Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks 2nd among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. (1. CDC)
We all know how important it is to teach all those young little whippersnappers how to swim. Water is everywhere and there is only so much we can do to ensure the absolute best water safety. A good start – teaching fun swim lessons!
There are certainly many different approaches to teach swimming. While dunking your child underwater and pushing them towards the steps may be cathartic, there is a better way. Follow the easy and fun tips below to make the experience more enjoyable for you and most importantly, your children!
6 Tips That Will Make Every Swim Lesson Fun:
1. Show the children that you care! It is extremely important to ease young children into the process. Take some time and allow them to get to know you. Make it fun! Once you can see that they are comfortable, time to get in the pool. Hold their hands in and out of the pool and let them get used to the water.
2. Be Positive! Nothing beats positive reinforcement when learning something new. Creating a positive environment will cause a higher comfort level between you and the child, which will make the lesson more enjoyable. Smile, Laugh, Splash REPEAT!
3. Have an age – appropriate curriculum. Not all children are the same size nor will they be equally strong. Always take this into consideration when children are first learning. This means certain skills and drills need to be molded to the younger children (2s, 3s, and 4s). Learning takes time. Be patient!
4. Make learning fun, not enforced. Children are not always going to pick up the new skills you teach them. Think about it…they are learning something that is completely foreign to them! So instead of showing frustration, show PRAISE! Always let them know they are doing a great job and that you can see improvements.
5. Learning = Play. Why would children want to come back to swim lessons if it wasn’t fun? Exactly, they wont! Learning to swim can be a whole lot of fun. Crazy right? It may not be all smiles and laughs, but it is always rewarding to hear the kids tell their parents how much fun swimming with Coach “Insert your name.”
6. Keep the parents up to date and educated. It is not always true that the child can swim on their own if they are in swim lessons. Make sure you continue to educate the parents on their child’s improvement. Also, relay some of the swimming drills that have been worked on – it can go a long way. Who says that you can’t practice at home or in the bath tub?
*BONUS* Use fun toys like noodles, kickboards and pull buoys to help them wean off those life jackets that they may heavily rely on!
Now it’s time to go have fun teaching those kids and truly enjoy making a difference that will last a lifetime!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. [cited 2012 May 3]. Available from: URL:http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars.
- Swim Lessons University