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Six Games That Will Help Your Child Learn To Swim

When children have fun, they want to keep swimming. Here are six games that will help your child learn to swim without realizing they’re doing it. Learning to swim is an important life skill, but how do you keep your child motivated and engaged? Games are a great place to start. It’s all just good fun to them! Here are six games that will help your child learn to swim.

  1. Talk To The Fish

The first step in learning to swim is getting comfortable in the water.  This is a great game to play with small children who are just starting their swim journey.

Pretend there are fish in the water. Explain to your child that fish blow bubbles and that you are going to blow bubbles to talk to the fish. Put your face in the water, blow bubbles, and come up smiling.

Then, tell your child you’re also going to listen to the fish by putting your ear to the water. Don’t forget to tell your child all the silly things the fish are saying.

Now, it’s your child’s turn. Give lots of praise when your child blows bubbles. Take turns talking to the fish and sharing all the funny things they say.

  1. Favorite Sea Creature

Most children love animals, and what better way to get them comfortable in the water than having them pretend to be one?  If you have multiple children, you can let them take turns choosing what type of water you’ll pretend to be in, and everyone picks aquatic creatures to be based on that.

Your children can be goldfish in a pond, sea turtles in the ocean, or minnows in a lake.  They’ll gain more comfort with the water, all while having a blast.

  1. Be The Seal

As your children begin getting comfortable with swimming, you can introduce a game in which all the children pretend to be seals.  Each little seal will need a beach ball.

Have the children line up at one end of the pool. Tell them that seals have to use their noses to move beach balls.  When you say go, they’ll need to get the beach ball to the other side of the pool, but they can only touch it with their noses!

The first child to make it to the other side wins.  If you want to make the game extra fun, get a pack of Swedish Fish, and give the winner a “sardine” when they reach the other side. Children will want to keep playing for their chance to get a sardine.

  1. Marco Polo

Marco Polo is an old favorite that you probably played yourself as a child. One person closes his or her eyes and is “it.” All the others swim around the pool and hide.

The person who is “it” calls out, “Marco!” Everyone else responds, “Polo!” The person who is “it” then moves around the pool, following the calls and tries to tag another swimmer. That person then becomes “it.”

This game helps build up stamina as the players move about the pool, and it’s a great group activity that your child can play with you, their siblings, or their friends.

  1. Under The Bridge

When your child has started swimming under water, using your legs to create a bridge for him or her to swim under can be great fun. Simply stand with your feet wide apart and have your child try to swim through your legs without touching them.

This helps your child learn directional control. Once your child has mastered going under the bridge with one adult, you can add two or even three.  Just make sure to increase the number gradually so your child is comfortable and can resurface easily.

  1. Treasure Hunt

Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt?  As your swimmer becomes more comfortable going underwater, you can place various objects on the pool floor. See how many your child can retrieve within a set timeframe.

Want to add a little friendly competition? Involve your child’s siblings or friends.  See who can retrieve the most within three minutes. Always make sure at least one adult is watching to keep the kids safe.

The best way to learn is by having fun. Games are a way for children to practice their swim skills, and the whole family can be involved.

Need a place to play water games with your child? Bear Paddle encourages our swimmers and their families to take part in our Family Swim. We’d love to see you there!