How to Teach Kids How to Swim

How to Teach Kids How to Swim
Kids are like sponges, eager to learn just about anything. But put them poolside with a bunch of kids, or on their own, throw in a general fear of the unknown, in this case the water, and you could have a battle on your hands. In order to teach kids how to swim effectively you need to follow a few steadfast rules to optimize the childrens overall experience and maximize their desire to learn to swim.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Acquaint the child with the water first," says level 2 ASA certified swim instructor Anne Carter. "Enter the water walking backwards with the child in front of you holding onto your forearms. Go deep enough into the water so your shoulders are submerged. Support the child horizontally by holding them under their tummy. Adults should act only as a support in this early stage, do not carry them around. This helps the child experience the buoyancy of the water."
Step 2
Encourage the child to blow bubbles underwater while in this supported position. This helps them get comfortable with getting their face wet. While blowing bubbles ask them to start kicking their legs.
Step 3
Move over to a ledge or pool steps. Sit the child on your lap with the child facing out towards the water. Start rowing their arms in an alternate stroke pattern. It's critical to restrain the inside of the childs' elbows when "rowing the boat" so the child learns to swim through their shoulders, and not from their elbows.
Step 4
Using the techniques previously taught, have the child push off into the water from the steps and start the rowing and kicking motions. The adult remains at their side in a supporting role, as needed.
Step 5
Advocate water independence by having the child push themselves off the step and into the water with their face immersed, using the full arm and kicking motions, without assistance from the adult or teacher.

Tips & Warnings

 
Drown proofing children is also an important part of teaching children how to swim. "Take them to the steps and instruct them to reach and grab for the wall of the swimming pool," says Carter. "This instills in them that if they are ever in a scary situation to remain calm and to float and reach for those walls."
 
Drown proofing children is also an important part of teaching children how to swim. "Take them to the steps and instruct them to reach and grab for the wall of the swimming pool," says Carter. "This instills in them that if they are ever in a scary situation to remain calm and to float and reach for those walls."

Article Written By Caroline Carter

Caroline Carter is a freelance sports/health and fitness writer based in Alpharetta, Georgia. She worked for 15 years as a television/radio sports anchor/reporter in Canada. She covered many legendary sports franchises. Carter is also a licensed travel agent. She has a degree in broadcast journalism from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Canada.

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