Swim Skills at Bath Time
Incorporating swim skills year round is important in helping solidify basic swim skills. Since most families don't have access to a pool full-time, the bathtub is the perfect place for children, as young as 6 months, to practice getting comfortable in the water.
Practicing swimming skills during bath time can prepare your children for an easy transition when beginning to work with an instructor. Increase bath-time fun with your little ones by incorporating these activities and techniques:
1. Create a fun routine for your kids by making bath time a place for joy and learning. Prepare a towel, goggles, and their favorite toys so when real lessons begin they can remember their routine and feel comfortable and safe.
2. Practice blowing bubbles in the tub using games, songs, and toys to help them learn breath control. You can also practice submerging their heads so they get used to the sensation. Try wetting different parts of the face, before trying to immerse the whole head.
3. The bathtub is a great and safe environment to teach unassisted floating. Start by lying your child on their back and holding them in a floating position while helping them relax. As your child starts to gain confidence, slowly practice letting go while they are in the back float position. Practicing this skill early on can help teach your child how to stay calm in emergency situations.
4. Using certain cue words and actions strengthen your child's memory in practicing basic skills. Words like “kick, splash, scoop, and bubbles” are great to use when demonstrating or helping them complete certain movements. These word associations can also prepare them to pick up the same cues from their instructors.
Combining all these practices during bath time will without a doubt get your child excited for the next step in their swim journey. Rub-a-dub-dub, let's start swimming lessons in the tub!