One of the best ways to build confidence in the water for babies, preschoolers or school age children is to try out different swimming skills in a fun game.
Here's our five easy tips to start developing swimming skill for children which all the family can try. If your child sees you confidently moving about on top and under the water, they will learn this vital life skill quickly. Seeing you enjoying swimming too will bolster their enjoyment and self confidence in the water. If they're having group swimming lessons or 1:1 lessons with us either in Abingdon or Milton they may even be able to teach you a thing or two!
1) Floating: As a star fish on their front or back
Not only fun, but one of the first skills we teach children in our lessons, is how to survive in water our of your depth. Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out with your ears in the water, looking up at the ceiling. You have a go too! Adults with slightly sinky muscly legs may need to lightly kick to stay afloat.
2) Ring a Ring a Roses
Children love learning to popular songs and rhymes! Preferably wearing goggles, dance in a circle singing the rhyme and on the word 'down' go under the water for a short time. Obviously please be careful! Try to always blow bubbles and in older children challenge them to sit on the bottom of the pool and look around under water before resurfacing. You might like to blow bubbles out your nose as you re-surface. (Did you know we also teach adults to learn to swim too in our sister company Tri Swim Coaching?).
3) Say Whaaaaat?!
Again being careful and wearing goggles, see if you can lip read what each other is saying under the water - it's harder than you might think! Don't worry, the bubbles expelled will not let water in your mouth.
This is a brilliant game to help practice streamlining - getting the body in a horizontal body position to swim further for less effort. We sometimes call the Push and Glide drill 'Submarines' to help the children learn to get their heads down when pushing off the wall. Take a couple of steps back and ask your child to push off like a Submarine towards you, congratulating and rewarding their efforts with lots of praise.
5) Humpty Dumpty
Another great rhyme which fits well with the skill of being able to get into the water and resurface safely. Sing the rhyme and on 'down' let your child fall into the water, catching them under their arms, initially with head up, but progressing to head into and under the water, praising them each time. As they get older or progress, allowing them a little more time under the water to look around. Encourage them to bounce off the bottom. sat on the wall