Teaching kids to swim can be a fun yet daunting task for parents. There is much to consider when teaching a child to swim: age of the child, safety, and what aspect of swimming to teach first.
Even if you are not a huge fan of being in the water, you can successfully teach your child to swim and how to enjoy swimming safely. Below are tips of how to teach your child to swim.
- Splash Water
Teaching your child to splash in the pool will help him get used to the movement of the water. If he knows what to expect in the water he will be less afraid. Hold your child and move his legs to teach him to splash or kick. If you are going to dip your baby in the water, keep it short.
- Wet His Face
Blowing bubbles with your child can help him get used to the idea of getting his face wet, which can be an obstacle as he learns to swim. You can also sprinkle water on his head if he finds this amusing.
- Overcome Fear
Your child may be frightened of the water at first, so hold him securely by the armpits and move him into the water slowly. Walk around in the water together until he feels comfortable, while you should smile and show your child that you are enjoying the experience. Children are likely to learn to swim easily if they associate being in the water with pleasure.
- Float About
Show your child he can float naturally in the pool. Rest your child’s head on your shoulder and let his body float. This can be scary for your child at first so assure him that you will not let go and stop when your child is unwilling to continue, even if it only lasts a few seconds.
- Take a Plunge
If your child can hold his breath and likes to put his face in the water, try coaxing him into going underneath the water. This should be done gently as the pressure on his ears or nose can be unpleasant as first. Start by encouraging your child to submerge one side of his head and then the other. As he gets comfortable, move into the water. Hold your child’s nose for him at first until he can learn to regulate the movement into the water on his own.
- Play Water Games
As your child gets used to being in the water, start playing games together. Have your child chase toys in the shallow end of a pool, or hold your child on the belly to play “super hero.” You can also use floating objects like a kickboard to allow your child to race.
- Kick the Legs
Teaching your child to kick in the pool is one of the first steps in teaching him to swim. Have your child hold onto a kickboard and propel himself through the water. Once he has this skill down, your child can start to learn the strokes necessary during proper swimming lessons.