Summer is round the corner and it is the time for playing beside the water. Whether if it is at the pool, the beach or a lake, water is always a fun outdoorsy way to spend their time when the weather is great. They can put a lot of energy on it and play with other kids or siblings. But it is also true that whenever there is water involved in the game is always a risk.

Even when they can be wearing some safety protections like floaties or swim vests, we as parents always will feel more in peace if we know that they can swim in case an accident happens. Of course that would never mean that they can be playing in the water without an adult supervision, but it makes things so much safer.

How to teach a toddler to swim

Then, when and how can we start teaching our little ones to swim to make sure that their summer play times are safe?

Swimming comes naturally to younger babies, in fact, swimming lessons are recommended for children from 12 months old.

We can start by making our babies comfortable with water during the bath time. This will help them later on to trust us and ease their learning process in the water. We can start the swimming lessons at any point from there, but it’s always a good idea to make some research, find the best place for us to bring our kids to swimming lessons and find out the beginning age they recommend.

In the meantime, there are some fun ways to help your toddler to start getting some basic swimming skills.

The fishing game

To help your little one to develop a fast and strong-arm motion, you can play a fishing game. You would only need a little pool that would allow your kid to crawl while keeping the head out of the water. We would just have to drop some little toy fishes in the water and ask our child to catch them while being “in the water”. It is a fun game that will help the arm movement in the water while getting our little one comfortable in the water.

The kicking game

This game will help them better their leg kicking and propulsion for when the actual swimming time comes.

While your kid holds on to you and feels safe, ask him or her to shake and kick those legs to move around, so you can pull them around in the water faster if they go faster and slower if they kick in a slower motion. If they are a little older, they can hold on to the edge of the pool or the stairs and kick strong by themselves.

Make bubbles game

Bubbles are fun to see and catch, but they are also a lot of fun to make ourselves. Also, who else makes bubbles under the water?? Fishes do! So ask your little ones to play pretend being fishes and in a shallow pool or the bathtub make some bubbles first with their mouth and then with their nose. Just make sure to teach them to first take some air in and then push it out through their nose and see the bubbles come out, like fishies do.

This game will help your kid to start working on their breathing control skills, holding air and avoiding breathing or swallowing water. This is definitely an important step to stay safe around the water.

There are many games and little exercises that you can do to help your toddler to be safer around the water. But it’s always a good idea to have them using some safety tool like floating vests to help them for a while until they feel confident and you too.