“Look Ma, I can swim!” exclaimed the 5 year old Ria! Her mom broke into a wide grin amidst their swimming lessons. Ria was showing off her clumsy paddles across the pool & mom was proud.
The joy of teaching a hobby to your kids is unparalleled. Getting the steps right and showing it off is an amazing feeling of achievement for the kids.
Hobbies help the kids develop personally and professionally in their lives. Out of the different kinds of hobbies, Swimming is a skill everyone should know. It can come handy during an unexpected situation. On a lighter note, it’s fun and the best full body exercise for the kids.
While you are teaching them how to swim, there are a few things to keep in mind. Apart from the crucial lessons in swimming, develop liking for all things aquatic and teach them about water safety.
You can make swimming lessons enjoyable and seem easy to them.
Simply, play these 5 fun games in the swimming pool. It will prove beneficial for them to take independent strokes in the water.
1) Talk to the Fishes –
Ask your kid to talk to the pretend fishes in the water by asking him to blow bubbles in the water. Then, ask him to listen to the pretend responses.
Result: It teaches the kids breath control, which is the 1st step to swimming alone. Swallowing water in the pool can frighten them. Hence, submerging the face in the water and blowing bubbles can ease them & increase their comfort level.
2) Catch the Fishes –
Stand facing each other in the water if the water is shallow. (The water level should be till the waist of the kid). Now, ask him to try to catch pretend fishes with his arms. Tell him to try front-crawl-like arm stroke by reaching his arms up in the air, plunging them into the water, and then pulling the water toward him, as if there were lots of fishes in the pool that he is pulling toward his body. Sing a song together while you’re doing this. At the end of the song, ask how many fishes did he catch?
Repeat this at least 2-3 times. Also, make sure his fingers are together which will help propulsion when he swims on his own.
Result: It develops a fast and swift arm motion.
3) Motorboat float, float –
Hold your kid tightly under his arms, facing you. Start walking backwards in the pool. When you pick up a little momentum, it will gently push the kid in the front float position. Spin slowly and say, “Boat, go fast” Spin faster and say, “Boat, go slow” Then, finally say, “Stop for diesel” When this happens, ask him to blow bubbles or kick his feet in the water.
Result: With this activity, kids become accustomed to the horizontal position in the swimming pool.
4) Red light, green light –
You can play this fun game sitting next to your kid near the pool. When you say green light, tell him to kick the water crazily and repeatedly until you say stop. A red light means ‘stop’ and yellow means ‘go slowly’. While he is doing this activity, ask him to point his toes and kick the water, which helps him propel in the water better.
Result: Teaches the kids more about kicking and propulsion in the water.
5) Taking the final jump!
In the shallow end, squat two feet away from the wall and hold your kid so he is standing on your knees, your hands holding his waist. (Both of you should face the wall). Ask him to jump towards the wall and grab it. Initially, he won’t swim, but use propulsion from his jump to get to the wall. Slowly and steadily, this game will make him swim in the water on his own. Let him hang on the wall to learn to support his body weight until you can grab him again.
You can increase the distance from the wall gradually. While he is jumping, ask him to repeat all the above steps like catching fishes and kicking his feet.
Result: Kids can learn to swim independently.
By teaching your kids basics of swimming through these fun and easy games, remember to encourage them and be extremely patient. Applaud their progress as they improve on each level. Who knows sooner than ever, you will have a little swimming champ in your house!