The Bug has always loved the water. Even as an infant, she cooed in the bathtub. We rarely have a bathtub meltdown and she loves getting her hair washed because it means water is going to be dumped on her head.

Ok, yeah, I know. Not exactly the norm.

But because she loves the water so much, I knew swimming lessons were going to be a huge hit. It was just a question of when — and where.

Enter Maryland Athletic Club, affectionately known as The MAC, Harbor East. Surprisingly, this particular location is doing a ton of outreach to families with young kids in an effort to engage them in healthy lifestyle choices. {{This relatively new direction might also stem from the baby boom taking place downtown right now…}} In addition to their adult class offerings, you’ll find kids’ ballet, fitness fusion and aquatics programs.

Aquatics programs are offered for children as young as 6 months (think water acclimation) to regular swim lessons which are designed for ages 3 through adult. Each session runs for six weeks, and classes are offered a variety of times throughout the week, perfect for busy families.

At the invitation of MAC Harbor East, the Bug has been enrolled in their toddler swim program for the last six weeks. She absolutely loved it — and would ask every day if today was swim class day. She and Pat did the class together on Saturday mornings, which was perfect for us schedule wise. Even though it was ridiculously chilly out, the salt water kiddie pool was a balmy 92 degrees.  Using a variety of songs, floating noodles, sprinklers and rubber duckies, toddlers were encouraged to get wet, float on their backs, go under water, jump in, make silly faces and blow bubbles.

MAC also allowed families to come a little early or stay a little bit after class for some open swim. Parenting note: 45 minutes of swimming guaranteed a GREAT afternoon nap. (Just saying…)

The Bug was so comfortable with the water after a few lessons that she was literally getting air when she jumped off of the side of the pool.

While your toddler won’t know how to swim when they finish six week of instructions (they really aren’t physically able to do that at this point in their development), they will be more comfortable in the water, said Tim Rider, Aquatics Operations Coordinator at MAC Harbor East.

The next swim session begins on February 27th at The MAC. Contact Tim Rider at 410-625-5000 or [email protected] for more information and to register.

Lots of fun. Definitely (cool) approved.

Disclaimer: MAC Harbor East invited the Bug to take swimming lessons at no cost so that we could evaluate the lessons and decide whether or not to share them with our readers. She loved them (can you tell?), so we shared.