Besides being fun, there are many advantages to acclimating children to swimming at a young age. Having a positive experience during this important time in their development will pave the way to easier learning and comfort in the water later on. Teach your many or toddler some basic skills and help foster a lifelong love of swimming.
1. Blow Bubbles
Make a “moo” sound while blowing in the water. Have your child look, listen, and feel you blow the bubbles.
2. Encourage Kicks
Hold your child under the armpits while standing in front of him/her. You can also place them on your chest and move is legs for them. Encourage splashes with their toes.
3. Tempt with Toys
TO encourage a reach and pull motion, have your child reach for toys in the water. Once comfortable, they can start reaching for another parent.
4. Ease Into a Back Float
Ears can be the most difficult to get wet, especially with toddlers. Start by splashing playfully, and move onto gently dipping ears into the water. Once they’re comfortable with this, have your toddler lie perpendicular and looking up at you while your hand supports their neck and head. Let the rest of their body float on its own. Moving also with them will create a current to assist with back floating.
5. Develop Underwater Comfort
Start by submerging your child sideways with water going over their face. Move onto lean-ins from the wall and jumps from the side. Most babies will hold their breath, so start with a short amount of time and add more once you’re comfortable. If your child is swallowing water, encourage them to spit and blow bubbles instead.
6. Put it All Together
Hold your child under the armpits by their chest to encourage independent movement. This allows them to move with their own arms and legs while in a correct floating position. Work on blowing bubbles and putting their face in at the same time. Progress to blowing bubbles with jumps, and eventually add kicks and arms. Stay positive. Focus on what they’re doing well and encourage him to try new skills.
Originally from PRO Pulse
By Alice Sax