Teach Your Toddler How to Swim!

Play on the Steps

Start by taking your child by the hand and taking them to  the steps in the pool. Get them to sit down and play, maybe with a toy.  This helps your toddler to get accustomed to the water  and explore the entire step area.

Blow Bubbles

Show your child you are  taking a deep breath and blow bubbles, then ask them if  they can blow bubbles. They might need some encouragement and be patient. Some kids don’t like putting their  face near the water and it can be very scary for them.

Practice Kicking

Sit down on the top step with the toddler and show them  how to kick. Be sure to kick with a relatively  straight leg and bend your knees only slightly. You can also use  verbal cues like “kick, kick, kick”.

Picking up Toys from Steps

The goal here is to get an object from underwater. This helps prepare them to eventually put their face underwater.  Using a toy that sinks is a good idea, but remember, it’s about the goal of getting the submerged object that is important  to the child.

Riding on your Shoulders

By etting your children ride on your shoulders you are helping them to prepare to learn how to glide. This helps to provide a break for your toddler, because most of them enjoy it. Be sure to  hold them and talk reassuringly to them as you pull them through chest-deep water.

Practice Going Underwater

This works well by using the 1-2-3 countdown.  Get them to take a deep breath  and close their mouths, then lift them up and make your motions smooth. Be sure not to startle them or get water up their nose.  Tell the toddler that their fingers are  wipers and they should wipe away water rather than rub it.

Holding the Wall and Getting Back to the Steps

This exercise lets the child know that there is a safe place to go in case they  accidently fall in. Get them to hold onto the wall away form the steps  and place your hands on top of theirs to show them how to crawl  hand-over-hand back to the steps.

Getting Their Face Wet

This exercise should be done after you show the child how to retrieve the toy/object from the steps.  It teaches them how to take deep breaths by closing their mouths and  opening their eyes underwater. This is an excercise where you must be especially patient. This is can be the hardest things for toddlers to learn  how to do and it’s very scary. Be sure not to push or be impatient, because this only  frustrates the child and makes an already skill even harder.

Back Float

This is another difficult exercise, so be patient. One way that you can make this a little less scary is to try to make it fun. Pretend like they are going to be “Sleeping Beauty” like in the Disney story.  Tell the toddler to use your shoulder as a pillow and support their body.  Talk to them and reassure them that you have them and that it is okay. Get  them to take a deep breath and hold it. This will help them feel buoyant.  Move the child down so that their head is resting on your arm while  still supporting their head. Ask them to move their arms above their head and then hold onto your fingers. The child’s toes should be poking through  the surface of the water and with their head tilted back.

Off the Side

The object of this experience is to create a forward motion and overcome  the fear of falling in.  Ask the child sit on the wall with feet in the  water and you stand in waist-deep water. Hold your toddler under the arms while keeping your arms stiff and straight. Raise the toddler up and gently  lower them into the water while moving backward. When the child reaches your hands, pick them up and show them how far they went and then praise them for it.


One Response to “Teach Your Toddler How to Swim!”

  1. Infant Shoe Sizes Says:

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