Water is fun – no doubt about it! But it’s even more fun when everyone is practicing the things that will make it safe, too!
Here are the five things that all kids should know how to do in the water:
- Safely get in and out of the pool
When they’re older jumping into the pool cannonball style is fun for kids but it is very important to start them off as little swimmers with the safest ways to get in and out of the pool. Sitting down to get in and using the easy elbow-elbow-belly-knee method for getting out are the best ways for the littlest swimmers to enter and exit the pool. They can do these things confidently without your help.
- Do a back float
This is a very important water skill for a young swimmer! If a young swimmer gets tired, it is important that they know that they can back float and ease over to the side of the pool. If they have this skills, they will be more confident about being away from the side of the pool.
- Tread water
Treading water is not only important to know because it can save your life, but it is also a convenient skill to use when water gets too deep for standing. When children first venture far enough from the pool’s side to get into deep water and can’t touch the bottom, they feel like they’ve lost control. But not if they know how to tread water!
- Swim forward
Sure, there is the dog paddle that may be the first so-called “stroke” a child learns to do. But learning to move yourself forward in the water with “real” swim strokes is important. Once learned, moving forward with strokes in the water are skills that stick! And the first stroke is the kid’s foundation for learning other strokes.
- Go underwater
This may be something that kids will become comfortable with little by little. But be persistent because it is critical that they learn to put their head in the water. As they learn this, they become safer and safer in the water because their risk of swallowing water is greatly reduced. It actually becomes second nature for them to close their mouths when they go underwater. Being able to do this is a confidence builder too.