Taking the kids to the beach or pool? Fun! Letting the little ones splash and play is a great way to spend some family time together, for sure. But as they grow up, it’s important that kids learn a few things in the water, as well. Water safety? Yes, please.
Here are the 5 Swim Skills All Children Should Know:
1. Get in and out of the pool safely
Sure, when the kids are older, jumping into the pool via cannonball seems fun and exciting. But it’s important for your little swimmers to know how to sit down and enter the pool safely and properly — and it’s even more important for them to know that getting OUT of the pool is just as easy (elbow, elbow, belly, knee). This ensures that your child is confident and won’t need your help when they can do it themselves.
2. Turn over for a back float
Especially for young swimmers, this is one of the most important skills to learn in the water. Why? Imagine you’re tired in the water and you need to get to the side but you can’t seem to summon the strength to swim there. No problem! Just turn on your back to float and you can ease your way over there. This is imperative for kids because it allows your child to relax, regroup and know that they can do it!
3. Tread water
Every swimmer needs to know how to tread water. Why? It’s not only for lifesaving measures, but to just hang out in the water when it’s too deep to touch. It’s that whole confidence thing again — when your child knows they are in control in the water, it’s much more fun! And think of the energy they’ll burn when they’re using all those muscles to stay afloat and play.
4. Swim forward
Remember learning how to dog paddle? It’s fun, and it works. Kind of. But it sure is easier (and faster) to move forward in the water by using different swim strokes.
Once learned, swimming is like riding a bike; it’s a lesson that will stay with your little goldfish the rest of his or her life. You’ll see the extraordinary results for years to come. Way to go, Mom (and Dad), for imparting such a great skill!
5. Go underwater
As time goes on and your child gets older and stronger, they should be able to put their head in the water little by little. When your swimmer knows how to do this, it means fewer chances of swallowed water because it’ll become second nature to close their mouth and maintain that confidence. But this may take time, which is why swimming should be practiced routinely. And when you watch your child happily put his or her face in the water, it’ll be time to celebrate how far they’ve come!