Have a little one in your life and need to know how to teach toddler swim lessons? If you have a toddler, now is the best time to begin teaching them how to swim. Don’t worry, you don’t need any special skills to teach your child to swim. Just a little patience, and a few basic swim tools.
- Kicking feet. Start slow and get your toddler adjusted to being in and around water. Have her sit on the side of the shallow end of the pool and dangle her feet inside. When she is comfortable have her practice kicking her feet in the water. Make sure to explain the importance of always swimming with an adult. Also make sure to explain that there is a shallow end and a deep end of the pool. There’s nothing scarier to a child, then stepping into the pool and thinking that she will be able to touch the bottom, only to find out that she’s over her head.
- Paddle boarding. Have the toddler practice kicking his feet while holding onto a paddle board. Hold the child under his waist so that he is floating on top of the surface and kicking. Try to have the child “swim” a full width of the pool. Moving across the pool builds confidence and builds leg strength.
- Blowing bubbles. Blowing bubbles in the water teaches the child to be comfortable having her face in the water. To swim properly, toddlers must learn to blow air out of their mouths, and not breathe in a big gulp of water. Have the child stand in the shallow end of the pool where she can touch the bottom. Have her practice blowing air out of her mouth, “blowing bubbles,” while her face is partially submerged.
- Dead man’s float. Have your toddler relax completely on her back while you hold her up on the surface to float. Brace your hand or a paddle board under her back so that her ears are covered by the water, but face is above the surface. Make sure to teach her that she needs to completely relax to float. If she tenses up or begins to panic, reassure her that she’s doing a good job and make sure that her head never goes under the water.
- Doggie paddle. The first swimming technique that most children learn is the doggie paddle. To put together the arm strokes and kicking necessary to swim, children can begin learning the doggie paddle. Hold onto the child’s waist or help them float using a noodle.
Start slow and don’t pressure your toddler to learn to swim before he’s ready. Remember that knowing how to teach toddler swim lessons involves more than just teaching strokes. Teaching water safety and building confidence are the keys to creating a positive association with, and love for, swimming.