It is crucial that your children learn how to swim.
Unintentional drowning is the fifth leading cause of death for people of all ages, and it is the second leading cause of injury death, after motor vehicle crashes, for children from one to fourteen. More than forty people die by drowning worldwide every hour of every day.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 14,000 Americans aged nineteen or younger drowned between 1999 and 2010.
Fortunately, participating in swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning. For children from the ages of one to four, swimming lessons can reduce that risk by as much as 88%.
Swimming lessons and swimming lesson games will help your child become comfortable in the water and will help them learn the skills they need to stay safe in pools, the ocean, and other bodies of water.
Read on to learn more about swimming lessons and swimming lesson games that will keep them learning even outside of class.
Swimming Lessons Do Help
Almost every community in America has at least one community center or business where your son or daughter can take swimming lessons.
You can enroll your child in classes to familiarize him or her with the water at a very young age. Many places that offer swimming lessons start children with parent-and-baby classes when they are still infants. Babies naturally hold their breath underwater and these experiences can be wonderful bonding experiences for parent and child.
By age five or six, most children can master the front crawl and will pick up other skills fast as well. Further, in addition to skills, the water safety curriculum included in the vast majority of classes for this age group is invaluable.
Keeping your son or daughter enrolled in swimming lessons year-round will help them to hone their skills and the continuity will aid them in the retention of what they have learned so far.
However, remember that lessons are not a substitution for supervision. Even if your child has taken swimming lessons for years, you should always watch him or her anytime he or she is in the water.
Swimming Lesson Games
Kids love games. When it comes to swimming in a pool or other body of water, children can occupy themselves for hours and will often even make up their own games from scratch.
However, in order to solidify the skills they have learned in swim class, there are a number of games you can introduce and can enjoy together.
Check out these great games and try a few at home. Soon your kids will be clamoring to play them with you while becoming better swimmers all the time.
1. Chat with the Fishes
Many children are afraid to put their faces in the water, but it is necessary to do so to become a good swimmer.
This game will encourage your little one to do just that.
Show your child that you put your face in the water and blow bubbles to talk to the imaginary fish below. Then turn your head to the side, submerge your ear, and tell your son or daughter that you are listening for a response.
Then encourage your child to do the same.
2. Face Race
This game will help your child feel more comfortable in shallow water.
Get a beach ball or other soft, light object that floats. Stand at one end of the shallow end opposite your child. Have him or her push the toy to you without using his or her hands; only their face may be used!
When your child delivers the toy to you, make a big fuss and cheer.
Motorboat helps your child to get comfortable with lying horizontally in the water on his or her front.
Hold your son or daughter under his or her arms while facing you. Pull him or her through the water and pretend you are motorboats. You can chant, “Motorboat, motorboat go so slow” as you move slowly through the water. Move faster as you say “Motorboat, motorboat, go so fast!”
Finally, you can say “Motorboat, motorboat, step on the gas!” and encourage your child to kick. This will help prepare them for the position he or she will need to be in for actual swimming.
4. Ping Pong Float
This game will help your son or daughter feel more confident in the water. Children will want to play this game over and over and it will keep them busy for quite a while.
Get a bunch of ping pong balls and dump them in the shallow end of the pool. They will float. Because they are white, sometimes some of them will be difficult to see.
Have your son or daughter collect the ping pong balls one at a time and put them into a bucket at the edge of the pool. To make this game more exciting, you can set a timer and see how many your child can find in that time.
5. Underwater Toy Rescue
This game is similar to Ping Pong Float but instead of using toys that float, find toys that sink. Put one or more in the shallow end and have your child hold his or her breath to retrieve them.
This game can help with underwater confidence, opening eyes underwater, and holding one’s breath. This is not a game to play early on, but it will be a lot of fun once your child becomes a little more comfortable in the water.
6. Shark Attack
This game is great for groups. It is really just a simple game of tag.
Choose one child to be the shark. Have him or her count to ten with eyes closed. When they reach ten, the shark opes his or her eyes and chases the other children. Once one is caught, that child becomes the new shark.
Shark Attack will help your child feel more comfortable moving around in the water. Little children should do it in the shallow end, but when your child gets older, it’s a great game for deeper water with more confident swimmers.
These swimming lesson games will help your child to develop the skills that he or she needs to become a good swimmer, all while having loads of fun. You can play several of these games during one swimming session and some of them you can play over and over for long periods.
No matter what, getting your child comfortable in the water and helping him or her to hone swimming skills will give you peace of mind and will help to keep your son or daughter safe in the water now and in the future. Enjoy!
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