One of the best parts of any getaway that takes you to the beach or pool is actually getting in the water, whether that means splashing around and diving under the waves, or just enjoying floating in the calm water on your back.
Vacation is the perfect time for kids to learn how to become confident swimmers in the pool or on the beach. But making sure new swimmers have fun in the water while also having peace of mind that they can hold their own both in the deep end and in the waves takes a bit of work. Here are a few tips that will help even the littlest swimmers have full confidence in their water-treading abilities and get them cannon-balling off the diving board in no time.
The hardest part of teaching a brand new swimmer is convincing them to get their face in the water. It goes against all instincts. But once they finally do it and realize they can hold their breath, blow bubbles and see underwater, they won't be so scared anymore. You can help ease this transition by making it a fun game that focuses on just one easy aspect.
Smiling eye contact is essential, even when your mouth’s underwater, so sunglasses are a definite no-no for this one.
The best perk of teaching kids to swim while on vacation is getting to hang out in hot, sunny weather with warm water where you have plenty of space, as opposed to a crowded pool at home.
Even if the weather’s sunny, have a towel handy to wrap kids in for instant warmth and comfort as soon as they come out of the water.
Putting your head in the water for the first time and learning to splash around is already pretty shocking. Avoid any setbacks by minimizing shock value and being clear and upfront at all times.
Don’t force any moves if kids aren’t completely ready. Take a break from the pool, do something different and then come back and try again.
No surprise to find children get pretty attached to floaties. If you need proof, try to persuade a novice swimmer to let go of one. So think swim jackets with removable floats instead. Kids wear them, so their arms are free and swimming feels like swimming right away. It’s easier for you to get in close and create a sense of comfort. Plus, discretely taking away floats as they progress, won’t cause instant panic.
Even kids who swim never notice they’re too tired in the water, until they are. Swim Jackets are an excellent coping mechanism for those times and the high-vis back lets you spot your own little fish fast in crowded pools.
It's hard to put yourself in a kids shoes and see just how scary even the baby pool or shallow end can seem. Try to remember their perspective and have understanding that for them, this might as well be the deep ocean.
It’s amazing how many kids don’t know they can stand up in the pool. Make it your mission to have that basic comfort-zone pointed out as soon as possible, it really does help.
Nothing will make a kid miserable and not want to try swimming again like too much learning too soon, tummy cramps or sore ears. To ensure kids have the best time possible, take a few easy precautionary measures and make sure you're tuned in and listening to any discomfort they might be experiencing.
Disposable silicone or wax earplugs, designed for babies and young kids, won’t harm delicate ears and will keep water out. Look for hypo-allergenic and organic brands.