How do you help your kids build water confidence?
Most kids in the UK haven’t been doing much swimming over the winter because of the Covid lockdowns and many people are now thinking about booking a summer holiday, whether here in the UK or in a ‘green list’ country abroad.
Here’s the problem – if you’re going to be holidaying by the sea or somewhere with a pool then you might be starting to worry about your kids’ water confidence!
If you have young children, will you be able to relax in a villa with a pool without being afraid that one of your kids will fall in? Are you going to be on a beach? Will your kids have enough water confidence to enjoy splashing in the sea?
Here at PKS we make products for kids like colour bottle bands, personalised baby gifts uk and personalised bottle labels. We love everything to do with kids and we’re well aware that our kids have missed out on their swimming practice during the lockdown when the pools have been closed!
There’s still time to make a difference to your kids’ water confidence before the summer holidays are here! We’ve got a few ideas to help!
Crash course swimming lessons to build water confidence
It might seem obvious, but swimming lessons are a must to help your child build water confidence. It does take a few years for children to learn to swim and with the lockdowns it might take a little longer!
However you don’t have years before the summer, just months! And if you don’t already have your child enrolled in swimming lessons it can take a while to get on the list. So what can you do?
Many leisure centres and pools now offer crash courses in school half terms and holidays! These usually involve your child going to the pool for half an hour – 45 mins every day for a week. The frequency of these sessions can be super effective in helping your child build water confidence and can dramatically improve swimming ability!
These lessons usually aren’t too expensive, are fun and your kids can make new friends on the course too! It’s also an opportunity for mums or dads to meet other parents as well. Don’t forget your kids’ bottle note bands to clearly label their water bottles for swimming lessons!
Take your kids swimming
Even with lessons it’s the practice your kids do in between times that helps them build water confidence! Like anything else they learn during a lesson but they need to go away and practice to reinforce what has been taught!
Taking your kids swimming once a week or more can make a real difference both to their water confidence and also to their perception of the water. If you go with them and make it lots of fun, your kids will develop positive associations with the water and swimming. If you never go in the pool it can be harder for your kids to enjoy it!
When kids are really young it’s really important to go swimming with them and enjoy the time as a family.
After swimming kids are often hungry too and giving them a healthy snack that they enjoy can also build positive feelings towards swimming!
If you have younger kids, our personalised children’s cutlery set (uk) is ideal for taking out and about and perfect for helping kids eat a snack after swimming!
Try a family swim session
Once your kids are able to swim without flotation devices you could try going to a family swim session at your local pool – many have specific times for sessions with large floats, balls and even inflatables for families to enjoy together!
These are brilliant to build kids’ water confidence and a great time for them to have lots of fun with you! Of course you need to be in the water with them and keep a close eye on what’s going on but your kids will love splashing around and being pushed and pulled on the big floats!
These sessions are also a great way of helping your kids get used to being splashed and getting submerged in the water whilst enjoying themselves! Take along their water bottles clearly marked with a personalised silicone name band on the bottle and hydration will be on hand!
Get some floating toys!
There are lots of different floating toys you can buy that can make a swimming session more fun! You can buy floating animals and balls, rings and hoops. Little ones love a toy watering can – and this can really help them get used to having water on their faces!
Floating toys are great for helping your kids build water confidence because they encourage them to swim to get the toy. Having a toy to swim for is a real motivator especially if there is competition from another child or adult!
Get some sinkers
Once kids are happy with their faces under the water then sinking toys are brilliant at helping to build water confidence! They are great to swim down for and help kids develop the skill of swimming underwater and feeling comfortable being submerged. More advanced swimmers can race to get the sinkers and see who can collect the most the quickest!
Sinkers are a fantastic way to build water confidence and will help to burn loads of energy too!
Buy a float
Floats are common in swimming lessons but have you considered getting one for your kids to use when they go to the pool wth you?
Floats are brilliant for helping kids practise kicking both on their fronts and backs and also for learning front crawl breathing. Encourage your kids to take a breath, blow out into the water then turn their heads to one side and take another breath! Get your kids to try this while holding a float out in front and kicking their legs!
For younger kids who still need a flotation device there is now a whole range to choose from. Forget just being forced to accept the old style water wings, you might prefer an option that means you don’t have to spend ages blowing into a valve!
Traditional water wings can restrict arm movement – nowadays kids can choose rings or flotation jackets, even flotation fins and strap on floats. Rings can be doubled or tripled to give extra buoyancy and reduced as a child gets more proficient. Fins or strap on floats have the advantage of leaving the arms free for added splashing factor!
Parents should never of course leave a child who can’t swim in a pool on their own – should the flotation device come off then your child might not be able to swim.
Kids will love our personalised silicone name bands for bottles – perfect to pop onto a water bottle for taking to the pool!
Swimming with friends
There’s nothing more motivation for a child learning to swim than having a friend to swim with! You can get the kids to have races if they can already swim; they can dive for sinkers; they can simply enjoy lots of time splashing around together! A brilliant idea for a playdate if you’re confident to supervise two kids in the water. Having competition can really help your child improve their water confidence and it certainly makes it fantastic fun!
Teach your kids about beach safety
If you’re going to be heading to the beach, it’s a good idea to teach your kids a bit about beach safety – this will help build water confidence and might even prove invaluable if a tricky situation arises!
The RNLI have some brilliant videos for your child to watch on beach safety as well as lots of great advice on staying safe by the sea. Certainly worth showing your kids before you hit the beach!
If you follow some of our suggestions for helping build your kids’ water confidence then by the time the summer holidays come round your children should have regained any swimming skill lost during the lockdowns and added some more!
When it comes to water confidence in the pool or at the beach you can expect to feel much happier that you know their capabilities and you’ll feel less anxious about them being around water! Of course all children need to be watched carefully in or near any water whether they can swim or not.
We hope you enjoy going swimming with your kids to build water confidence so that when the summer holidays come around you’re all ready to have lots of splashing fun!
Have a look in our shop to see our range of personalised products for kids – perfect to take away with you on holiday!