Most parents want to know how long it will take before their child knows how to swim. Every child learns differently, so we don’t have a standard time frame. But one thing we do know is the more you practice swimming, the quicker you’ll get it down. Practicing in the water, even the bathtub is going to be the most beneficial, but there are also several ways that your swimmer can practice their swimming skills on land.
Encourage your kids to kick on land—just make sure little brother isn’t behind them—so they can kick better in the water. Have them lie on their belly on the ground and kick their legs one at a time without bending their knees. Have them start slowly to make sure their form is good. They can speed it up once they have the right movement down. Practicing long, stretchy legs at home can help them transition to stretchy legs in the water.
Blowing bubbles is an important safety skill that teaches children breath control. At lunchtime, give your kids a glass of milk and a straw. Have them blow bubbles through the straw and explain to them how it works. They can use this same movements to blow bubbles in the water.
Some kids are fearful of jumping into the water. Make this a fun activity to practice outside of lessons by having your little one jump from low surfaces. The goal is to have them jump far out, away from the pool wall and into the water. Make it fun by having them start on a couch and jump out onto a set of cushions. Show them how far they can jump so they know they can do it into the water too.
Climb Ins and Outs
For kids who are just learning to climb, you can practice safe water entries and exits on the couch. Let them get up and down with your assistance. They’ll build strength and learn the motions it takes to climb in and out of the water.
Backstroke on a ball
For those swimmers who are learning the backstroke, have them lie down with a balance ball under their back, so they are lying on the ball. Have them keep their feet on the ground and move their arms in the backstroke position.