swim lesson activities to do at home

Swim lessons are a great way for children to learn how to be safe and have fun in and around the water. Children who are comfortable in water often find themselves able to enjoy swim lessons and progress well through them. Whether your child is new to swim lessons or has taken many, there are several fun activities that can be done at home to get more comfortable with water, prepare for swim lessons, and practice important skills.


Playing with toys during bath time makes it fun! The same is true at the pool. One way to help children acclimate to the pool is by introducing a pool toy at bath time that can also be taken to the pool. Having a familiar toy in the water with them can help ease the new experience at the pool.


In the water, control of one’s breathing is an important skill. A great way for children to learn breath control is by blowing bubbles – a skill often practiced during swim lessons. At home, blowing bubbles can be done in the bathtub or by using a wide cup or bowl filled with water. Using a bubble wand with solution is also a fun way for children to practice this skill.


Being able to control how fast or slow air is exhaled from the lungs is also an important skill in the water. Aside from blowing bubbles, a great way to practice breath control is a game that includes filling a large dish with water, floating a ping pong ball (or similar item), and having the child blow through the straw to move the ball across the water. Children should be carefully supervised when using a straw.


When children take swim lessons, they will be asked to practice skills in the pool where they will likely get splashed or where they will need to put at least part of their face in the water. This is often much more pleasant for children who are already accustomed to having water on their face. A great way to ease them into this at home is by using water from the shower. Holding their breath, children can then practice putting their face into the running water. This a way for them to practice getting their face wet while allowing them to control when it happens. Children can also do this with goggles. Once comfortable with this skill, they can also practice in the bathtub.


For a new swimmer, it can be difficult to adjust to the feeling of having water in the ears. A fun way to practice is by listening to the way something sounds underwater. In the bathtub, children can try tapping the side of the tub to see how it sounds out of the water. Then they can place an ear in the water and tap again to see how the sound is different and muted. When children are comfortable with having one ear underwater, they can try this exercise with both ears submerged.


Kicking the legs alternately is often an unfamiliar experience for younger children learning to swim. This is something that can be learned any time at home or while strapped into a carseat. Making it into a game, like “red light, green light,” is a fun way for children to practice kicking alternately while also following instructions. When “green light” is called, they should kick fast. With “red light,” they should stop. With “yellow light,” they should kick slowly.


Children who are already comfortable in the water can also benefit from practicing certain skills away from the pool. The link below provides several great activities that can be done any time at home, either on dry land or in the bathtub. Click here for more exercises that help develop better technique, balance, and endurance while swimming and are a great way to supplement lessons in the pool!