Although, children as young as 6 months old can be in the pool, many parents might be more comfortable and secure introducing children to water in a more controlled environment.
A way to do this is to use bath time as learn to swim time! By filling in the bathtub and getting into it with your child, you can promote water comfort, and different exercises that will make them more comfortable in the water. Using bath time intentionally can prepare your children for an easier transition into the pool as they get older, and also increase the quality time you spend with your kids!
Here are 7 Activities for Bath Time Learn to Swim.
1. Practice submerging their heads to get used to the sensation of wetness.
You can do this by wetting different parts of the face, before going on to trying full head immersions.
2. Teach unassisted floating in the bathtub.
Start by lying your child on their back and holding them in floating position while helping them relax.
3. Teach bubble blowing through various games or activities.
One way is to blow ping pong balls across the surface of the water, or to demonstrate and teach bubble blowing by making noises while blowing.
4. Offer materials that mimic poolside routines: such as a personal bath towel.
This helps them feel more comfortable or even excited about bath time and being in the water.
5. Allow them to get used to wearing goggles while in the bathtub.
This is an activity more suited for children who are older and are transitioning to formal swimming lessons.
6. Teach verbal cues such as ‘kick’ and ‘splash’.
This strengthens your child’s word association abilities, and also preps them to pick up the same verbal cues from other people in the future.
7. Use manipulatives such as bath toys or household items that they can interact with.
Developing motor skills in the water through different activities allows them to use their limbs more freely in the water.
It is important to pay attention to the temperature of the water to make sure it’s always comfortably warm for your baby or toddler, and to never leave your child unsupervised in, or near water.