As your 5-year old now possesses improved motor skills and coordination, he/she is better prepared to try a hand at swimming. They can also follow instructions well now and step by step coaching can take them a long way.
All parents should consider adding swimming to their children’s skill set, as it is an important safety skill for life and aids in their emotional and physical development.
While it takes a lot of patience and consistency to learn how to swim, here are some tips to help you feel more prepared knowing what to do and what to expect.
- Adults must always be vigilant and never leave their child unattended. Do not depend solely on a lifeguard or coach.
- Allow kids to swim only in designated areas.
- Clear demarcation of the pool depths makes it easier for learning kids to avoid the deep end.
- Don’t allow kids to push or jump or dive as it can cause serious accidental injury.
- Applying sunscreen can help your child from painful sunburns. Check for SPF that is right for your child.
- Ensure that the pool is clean and well maintained.
- Your child should be in good health as starting swimming lessons can otherwise trigger infections and cold/ cough.
Correct swimming costume
- Swim caps, goggles and swim wear should always be worn inside the pool as they each have a purpose to serve.
- Swim suits should be flexible and not retain too much water.
- Keep a spare change of clothes and towel in your bag.
Swimming is not just a summer recreational activity. Learning to swim confidently, generally takes a year long regular class.
Keep it simple
Avoid technical terms and outline step by step instructions. Clear and simple instructions like ‘put your face in the water’ or ‘hold your breath’ will make it faster for your child to understand and follow.
Avoid floatation devices
Floatation devices like rings and arm bands do not help your child how to swim. Your child might end up depending on these devices to float rather than learn to float on their own.
Make it fun
Pairing pool games and activities with learning allows you to lengthen the session and learn while having fun. Games like coin chasing and hungry whale are some of the popular games.
Kids feel more engaged and have fun when they are motivated with words of appreciation
Your child can swim like a fish one day and resist even going into the water another day. Pushing and comparing your child to others is only a step in the wrong direction.