Swimming is a valuable life skill, and the younger we learn, the easier it usually is. It is one of the best forms of exercise there is, building up flexibility, strength, and stamina. Not only this, being a confident swimmer can be a potentially life saving skill in the event of an accident.
Start with fun play sessions
Some children will naturally be happy and comfortable in the water, while others may need a bit of encouragement. Of course, what they are capable of will be affected by their age, and level of physical and emotional maturity. Until they are over two years old, babies should be simply held in the water and encouraged to splash and play.
Have the right equipment
If you are teaching your child in an outdoor pool or swimming lake, make sure they are kept warm and guard against hypothermia with some thermal baby clothes. Children over two or three years old may be able to use floatation aids, such as arm bands, rings, inflatable jackets, and floats.
Encourage coordinated movements
Once your child is four to five years old, they should be capable of developing coordinated movements, such as kicking their legs while holding a float or the side of the pool, and breathing out bubbles of air underwater. Of course, they still need constant adult supervision at this stage.
Book them a course of swimming lessons
A five-year-old who has mastered some skills such as leg kicks and bubble blowing will be ready for formal swimming lessons. If your child is a reluctant swimmer, look for lessons which allow you to accompany them in the water, at least for the first few sessions.
A professionally qualified instructor will be able to teach your child to move through the water effectively without assistance, as well as ensuring they are taught water safety skills.