5 Swimming Games for Babies and Toddlers
Our twins love the water. They have loved the water since they were infants. They took swim lessons, but we also liked to play with them in the pool to practice swimming and just have fun.
Here are some fun and easy ways to play with toddlers and preschoolers in the water.
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5 Pool Games for Pre-Swimmers
1. Ball Throw & Swim
This is pretty straightforward. Bring some waterproof balls that float to the pool. Have your child throw them and then swim after them. For kids that aren’t super motivated to practice kicking in the water, having something to chase after can be helpful.
2. Kick Slow, Kick Fast
Usually we play this while they hold on to the side, but you could also do it while you are holding on to your toddler. We say we are going to practice kicking and then we ask if they want to start by going fast or slow. Then we kick fast together saying kick kick kick kick quickly. Then someone calls out stop. And then we say kick…kick…kick…slowly.
3. Water Peekaboo
We make a game of putting our faces under the water. Hold your child in front of you, bob your head under the water and say “peekaboo” when you pop up. Encourage them to do the same.
4. Gather the Floaties
Bring a bucket and a few floating toys. Maybe a family of ducks or two little boats. Pour them into the water and let them float away a little. Similar to the “Ball Throw & Swim,” you are swimming to the items with your little one, grabbing the object, but this time instead of throwing it you are swimming back to put it in the bucket. This game provides good opportunities to practice using arms and legs in the water, but also gives you a chance to practice counting as you gather the objects.
5. Sing Songs
When our little bambini took swimming lessons, our instructor sang “The Royal Duke of York” with us in the water. There is also the old favorite “Motor Boat.” We’ve also invented our own song, sung to the tune of the Wheels on the Bus.
The Baby in the Water
The baby in the water goes splash splash splash, splash splash splash, splash splash splash. The baby in the water goes splash, splash, splash, when we play in the pool.
The baby in the water goes kick, kick, kick…. (kicking legs)
The baby in the water goes blub, blub, blub… (blowing bubbles)
The baby in the water falls fast asleep… (floating on back)