Children's Swim Exercises  

by Pool Builders on 08-12-2007 in Articles

Here are some fun children's swim exercises you can do with your
child to prepare her for the first swim lesson or as "homework"
for her swim lesson. These swim exercises are not meant to be
a substitute for swim lessons.

Beginner Swimmers
Blow bubbles - Your child can hold the pool edge, hold
your hands or sit in the shallows of a beach. The child can put
just their mouth in the water or up to their whole head. For a
child who is nervous try holding some water in your cupped hands
and have them blow into that.

Dunking - Have your child dunk their face or head. Try
dunking with them & see who can do 3, 5, 10 in a row. Do not
force your child to put their face in the water as this may make
them more anxious about swimming. For the nervous swimmer start
with dunking the chin, then work up to the nose & eyes. Remind
your child to hold their breath or blow bubbles while under water.

Jacques Cousteau - Have him/her try to touch the bottom
of the swimming pool or beach with his/her hands or feet. If the
water is too deep for them to touch, try holding a toy or hand
under water & have him/her touch that. This is a good way
to help a child put their face into the water. Goggles can be
a good way to "bribe" him/her to go under water. Finding
goggles to fit a child's face can be tough, read our swim goggles

Bubbles Everywhere - While sitting on the swimming pool
edge or in shallow water have your child kick his/her legs up
& down making bubbles and waves. Remind your child to keep
their knees almost completely straight & ankle loose or floppy.
Add a ball or float to the water in front of the child's legs.
See how far he/she can push the ball away with a powerful kick.

Intermediate (only use exercises that contain
skills he/she has already learned in lessons)

Superman - The child floats in a prone, straight position
with their face in the water, like Superman. Having him/her pushing
off a wall or running in the shallows to start may help. For a
nervous child try holding the child by the waist or his/her outstretched
arms. Remind your child to push down his/her shoulder & chin
to help bring up their rear end.

Superman with kicking - Similar to the previous exercise
but now have the child kick. The kick should be with straight
legs & the feet should not come out of the water past the
heel. To help motivate your swimmer stand a few feet in front
while him/her float & kick to you. Try holding your swimmer's
hand and kick together.

Motorboat - The swimmer holds a noodle or other float
and kicks across the water while blowing bubbles making the sound
of a motor boat. If you have a kickboard have the child do kicking
with the board. Now place a toy on the center of the board and
have the child kick while keeping the toy on his/her "boat"

Advanced (only use exercises that contain
skills he/she has already learned in lessons)

Kicking on their back - Have your child float on his/her
back while slowly kicking. You can help by supporting them by
the shoulders. Remind the child to push back their shoulders &

Chicken Wing- Have your swimmer swim with "chicken
wings" by putting his/her hands in their armpits & swimming
with just their elbows or wings. This will help them turn their
bodies and raise their elbows out of the water.

Rotary Breathing - Have your child show you how they breath
to the side as they swim. Another variation is using a noodle,
kickboard or float. Have your swimmer float, kick & breath
without the arm stroke. Their arm on their breathing side should
be kept by their side & their other hand holds the float.

Backstroke - Have your swimmer show you their backstroke.
To challenge them, have them try to balance a cup or small toy
on their forehead as they swim backstroke.

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