Introducing children to swimming
For your child to be able to make the most out of this brand new playground, they should become familiar with the aquatic environment from a very young age, and then learn how to swim as early as possible. This will therefore allow them to have fun in the water in complete safety.
Swimming at the young age
Swimming is a form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise. It is not only beneficial for health and life skills but also increases the sense of accomplishment and self-confidence of the children. On top of that, swimming can also help to improve their motor skills by enhancing stamina, strength, flexibility, and balance. Apart from health benefits, swimming also provides social skills to your child through the swimming lessons. It can train his communication skills and cooperation skills with other learners. Furthermore, your child can get mental benefits from swimming as well, especially they can feel fun and enjoyment.
We are going to offer you some advice on introducing your child to swimming step by step.
1. The age to learn to swim
Strictly speaking, there is no ideal age to learn how to swim and it depends on each child. The earlier is of course the better, but in general, before the age of six we talk more about familiarisation with water rather than actually learning to swim.
Indeed, the first obstacle in learning how to swim for children is often a fear of water. On the contrary, if children are familiarised with water early (for example baby swimming), they will be less anxious approaching water. Children must first of all be reassured, have confidence in themselves and have fun.
2. Introduction to swimming
Once you see that your child is accustomed to the water, is having fun and has now started to laugh and splash around water, this is a great time to bond with them and have a fun session before you start to actually learn how to swim.
To begin teaching your children to swim, you can start with the basics of floating, propulsion and movement in the water using armbands, a noodle or other floating equipment.
Little by little, you can begin to remove the safety devices if your kid agrees. Then try getting him to put his head under the water, float on his back or push against the wall with his feet. If your child feels at ease with these exercises, he is ready!
For children, the easiest stroke to introduce is the breaststroke. They can learn the leg and arm movements using a noodle by dissociating the upper and lower limbs. You can then hold them by the waist so that they can attempt to perform the movements simultaneously. Once your kid gets how it works, allow them to try it for themselves over short distances, by remaining extremely vigilant and in an area where they can touch the bottom.
3. Swimming lessons
Once you have had your swimming sessions with your child, had a great time and bonded with them over this activity, there is nothing better than swimming lessons appropriate for their age and level. Swimming lessons can be given in community swimming pools (individual or club lessons), or holiday clubs. You can sign them up for these kinds of lessons from the age of six.
Here learning will be more related to the techniques of swimming itself rather than play. It will mainly be based on the crawl. For children who are too big for baby swimming and not comfortable enough in the water to learn how to swim, certain pools offer aqua-kids sessions. These classes can familiarise children with water and let them progress with others of the same age in this environment.
To teach children how to swim, the key is to know how to reassure them, encourage them and get them to have confidence in themselves. Do not rush things; listen to them, let them have fun and enjoy themselves in the water and give them advice. They will soon be swimming on their own!