Teaching your kids to swim can be a thrilling and rewarding activity, enabling the entire family to reap the physical benefits of swimming. Because of the risk of drowning, parents should use caution and diligence while teaching young children to swim. On the upside, during the hot summer months, children can be particularly motivated to practice swimming.
Blow ping-pong balls across the water, parenthood.com suggests. It can help children who enjoy being in the water but are reluctant to get their faces wet. As children understand the power of their breath and become more relaxed, they can place the lower halves of their faces in the water to blow bubbles.
Holding A Toy’s Breath
Have a child hold his breath while submerging a toy, parenthood.com suggests, bringing the toy above water when he needs to take another breath. The exercise enables children to realize that they are capable of holding their breath and capable of extending the duration of their held breath with practice. Children then can accompany the toys and begin to put their own faces into the water.
Stand in the water, let your child sit poolside, then have her fall into your arms. Cheer her on to motivate bolder plunges and to use her limbs freely to stay afloat and mobile in the water. She will learn about buoyancy and the need for holding her breath, and she will become accustomed to water splashing on her face. Ideally, her focus will shift from falling into your protective arms to jumping into the water for the joy and independence of the experience.
Singing in the Water
Sing familiar and active songs in the water, such as “The Hokey Pokey” or “Ring Around the Rosy,” h20swimming.com.au suggests. The songs feature movements that enable kids to understand the resistance of water and the result of moving their limbs in this new environment. Encourage children to act out all the familiar gestures and, at the least, get their faces wet. The website cautions parents to remain optimistic and encouraging, and to be role models of relaxation and confidence in the water.