Activities for Infant Swim Lessons

Mother and son in swimming pool
Swim (Image: Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images)

Infant swimming lessons help your child get comfortable in the water. The lessons also provide a sensory activity and help the young participants practice their physical development skills. Children aren't typically ready to learn swimming skills until around 4 years old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The organization supports swimming lessons for younger kids, but they shouldn't be considered a way to reduce the risk of drowning.

Blowing Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a basic activity for infant swimming lessons that is entertaining for the young participants. Blowing bubbles serves more than one purpose. It helps the infant control her breath around the water, a skill that she will need once she begins swimming on her own. The activity also helps the baby grow accustomed to having her face near the water. To help the infants learn to blow bubbles, pretend to blow out the candles on a birthday cake. An adult holding his finger so it sticks out of the water like a candle provides additional help.

Entering Pool

Infants may not be developmentally ready to learn swimming strokes, but introducing them to basic swimming safety skills prepares them for future pool situations. For older infants, sliding or jumping off the edge of the pool into the arms of a parent offers a safety activity. The parents then help the infants make their way back to the side. Many children accidentally fall into the pool along the edge so this activity teaches the young children how to respond in this situation.

Reaching and Grabbing

Floating bath and pool toys work well as targets for reaching and grabbing in the water. Toss a toy a few feet in front of the infant. Encourage him to reach out for the toy and "swim" toward it. Support the infant with your hands under his stomach and chest and he reaches for the toy. This activity helps the infant stretch out and assume a position that resembles swimming. Reaching and grabbing pool toys also improves the infants hand-eye coordination, making it a developmental activity.

Kicking

A kicking activity helps infants build on another skill they will use in later swimming strokes. Support the infant so her feet are near the surface of the water. Encourage her to kick her legs. Turn it into an entertaining activity by having the child's parent stand near her feet. The infant kicks her feet to splash her parent as a way to encourage her to kick more.

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