Youth Swim Lessons


The Door County YMCA offers a range of swimming lessons for children ages 6 months to 16 years old.

  • Parent/Child classes are a great way to bond with your child. Children get to experience water games, basic movements and skills as well as build confidence in the water. 
  • Preschool lessons allow your child to float solo in a nurturing environment. 
  • Youth lessons continue to build on these skills learned and focus on stroke technique and endurance.

This program provides swimmers of all levels a small class setting giving them more one-on-one time with our fun and talented instructors!

You may see that our names have changed with new levels added. Please use the guide below to compare our previous program to our new YMCA Swim Lessons to determine which level is appropriate for your child.

Swim Lesson Stage Chart


SWIM STARTERS Ages 6 months - 36 months
Led by an instructor, get in the pool with your child and learn lifesaving information. Build memories through games that teach your child pre-swim skills while achieving comfort in the water. Pre-swim skills include basic water movements such as kicking, arm strokes, and breath control. Focus in this level is on comfort and movement in the water. Technical form is not yet introduced. Swimmer must be at least 6 months old on first day of class and be able to control head movement.

Stage A -b


(Parent/Child 1 Equivalent) Accompany your child while they gain comfort in the water and develop essential swim readiness skills through a fun, confidence-building experience. Waterproof diaper required for those not potty trained • 12:1 student-to-instructor ratio. **Previous Stage: Shrimp Dip

(Parent/Child 2 Equivalent) Through water exploration and guidance from an instructor, work in the pool with your child on basic swim body positions, floating, blowing bubbles and fundamental safety and swim skills. Waterproof diaper required for those not potty trained • 12:1 student-to-instructor ratio. **Previous Stage: Perch Plunge

SWIM BASICS Preschool Age 3-5 Years & Youth Age 6-12 Years

Learn personal water safety and achieve basic life-saving swim skills.


Stage 1-1+


Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water in Stage 1. This stage lays the foundation that allows for a student's future progress in swimming. **Previous Stage: Rainbow (Preschool) & Polliwog 1 (Youth)

Stage 1 Plus is a continuation of water acclimation and skills learned in Stage 1. Skills learned focus more on independent movements, as students are now comfortable submerging underwater and simultaneous leg and arm movements without help. **Previous Stage: Pike (Preschool)

 Stage 2-3


In Stage 2, students focus on the body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. **Previous Stage: Eel (Preschool) & Polliwog 2 (Youth)

In Stage 3, students learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages in the event of falling into a body of water. This stage also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action. **Previous Stage: Starfish (Preschool) & Guppy 1 (Youth)

SWIM STROKES Preschool Age 3-5 Years & Youth Age 6-12 Years

 Stage 4-5


Students in Stage 4 develop stroke technique in front crawl and learn the breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke. **Previous Stage: Whitefish (Preschool) & Guppy 2 (Youth)

Students in Stage 5 work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke. **Previous Stage: Minnow/Fish (Youth)

SWIM & BOARD | Northern Door 
Ages 6+

This class is designed for those who are challenged with basic breath control and body control skills in the water. The class addressed the breath control first and then we move into body control through use of surfboards, boogie boards, kick boards, fins, and towing. The class tools we use make the program somewhat non-traditional, however, use of the surfboard not only promotes getting the swimmer into a more streamlined body position, but when the swimmer paddles, can train the brain and muscles in the proper arm stroke technique for front crawl, butterfly and with modifications, breaststroke. Classes can be adapted and created for traditional, autistic, or special needs individuals.


Ages 5+

(Minimum of 2, maximum of three in each class)

If you would like your child to get extra attention on specific skills that are challenging to them, this is a great opportunity for your child to work in a small group setting with one of our instructors. There will be more time to focus on specific challenges with your swimmer or you may just want your child to get some extra practice in.


Ages 6+

Children who are home schooled are welcome to come and learn to swim. We will have several levels
of classes running concurrently to meet the needs of the swimmers. There will be multiple instructors
available to address those needs. Part of the class will be run as a large group and then broken down to small group, level specific groups.