Learning to swim is an important milestone for any child, perhaps the most important motivation is that swimming is the only sport which can actually save a child’s life.
Swimming is also great fun for people of all ages. Children in particular love getting in the water and having fun.
Swimming also provides loads of health benefits which can help to keep your children healthy and happy at the same time.
The first step is develop your child’s water confidence
Parental involvement is really important in increasing water confidence in infants and young children from an early age. A good time to start is at bath time, where simple activities can be a great introduction to the water in a warm and comfortable environment. Get your child to splash and play, lie on their back in a low bath, encourage them to put their face in the water (only with you supervision of course).
Some pool based activities to help build your child’s water confidence
Once your child is sufficiently comfortable to join in a family pool session here are some fun ideas to get them used to being in and on the water. Shallow end only.
“Fishy in the middle”
This game is the aquatic version of “piggy in the middle” and will get everyone jumping around.
You’ll need a medium-sized soft/inflatable ball for each group of three players. Check with the pool staff that you are ok to use a ball some pools can provide them.
Group the children into threes, with one person, “fishy”, standing in the middle.
The children throw the ball to each other, the fishy in the middle tries to catch it and if so wins that round of the game.
When the fishy catches the ball he/she swaps places with the ball thrower.
Starfish Tag is also from another classic playground game. It is lots of fun in the pool and good water confidence builder.
- One of the group is the ‘tagger’ and has to tag all the others in the water.
- Once someone is tagged that person has to remain still until they are set free.
- Tagged swimmers can be set free if one of the other players taps them on the shoulder or swims under their arms or legs.
Set a time limit to the game and see who can win the most tags.
Swimming through legs
This is a fun game for children who are more confident swimming under the water and also good for developing swimming and confidence underwater.
- Start by standing in a star shape with someone else facing you.
- The person opposite has to try and swim through your legs under the water.
- Make sure you make the gap wide enough for them to swim through. Once they achieve it they swap places.
If the children find this game a little easy, try getting two people standing with their legs open and get them to swim underwater through both in one attempt.
Swim aids for children
Once your child is water confident it is time to learn to swim and swim aids can be really helpful and kids love the fun learning experience. The AquaPlane float swim aid is designed to offer maximum support to the child in the water and is strapped to their back. As the child's arms are unrestricted AquaPlane helps children develop their technique and grow in strength and confidence.
Click here for more information.
How Does AquaPlane Support Swimmers?
Thanks to its unique shape, AquaPlane supports swimmers whatever their position in the water. The tapered aeroplane shape design offers support when the child is vertical in the water; they simply adjust their weight, lean back and the AquaPlane supports them. The child can then swim confidently on their front or back, safe in the knowledge that should they change their body position the AquaPlane will support them vertically.