Kids Swimming Programs

Swimming lessons for all ages and abilities

Kids and youth programs come with free parking included during the time of the sessions. 

As a Lifesaving Society training partner, the University of Calgary Aquatic Centre offers lessons for children as young as 4 months, all the way up to teens and adults. It's never to late to learn how to swim.

Kids' swimming lessons run on specific Saturdays in the fall, winter and spring. Pool temperature is increased to 84 degrees Fahrenheit to make it comfortable for our tiniest swimmers.

Does your child have special needs? Scroll down to see our Private Swimming Programs for swimmers with disabilities.

Girl swimming laps in UCalgary pool
Baby playing in UCalgary pool

New swim program FAQs

The Canadian Red Cross announced it is winding down its swim and lifeguard programming to direct more attention to surging humanitarian demands in other areas – such as disaster and pandemic response, opioid harm reduction and caregiving for seniors.

We are excited to continue our First Aid programs through the Red Cross and do not have plans to switch organizations.


Parent & Tot Swimming Lessons (4-36 months)

Levels progress in this order: Parent & Tot 1 > Parent and Tot 2 > Parent & Tot 3


Parent and Tot 1

The Parent and Tot Program structures in-water interaction between parent/caregiver and child to stress the importance of play in developing water-positive attitudes and skills. Parents and babies will explore the water together under the watchful eyes of their instructor. They will learn how to safely enter and exit the water and work on getting ready to discover the water safely. Parents will learn how to safely support their child while they play. This program is for babies 4-12 months.

Register for Parent and Tot 1

Parent and Tot 2

The Parent and Tot Program structures in-water interaction between parent/caregiver and child to stress the importance of play in developing water-positive attitudes and skills. Instructors will lead sessions to help parents with children learn basic water safety skills in a welcoming environment. Parents are taught how to support their child with assisted entries and exits into water and support them in learning to float and kick. They can celebrate together when the child can get their face wet and blow bubbles for the first time. This program is for children 12-24 months.

Register for Parent and Tot 2

Parent and Tot 3

The Parent and Tot Program structures in-water interaction between parent/caregiver and child to stress the importance of play in developing water-positive attitudes and skills. Parents will work towards supporting their toddlers in becoming more independent in the water. Getting in, getting out, going under, and floating, parents and toddlers will be introduced to different iterations of these fundamental skills. This program is for children 2-3 years.

Register for Parent and Tot 3

Preschool Swimming Lessons (3-5 years)

Levels progress in this order: Preschool 1 > Preschool 2 > Preschool 3 > Preschool 4 > Preschool 5


Preschool 1

The Preschool Program works to ensure children become comfortable in the water and have fun developing a foundation of water skills. Preschoolers will be assisted by their instructor when learning to enter and exit water safely, jump into chest deep water, and put their faces in the water to blow bubbles. Becoming comfortable with floats and glides and moving safely in shallow water while wearing lifejackets will help them gain confidence with their water skills. This program is for children 3-5 years.

Register for Preschool 1

Preschool 2

The Preschool Program works to ensure children become comfortable in the water and have fun developing a foundation of water skills. Preschoolers will work on becoming more independent with their water skills. Some of these skills include jumping into chest-deep water unassisted, submerging and exhaling under water, and floating and gliding with various buoyant aids. They will be introduced to lateral rollovers and practice their flutter kick on their backs. This program is for children 3-5 years who have completed Preschool 1.

Register for Preschool 2

Preschool 3

The Preschool Program works to ensure children become comfortable in the water and have fun developing a foundation of water skills. Preschoolers will kick and glide their way through the water on their fronts and backs. They will work on retrieving objects from the bottom in water that is waist deep, and work towards mastering their floats, rollovers, glides and kicks. In this level they work their way into deeper water for side entries and jumping in with their lifejackets on. This program is for children 3-5 years who have completed Preschool 2.

Register for Preschool 3

Preschool 4

The Preschool Program works to ensure children become comfortable in the water and have fun developing a foundation of water skills. Preschoolers will gain some independence in deep water. They will practice jumping into deeper water (including getting out by themselves), sideways entries, and opening their eyes underwater. These swimmers in training will work on completing 5m of front crawl in their lifejackets and work on their ability to tread water. This program is for children 3-5 years who have completed Preschool 3.

Register for Preschool 4

Preschool 5

The Preschool Program works to ensure children become comfortable in the water and have fun developing a foundation of water skills. Preschoolers will work towards achieving important swimming milestones. They will work on being able to support themselves treading in deep water for 10 seconds and complete 5m swims with front and back crawl. Wearing a lifejacket, they will practice forward roll entries into deep water, learn to whip kick in a vertical position, and be introduced to interval training. This program is for children 3-5 years who have completed Preschool 4.

Register for Preschool 5

Swim Kids (6 years+)


Level 1

This entry level provides orientation to water and pool area, and introduces floats and glides with kicks. Children build their endurance by improving distance.

Register for Level 1

Level 2

This level helps build skills in front and back swims. Children are introduced to deep water activities and proper use of a personal flotation device. Endurance is built on flutter kicking with assisted glides.

Register for Level 2

Level 3

This level provides introduction to front crawl, and lays foundation for making wise choices on where and when to swim. Diving is introduced and children will work on floats and changing direction. Endurance in achieved by building strength in flutter kick and a 15 meter swim.

Register for Level 3

Level 4

The front crawl, back glide and shoulder roll for back crawl are further developed. Children work on kneeling dives, surface support and developing a greater sense of self safety by understanding their own limits. Endurance is built through a 25 metre swim.

Register for Level 4

Level 5

Back crawl is introduced, along with sculling skills and whip kick on the back. Children try stride dives and receive an introduction to safe boating skills. Endurance is developed through dolphin kick and a 50 metre swim.

Register for Level 5

Level 6

Front and back crawl continue to be refined as the elementary backstroke is newly introduced. Children are also introduced to safety on ice, elementary rescue of others with throwing assists, treading water and the front dive. Endurance is built through a 75 metre swim.

Register for Level 6

Teen Aquatics


Fitness Swimmer (13-17)

This program is for swimmers 13 and older who want to improve their overall physical fitness in the water. Fitness Swimmer provides a structured approach based on training principles and practices including interval training. Participants set their own goals. There are no levels in Fitness Swimmer. Certified instructors will work with swimmers to help them improve their strokes and achieve their fitness goals.

Register for Teen Swim Workout

Private Swimming Programs


UCalgary Swim Adapted (3-16 years)

The UCalgary Swim Adapted program is designed for swimmers with disabilities and provides important water safety and swimming skills to individuals at higher risk for injury and incidents around the water. This program provides positive physical, motor, social, and emotional benefits for swimmers with diverse abilities. Instructors will work with swimmers and their families to provide an encouraging experience. Parents/guardians will fill out an assessment form prior to the start of lessons

Register for UCalgary Swim Adapted

Private Swimming Lessons

Working with a certified swimming instructor, children will work on skills in the Lifesaving Society Swim For Life program. This one-on-one experience can be adapted to a child’s individual skills and abilities.

Register for Private Swimming Lessons