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We all know that young children learn best through play, so playing games in the pool is a great way to get them to learn how to swim. If you are trying to help your child absorb the content of their swimming lessons, here are a few ideas to get you started!

  • Talk to the Fishies! (Level: Absolute Beginner)

                   Have your child talk to pretend fish in the water by putting their face in and blowing bubbles, then put an ear into the water to see what the fish have to say! This game will help your child learn to control their breath underwater, which is a key step in being able to swim independently. Don’t forget to show them how to do it first!

  • Motorboat Float (Level: Beginner)

Hold your child, facing you and start to walk backwards through the water. As they begin to float, gently spin them in a circle and sing “motorboat, motorboat, go so slow”. Speed up to “motorboat, motorboat, go so fast”. As you come to a stop, sing “motorboat, motorboat, step on it!” and have your child kick their feet. This will help them get comfortable in a horizontal position in the water and get them to start kicking. 

  • The Turtle’s Coming to Bite Your Toes! (Level: Slightly More Confident Beginner)

       You’ll need a floating toy or ball for this game – some kind of sea creature will work best. Have your child put their hands on the steps of the pool, so they can just rest their chin in the water and their legs are pointing away from the stairs. With the toy, tell them that the turtle is coming to bite their toes! Have them kick their legs to scare the turtle away. 

  • Sea Creature Rescue! (Level: Gaining Confidence!)

You’ll need your floating toy again for this one – anything will do as long as it floats. Throw your toy to the middle of the pool so it can be rescued, using whatever swimming skills they are working on. Once they have rescued their toy, have them turn around and return to base. 

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