song and quickly retreated to the sunny patio to warm up.

Overall the class moved quickly, kept the children entertained, and accommodated children who easily adapted to the water and those that did not.  By the end of the class my one-year-old son was practically leaping out of my arms to swim on his own.  We are definitely looking forward to the next class!

For more information contact Margaret at Tinytadpoles@hotmail.com

Here are some of the specifics:

$260 for seven classes.  Make-ups available.

Classes are on Thursdays, June 30- Aug. 11, at 5:00pm (for kids 6 months – 2 years) and 5:30pm (for kids 2-4 years old) and Saturdays, from July 9 – Aug. 20  at 10:00am (for kids 6 months – 2 years), 10:30am (for kids 2 -4 years old), and 11:00am (for mixed ages, 6 months – 4 years old).

All tadpoles must be accompanied in the pool by an adult.

All tadpoles must wear a swim diaper unless they are potty trained.

Classes will be rescheduled in the event of rain.


Allison Casal-Dunn