How to Teach Your Child to Swim: 6 Steps - MakeSureHow
Edit Article

Solid swimming skills will serve a child throughout a lifetime.

Some kids seem part amphibian with the way they take to water. If your little one enjoys splashing in the pool, teaching him to swim might be a logical activity to encourage his love of water. Although it’s beneficial to encourage swimming skills in a youngster, water safety always involves adequate supervision during pool play. Once your child learns to swim, you can enjoy a dip in the wet stuff, splashing and plunging with vigor.


  1. 1
    Give your little one time to acclimate to the water at his own pace. Let him sit on the edge or on the steps and feel the coolness of the water. Show him how to splash with his hands and feet. Take a deep breath, dip your mouth under the water and show him how to blow bubbles. Ask him if he wants to try blowing bubbles, too. If he does, tell him to take a deep breath, hold it and blow it out under water. Hand out a high-five after he blows a few bubbles successfully.
  2. 2
    Encourage your youngster to hold his breath and put his face in the water, realizing that this is a pretty monumental undertaking for him. Show him first, by taking a deep breath, closing your mouth and dipping your face down into the water. Stay there for about one or two seconds and then come back up again with a big smile on your face. Tell your little one that it’s his turn, saying that you know he can do it. Remind him to take a big breath, close his mouth and dip his face into the water.
  3. 3
    Practice back floating with your little fishy (er, child), while supporting his upper body. It’s normal for him to be nervous about this, but reassure him that you won’t let go of him. Get his body prone on the surface of the water while you support his shoulders and head with your arm. Keep talking and encouraging him as he floats, reminding him to keep his body flat with his toes poking up from the water. Keep working on back floats until your child feels comfortable and can float on his back without your help.
  4. 4
    Next, work on front floats and gliding. Show your little one how to stretch his body out flat on the surface of the water, arms out in front and legs straight. Hold him around his tummy to support him and encourage him to take a big breath and put his face down in the water for a second or two to float. Work up to the point where you can watch him perform a front float without supporting him. Once he gets floating down, get him set up in front float position and have him push off from the wall to glide. Keep working on this; it takes practice.
  5. 5
    Position yourselves at the wall of the pool to work on kicking. Show your little one how to stretch his body out perpendicular to the pool wall with his arms outstretched, yet still holding onto the wall. Demonstrate a simple flutter kick and have him try it. Encourage lots of splashing water so he gets the idea and give lots of praise for his kicking. Suggest that he dip his face down into the water to practice holding his breath while he kicks.
  6. 6
    Add arm strokes and kicking to the front glide. Tell your little one to make a scoop out of his hands as he moves each arm to stroke. Sitting on the edge of the pool, show him what arm strokes look like and then ask him to try it. Once he gets the idea, work on it in the water while standing right there to support him as needed. Encourage some flutter kicking, too. Before you know it, your little one will be swimming like a pro.

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

Did this article help you?


an Author!

Write an Article