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What swim lesson is right for my child?

An infographic showing swim school levels named after sea creatures, arranged by age and skill, for the Sunrise Recreation and Park District.

Sunrise Swim School offers swim instruction as well as age-appropriate safety skills. Instructors are certified in American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Training. They participate in on-going Sunrise Swim Instructor Training.

Please read the descriptions listed to choose the appropriate class for your child.

 All of our swim lessons are inclusive. If you have questions or need assistance with accommodations, please contact the Recreation Services Manager at 

Starfish (6 months- 3 years)

A Parent or guardian must attend each class with the child.  Emphasis is on water adjustment, floating, swimming, blowing bubbles, going underwater, holding breath, kicking, arm movement, and fun & enjoyment in the water. This program provides information and techniques for parents to orient their children to the water and provides parents and children with a fun recreational activity to do together. Only one child per adult is allowed. The child must wear a swim diaper if not potty trained.

Polliwog (3 - 5 years) Beginner Preschool

Polliwog is a swim readiness class for young children that helps begin the skills of face in the water, blowing bubbles, breath-holding, kicking, floating, arm strokes, and going underwater.  Emphasis is on water adjustment, water safety knowledge, and practices, fun, and enjoyment in the water. Most children will have to take this class more than once.

Frog (3- 6 years) Intermediate/ Advanced Preschool

For children who have successfully completed the Polliwog course or are able to float, stroke, and kick with face in the water for 5-10 feet. This class is designed for advanced preschoolers and helps children start to gain basic swimming propulsive skills to be comfortable in and around water.

Minnow (5 - 12 years) Beginner

Minnow is for participants who are taking swim lessons for the first time. Emphasis is on water adjustment, swimming readiness skills, basic safety, floating, kicking, and arm strokes. The Minnow class is the beginner level for school-age children.

Goldfish (6 - 14 years) Intermediate

Goldfish is for participants who are able to float comfortably on their front and back, unsupported.  Emphasis is on introducing freestyle and backstroke. Most children will have to take this class more than once.

Manta Ray (6 - 14 years) Swimmer

Manta Ray is for participants who have successfully completed the Goldfish class or are able to swim 15 yards without assistance.  Emphasis is on improving freestyle and backstroke and introducing side breathing, as well as elementary backstroke.

Sea Lion (6 - 14 years) Advanced Swimmer

Stingray is for participants who have successfully completed the Manta Rays class or are able to swim 25 yards of freestyle and 15 yards of backstroke, without assistance.  Emphasis is on perfecting freestyle and backstroke as well as and introducing breaststroke, and sidestroke.

Dolphin (6 - 14 years) Pre-Competitive

Dolphin is for participants who have successfully completed the Sea Lion course or are able to swim 50 yards of freestyle, backstoke and 25 yards of breaststroke and sidestroke without assistance.  The Dolphin class refines and promotes proficiency in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.  Participants will be introduced to swimming for fitness, approach strokes, starts and turns, and surface dives.

Octopus (3+) Adaptive Swim Lessons

This a one-on-one participant-centered lesson for people with mental, physical and/or developmental disabilities.

Adult (13+ years)

For anyone over 15 years old who wants to learn basic swimming skills in a group setting. You will learn the basics to floating on front and back and arm strokes.

Private (3+ years)

One-on-one instruction is offered to meet student’s swimming goals. 


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