Ready, Set, Swim!

If you’ll be making a lot of trips to the swimming pool for lessons this summer, do yourself a favor and put together a kit of supplies you’ll take with you every time you go. Make a list and keep it with your pool kit. Check the list before you go to the pool, and replenish the supplies when you get home.

Prepare to Get into the Pool

Before you get into the swimming pool, gather the toys, equipment and clothing you’ll need, and plan what you’ll do. This post will focus on the toys and equipment you’ll need.

Toys and equipment

Depending on what skills you’ll be practicing, you might want to bring toys that will help you to teach your kids to swim. They can be specialized, or they can just be things you have around the house.

Washcloths and hand towels are great for providing a cool, comfortable place for your child to sit on the edge of the pool. They’re also good for games.

Coins serve not only as something to retrieve from the bottom of the pool but also as built-in motivation to retrieve it.

Foam noodles and rings for the pool can be great teaching tools, but you can also use toys that aren’t designed specifically for swimming, such as regular balls and other toys. Just make sure you know which ones float and which ones sink.

Dog toys are great for kids to play with in the pool. They come in a huge variety of sizes and fun shapes.

Whatever objects you use, make sure that they’re appropriate for your child’s developmental level.

Tools like kickboards, inflatable armbands, and fins can be useful for getting kids to feel comfortable and confident in the water, but they also have downsides:

  • They can give your child too much confidence. You don’t want to experience the moment when your child, not yet water safe, jumps into the pool because he forgot that he didn’t have his armbands on.
  • They don’t teach kids to swim. Being in the water without one of these tools doesn’t feel the same as being in the water with them; time spent using them isn’t helping with actual swimming skills.
  • They can become a crutch. If you don’t ditch them early enough in the learning process, your child will start to feel uncomfortable in the water without them and won’t be willing to give them up easily.

2 Replies to “Ready, Set, Swim!”

  1. At first I didn’t know what the site was going to be about. As I started reading, it seemed to be about learning to swim. It seemed to jump about randomly until I read the “about” page. Then I got perspective about the purpose of the site. I humbly suggest that the “about”page should come first, then the “home” page makes more sense. When I figured out that there was book, it made even more sense. I would have known that if I had read the “about” page first. Other then the order of the material, I think its great. If only I had a kid and a pool, I would buy the book.

  2. Great suggestions for getting ready for the pool! The toys and equipment will keep things fun and be a good distraction in moments of timidity. Going to start stocking the pool bag today.

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