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Fun swimming games for toddlers

Anna Grimsrud
Now that your child is learning to swim, you’re going to want to keep them entertained in the pool – and teach them swimming skills at the same time. Here are a few of our favourite games.
In this article you will find: 
  • Fun ways to teach your little one how to swim
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There’s nothing better than a refreshing dip on a hot summer’s day. And if you love the water, you’re going to want to make sure you have a water baby. 
A love of water begins with bath time.  Most babies love their baths – and let’s be honest, so do parents.  It signals the end of another day and that there might even be some adult time in the near future. Allow your child to splash and dribble water on their face to familiarize them with the sensation.
Ready for the pool? Here are some fun games to try:
  1. Chook a trains
Have your child hold onto the edge of the pool while you support them with a knee under their bottom. Get them to walk their hands along the side of the pool, tracing the edge. Shuffle along to one side and then back.
  1. Wheels on the bus
A classic song: the pool version. Sit on the step of the pool with your toddler sitting in your lap facing away from you. Singing Wheels on the bus, make the wheel motion with their hands under water.  Following with other verses including the motor on the bus goes [blow bubbles here], the children on the bus stand up and sit down, and more of your own creative versions.
  1. Ring a rosie
Have your child sit on a pool noodle, boogie board or floating toy. Sing this traditional song and when they all fall down, have your child fall into the pool holding your arms. No need to duck them underwater, just allow them to fall forwards.
  1. Kick to a toy
Have a little or a big object to swim to. With a hand on each side of their chest and your toddler in a swimming position, move them towards the object but only when they kick.  They more they kick, the faster you move towards the toy.
  1. Look at the birdies in the sky
Introduce them to the buoyancy of water and the sensation of floating. You’re your toddler’s head on your shoulder and support them, staying still and calmly floating. Using one hand above their face, wiggle your fingers and pretend it’s a bird to distract them. Walk calmly around the pool, supporting their floating body while they look up towards the sky.
All of these games may sound like they need a shallow pool, but really the key ingredient is an enthusiastic and confident adult. Be silly, get wet, and enjoy.

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