Once you have the proper equipment, you’ll be in a good place to begin to teach your child how to swim! Believe it or not, the steps are really pretty simple and natural. You can do this — and so can your child!
First Things First: Moving and Blowing Bubbles
For children, kicking their legs and making a splash feels like playing! If you hold your child, give your child a swim noodle or other flotation device, and let them kick, they’ll soon realize that they can move through the water by simply kicking their legs. After that, blowing bubbles in the water is another first step. Even in the bathtub, children can learn to blow out when their mouths are in the water, instead of sucking in. Once kicking and blowing bubbles have been mastered, the next step is for a child to learn to use their arms to pull their body through the water; after that, it will become natural to use arms and legs together in order to move.
Next Steps: Becoming Comfortable with Going Under
Going under water is an important step in learning how to swim. Understandably, being submerged in water can easily cause a child to panic. Once a child develops a comfort level with blowing bubbles, though, the next step is to learn to hold his or her breath, first putting only the mouth beneath the surface of the water, and then graduating to both the mouth and the nose. If the child is worried about getting his or her hair or eyes wet, you can show them how you can submerge your mouth and nose without that being an issue. Swim goggles can also be helpful, as the child progresses to being able to submerge his or her entire face and head.
Important Progress: Gaining Comfort with Floating
Did you know that you can’t really teach someone to float?! It’s actually a natural characteristic of our bodies, specifically of the fat of our bodies. However, if a person is more muscular, that person will naturally sink rather than float. Most children will need you to offer them some support when they try to float for the first time. Try getting them to do a star float, either with face down or with face up. Arms and legs should be stretched out, forming the shape of a star. If needed, hold their hands or provide support beneath the child’s back or head.
Don’t forget to have fun with floating! Having fun and relaxing are important elements in teaching your child to swim. In fact, the more relaxed a person is, the less oxygen the person’s body uses, allowing that person to spend more time under water — which, incidentally, brings us to the topic of our next post!
• How to Make Your Backyard a Destination
• Raising the Bar on Outdoor Pubs (and other!) Backyard Renovations
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Source Cited: https://www.swim-teach.com/teaching-a-child-to-swim.html#first
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