Many toddlers are a little hesitant to get into the water, and sometimes even frightened. A perfect way to help them relax and become more comfortable with the water is to play pool games with them! Here are some simple games they can play.
Ping Pong Pickup
In a pool shallow enough for them to stand in, drop a number of ping pong balls into the water. Have your child retrieve the balls and place them into a cup, while using a plastic spoon. To make it more challenging, you could draw different symbols/values on the balls and have them collect it in a particular order.
"Boat Race" is another simple game to make your toddler comfortable with having their body in the water. You could have children race each other, or you could playfully race against your own child. Though ideally played with plastic boats, you could use any small floating toy. Tie a piece of string to each boat and have the children pull their boat across the wading pool to see who has the "fastest ship".
Talking to the Fishies
Once your toddler is happy being in the water, the next step would be to get them used to putting their face in the water. "Talking to the Fishies" does exactly this, while also teaching them to blow bubbles underwater. Have you child stand in the wading pool, then instruct them to put their face into the water and "talk to the fishies". After talking (and naturally blowing bubbles), have them raise their head and put their ear near the water’s surface to see if they can hear a response!
Rescue the Object
Once your child is comfortable "talking to the fishies," they can take it a step further with this game. Choose a pool that is shallow enough for them to stand on their own, but deep enough for to be fully submerged when bent over. Drop an object into the water, preferably something bright or is of interest to your child. First, you will need to teach them to hold their breath at the count of three. One they understand this, count to three and have them "rescue" their object. If they have difficulty, you can assist them by lifting the toy halfway to the surface.
What We Do
At the Noodies Swim School, we understand that some children may take time to become comfortable in the water. That’s why instead of pushing them to do drills, we introduce fun games such as these. Without realising it, they actually develop essential swimming skills and start associating the water with fun!