Laughter and enjoyment are the gateways into a child’s heart, so I always use pool games as a way to introduce water safety activities to kids. Here are a few of my favorites because they are effective for teaching toddlers important swim safety lessons, and the kids have a blast playing them. These games can be enjoyed by all swim skill levels with adult supervision – always remember to keep an eye on children in the pool during any swim activity.
Simon Says (allows you to practice a variety of water survival skills)
This is the game played in parks and backyards, brought into the pool. Call out a swim safety skill: “Simon says do a back float.” “Simon says get your face wet.” “Hold the wall and get back to the steps!” Anyone who answers a command without “Simon says…” has to sit on the steps.
Red Light, Green Light (teaches comfort and movement in the water)
Another one brought in from the playground, line the kids up opposite: “Green light!” allows the kids to come to toward you as fast as they can, “Red light!” means they have to stop and anyone who doesn’t goes back to the start. Each round you can change the way the kids get across the pool: the first round is paddling in the water with a swim noodle, second round use a kickboard, third round walk with faces in the water…
Timed Treasure Dive (teaches comfort underwater and holding breath)
Scatter dive toys on the bottom of the shallow end and take turns: each player has to the count of five to get as many toys as possible.
These water safety ideas for kids also teach toddlers and children to listen to instructions and carefully follow specific rules, a valuable skill to develop both in and out of the water. Swim safety for kids is meant to be fun for adults too, so parents and caregivers go ahead and jump in and enjoy yourselves!
Kathleen McMordie is an Infant Aquatic Survival Lead Instructor and water safety specialist located in Katy, Texas. Show owns a full-service aquatic facility, called Texas Swim Academy. Through a variety of programs, Kathleen and her staff of instructors at Texas Swim Academy strive to introduce children to water at an early age through INFANT AQUATICS, and to fully develop their swim stroke abilities through adulthood through STROKE DEVELOPMENT.
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