Where to Find Swim Lessons in Napa

Where to Find Swim Lessons in Napa

Looking for swim lessons in Napa? Look no further than Makai Swim School!

We all want what’s best for our kiddos…

The best school, the best pediatrician, the best childcare; but, searching for the best can often be a daunting task. 

So, if you’re currently searching high and low for where to find the best swim lessons in Napa, lucky for you, you’ve landed in the right place.

We’ll tell you why your swim lessons search can end with Makai Swim School!

Best Swim Lessons in Napa: Makai Swim School

Who Is Makai Swim School

Makai Swim School opened in 1989 as the first private swim school in Napa Valley. Its founder, Tami Nixon, is arguably the most experienced swim instructor in Napa, with nearly 50 years of Montessori-style swim instruction that she has successfully passed along to her fabulous staff.

Makai Swim school lovingly serves over 2,000 Napa families a year, providing unique, fun, and successful swim lessons to all, even providing scholarships to those in need…

  • From infants as little as 5 months old swimming with their mommies or daddies…
  • 3-year-olds getting in the pool for the first time…
  • 6-year-olds becoming water safe…
  • 10-year-olds prepping their strokes for swim team…
  • Children in need of play therapy to supplement their IEP…
  • Even adults looking to overcome their fear of swimming!

So, why should you choose Makai Swim School? 

Keep on reading!

3 Reasons Why Makai Swim School is the Best Choice for Napa Swim Lessons

There are, of course, a small handful of options for swim lessons in Napa, and you’re more than welcome to make your own decision, but we’ll give you 3 reasons why Makai Swim School is the best choice for you and your little swimmer!

1. We teach your child


But let me tell you what we mean.

Your child is a unique, one-of-a-kind, treasure! No two children are the same….Unless you have twins, that’s pretty dang close. 

Because your child is so unique, so is the way we teach your child!

Each Makai Swim School instructor strives to uncover where your child is at in their particular phase of development. They consider social, emotional, and physical factors along with their specifically unique needs to determine the best way to teach your child.

Let’s say you have a 3-year-old who has never been in a pool or never had swim lessons. This is their first time.

Maybe your child is shy. Maybe they have a little separation anxiety from mom and dad (and many children do these days after the past few years we’ve had). Maybe your child has some fear and doesn’t like to get their face wet, even bathtime is a struggle. What sort of physical activities does your child do outside of the pool? Are they starting to ride a strider bike, running, and climbing so much that it’s hard to keep up? 

All these things are valuable pieces of information for our instructors to honor and use while encouraging their development in—and even out of—the pool. 

Once our swim instructor has learned your child’s intricacies (and I mean that in the most loving way possible), teaching them to swim is the easy part!

2. Your child will learn to swim

Let me tell you a quick story. 

When I was 2-ish years old, my mom enrolled me in the rec department’s swim lessons. I loved going to sing songs and splash around, but I refused to get my face wet. I would cry, scream, barter my options, and do everything in my little 2-year-old power to not get my face wet. 

Did I learn how to swim after two whole summers of that? 


Luckily for me, my mom found Makai Swim School. Guess what? On my first day in the pool with Tami, I was getting my face wet and swimming across the pool by myself. 

25 years later, I’m still with the Makai family with 11 years of teaching under my belt. 

So, am I biased? 

Maybe a little. 

The thing is, bias or not, I’ve seen so many success stories coming and going through the pool gate. 

We’ve had countless littles, who cry and cry at their first few lessons, grow up with us to become strong independent swimmers. We’ve had children come from other swim schools because they weren’t finding any success in their swim skill progression. We’ve had adults terrified of swimming come to us and learn how to be calm, confident, and completely proud of themselves in the water.

It’s part of the magic of Makai. If your child (or yourself!) walks through the Makai Swim School pool gate, they will learn how to swim!

3. We have fun!

Oftentimes it's easy to overlook play when your child is learning. 

As a parent, you might want your child to buckle down and focus. You are, of course, paying good money for them to learn.

As an instructor, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard parents say, “Quit messing around and listen to your teacher.”

Here’s the thing…

Play is powerful! 

It is one of the pillars of Montessori-style teaching. In fact, Maria Montessori herself once said, “Play is the work of the child.”

So, why is it so important? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics states: 

“Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function (ie, the process of learning, rather than the content), which allow us to pursue goals and ignore distractions.”


Let me repeat the most important part of that statement.… “Play is not frivolous.”

At Makai Swim School, we wholeheartedly agree! 

We embrace and celebrate play as much as possible because we know it’s one of the most important pieces to your child’s success in the pool. 

You may see our instructors using imaginary play to capture the young mind of your swimmer by saying, “I want you to imagine the pool is filled with your favorite flavor of ice cream! Yummy! Now use your arms and your hands to scoop up all the ice cream you can.”

You might see our instructors get out a giant foam mat to set up an “obstacle course” where your child swims to the mat, climbs over it, then slides off to continue swimming to the side of the pool. 

It’s also common to see a lot of toys floating around the shallow end of the pool for the little swimmers to use as incentives for movement or a comforting distraction. 

Oftentimes our instructors will sing songs, use silly voices, be loud and boisterous, or quiet and calm.

And the last three minutes of your child’s swim lesson are always dedicated to independent playtime to foster exploration and provide a well-deserved reward for your child’s hard work.

Rest assured, whenever play is used during your child’s swim lessons, it’s not only to have fun, it’s to play with a purpose!

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