Most young swimmers are scared of putting their face underwater when they start swim lessons. This is perfectly normal and something we will work on to help them overcome.
One of the skills we do to help them combat this fear is blowing bubbles.
When kids blow bubbles in swim lessons it might look like a simple and playful skill—and it is—but they’re also learning the foundations of comfort in the water and breath control, which will set them up for success later.
Why do we teach swimmers how to blow bubbles?
Blowing bubbles is an important safety skill that teaches children breath control. Learning how to blow bubbles is the foundation for swimmers knowing how to breathe once they start learning swim strokes.
If a swimmer doesn’t learn how to breathe correctly, they tend to hold their breath once they start swimming longer distances. Holding their breath—instead of blowing bubbles—will make them even more tired and can be potentially dangerous.
When blowing bubbles, It’s important that swimmers breathe out through their nose underwater and breathe in through their mouth when they come up for air. Most kids are developmentally ready to learn this around three years old.
Young Swimmers Blowing Bubbles
We teach our younger swimmers to blow bubbles with their mouth. We practice this drill to help build their confidence putting their face in the water. Many kids can be fearful or hesitant at putting their face in the water, so blowing bubbles gives them something else to focus on, and it’s fun!
Most children under three will hold their breath underwater. This is fine because they are only doing short distances and primarily working on safety skills.
How to help your child learn to blow bubbles
Our swim instructors will work with your child to help them learn how to blow bubbles in the water but there are some things you can do at home:
- Give your child a glass of water and a straw. Practice blowing bubbles through the straw.
- Have them blow air out onto their hand. This helps them get the feel of blowing out.
- Give them a bubble wand and let them blow those kinds of bubbles.
- Let them blow out a candle.
- Have them submerge their face in the bathtub and blow bubbles during bathtime.
Here’s a video of what blowing bubbles looks like for younger swimmers. This is the very first step and the beginning of him building confidence to do it on his own!