Try these ideas to help you keep your head above water during a family swim session…
1. Start with a splash
Ease in gently. Getting into the water and just doing some splashing is a great start – and it helps get kids used to having the water on their face, too. Ask your little one to see how much of a splash they can make with their arms or legs.
Level up: getting your little one to kick their legs and splash is a good first step to show them how they can move through the water.
2. Forever blowing bubbles
Putting your face in the water and blowing bubbles is good fun, and you can stand up or hold onto the side while you do it, so it’s great for beginners. Your little ones will be encouraged by your attitude, so try and show them you’re enjoying yourself!
Level up: Kids can even practice this one – under supervision – in the bath at home, before braving the pool.
3. Underwater games
Going underwater can be nerve-wracking, but making a game of it will help. For example, you can sing ring-a-ring-a-roses with your child and spin them around in the water, encouraging them to go under the water if they can when you sing ‘we all fall down’.
Level up: goggles can be really useful if children are worried about opening their eyes underwater.
4. Do the legwork
Don’t worry if your toddler can only cope with simple ‘doggy paddle’ style movement at first, little ones may lack the coordination skills for more complicated strokes. Getting comfortable in the water and having fun should be your main focus!
Level up: to help your child get the feel of being surrounded by water, encourage them to lie back in a star shape while you support them.