As one of the most useful and extremely healthy physical activities, swimming is probably the best thing you can teach your child when he or she is still small, and that way provide not only great entertainment but excellent support to his physical development. However, only parents know how it can be difficult to teach the kids something, especially because children tend to give up whenever something looks uninteresting, scary or complicated.
Luckily, there are awesome and pretty thrilling tips and tricks which can help you familiarize your little family member with water and swimming activity. Check out some of them:
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Let your kid discover water surrounding
It’s understandable if you simply can’t resist putting your baby into the water, but it’s necessary to start with small steps, because pediatricians don’t recommend beginning with serous swimming lessons until child is few years old. So, firstly introduce your kid with water, by bringing it into the small pool and playing simple games. The point is that child becomes aware of water, and you can achieve it by showing your baby how to splash, swill herself or sip water into small toy containers. It’s crucial to hold your baby all the time and avoid submerging until it’s at least 3 years old.
“Catch the fish” exercise
This thrilling game is excellent way to teach your child how to perform stroke with arms. Make your child imagine fishes in the water which he can catch with his hands and put in pockets. Let him stand in the shallow where water goes up to his chest and you can stand somewhere in front of him. It’s best to begin with hands placed on his hips, slowly raise one hand above head and soak it into the water to “catch the fish”. Once child caught the fish, it’s time to return the hand on hips (putting fish into the pocket) and to repeat that with other hand. In order to teach your kid to stroke properly, you can say it’s important to keep his fingers together, otherwise the fish will escape.
As soon as your child learn how to kick and float with your assistance, it’s time to bring him closer to water by playing blowing bubble games. Make your kid soak only his lips into the water and blow bubbles in order to learn how to breathe properly without swallowing the water. To make this interesting and funny you can call the game talking to fishes and motivate your child to create noisy sounds so fish can hear him.
Now that your child knows how to kick, float and blow the bubbles, you can take him into the shallow part of the pool, around half meter away from the wall and try with plunging games. Be in crouching position, hold your kid on your knees and then ask him to jump and rapidly reach the wall. Apart from being very entertaining, this exercise will probably play the great role in forming your child’s first swimming ventures.
First swimming “steps”
If your kid went well with kicking, blowing the bubbles and stroking, all you need to do now is to offer a little more support to his body. Have your kid positioned on the belly with you holding him around the waist and then motivate him to perform kicking, blowing and stroking in order to move towards the pool wall.
Pool Safety Checklist created by Little Otter Swim School, a kids swim school.
Simple swimming moves
When your child is familiarized with water enough to feel comfortable and happy each time when you bring him into the pool, you can include simple swimming motions. For this you’ll need a bit deeper, preferably family pool within the yard, but in case your pool needs adjustments there are great swimming pools options to consider before starting with swimming exercises. One of excellent movements you can begin with is kicking, where your kid should place his arms around your neck and kick the water with his legs while you’re slowly going backwards. Once child mastered this exercise, you can try with teaching him how to float while holding his head above the water and slowly letting him to float.
Although teaching your child how to swim may take some time, effort and lot of your attention, bear in mind that the earlier your kid starts to swim independently, the more benefits it’ll bring to his overall development.