How to Teach Kids to Swim: 100% Safe Guides

Many parents spend pretty pennies to sign up their kids for swimming lessons and it sounds nice. But it’s going to be more fun if you become a personal swim instructor for your kids. Not only does it help them learn swimming basics, but it also strengthens your relationship. But before taking your junior to the swimming pool, be sure you know how to teach kids to swim the right way.

Nobody says that helping kids learn to swim is easy, moreover if they’re afraid of water. But with a little effort, you can be a great instructor even if you don’t have a certificate. Keep scrolling and learn more how to teach child to swim right here.

The Advantages of Swimming for Kids

Why would you teach and encourage kids to swim? Before proceeding further on how to teach your kid to swim, it’s important to know why learning swimming can be useful.

Not only for parenting purposes, swimming is a fun activity that offers potential benefits for physical and mental health, not to mention it has been known to be a more effective workout than other activities like running or walking.

For kids, swimming offers a lot of excitement as they can splash around, jump, and play with water as much as they can.

Here are some significant benefits of swimming for kids so you can be more motivated to learn how to teach kids to swim.

Promote Physical Health

Swimming involves the movement of upper and lower limbs, allowing the kids to improve body flexibility and gain stronger muscles.

It’s also a great cardiovascular workout that helps promote the health of heart and lung, as well as improve posture and balance. Additionally, it can be a perfect workout to prevent obesity in childhood.

Improve Mental Health

Many children are afraid of water. Encouraging them to take to water can help them cope with fear and improve their confidence. With the right instructions, the children can relax and enjoy the comfort of natural buoyancy.

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When they start to enjoy the feeling, it can improve their emotional health and overall mood. It’s also a great way to fight against depression.


Learning how to teach kids to swim helps save a life. The fact that drowning causes lots of death for children, teaching how to swim to your kids helps them survive in the water.

If they accidentally fall into a pool or play too far on a beach, they know how to swim to save their lives. As a bonus, your kids might be able to help others.

Improve Social Skills

After your kids master swimming basics, they can swim together with friends. Not only is it exciting, but it also improves their social skills.

They can get involved in a group and share things in common, allowing them to learn how to communicate and interact with their peers.

How to Teach Kids to Swim at Every Age


Now that you know the benefits of swimming for kids, it’s time to find out how to teach kids to swim. There are some things to note before plunging yourself to the pool and act like a professional swim instructor.

But, keep in mind, just like teaching other basic skills such as Get Your Child Stop Lying, teach kids to swim needs extra patience for parents.

When you learn how to teach child how to swim, keep in mind that different age requires different teaching technique. Of course, you can’t submerge a 1-year old tot and let them swallow plenty of water.

Or, you keep a 9-year old in your arm just because he’s afraid of water. In simpler words, use the right technique for the right age.

How to teach kids to swim the right way? If you want to be a good instructor and make them feel comfortable with water, here are the best swim lessons according at every age.

Age 1 to 2

This might be their first experience with a large amount of water. When your tots are afraid, it’s completely normal. Use step by step approach to introduce your kids to the water and don’t push them to get into the water until they are ready.

You can try some fun activities like bobbing around while singing song, playing games or splashing around. At this stage, swimming is not the goal. Instead, you have to make the children feel comfortable in and around the water.

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How to teach kids to swim at this age is rather tricky but it’s worth the effort—the earlier they start, the better. Whatever activities you do, be sure to keep safety in mind. Always keep your tot in your arms and don’t submerge.

Always dress them in a swim diaper to prevent fecal matter from leaking. It’s also necessary to be aware of water hazards like buckets or inflatable baby pools.

Age 2 to 3

At this age, your children will be more attracted to water and they become more active. But still, they must be supervised and held. During a swimming lesson, you can play gentle games that encourage them to move arms.

Try to throw a ball and ask them to reach for it. Or, you can make them float by supporting their back.

Show them how to make bubbles in the water and wet their faces. Make sure they don’t swallow water when doing it. After a few exercises, they will be able to do it. To make it more fun, blow more bubbles together and see how they enjoy it.

How to teach kids to swim at this stage isn’t that tricky as your tots already feel comfortable in the water. It’s a good thing but you have to be aware that they might think they can swim by themselves.

Be sure not to leave them without supervision. You can also tell them not to go into the water without you. In the event you play with some toys, don’t leave them in the pool as they may be tempted to take it.

Age 4 to 5

By this age, your kids’ coordination are developing. They already have experience with water so you can proceed to the next step. How to teach your child to swim at this stage is more complex as the goal is to make them swim.

Start with shallow water and ask them to float independently. You don’t need to support their back or stomach, especially if they have got these lessons earlier. Submerge their head underwater and count to five. Improve the counting as they get used to it.

For the next lesson, have them change position from standing to swimming and glide, move arms and kick to develop water skills.

How to teach kids to swim safely at this age? You don’t have to hold the kids but make sure they are supervised. Patience is also needed to be a great personal instructor as your kids may refuse to follow your instruction.

Don’t expect your kids will be fish in one day. Try to understand their feelings and don’t push them to do the activity until they’re ready.

Age 6 and Older

As your children grow older, they have a lot of experience in and around the water. They can submerge their head, hold breath for longer period, and jump into the water.

They are also able to take objects at the bottom of the pool. With this capabilities, you can develop their skills and teach swimming strokes.

The first swimming stroke you can introduce is freestyle that includes three components: breathing, arms, and legs. How to teach kids to swim with this stroke? It may seem easy but introducing this stroke won’t be that simple.

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Begin with asking the children to kick their feet—this is the easiest way to start with freestyle. Kick with pointed toes and straight legs. You can help correct the posture or position if necessary. Next, have them move their arms.

Instruct them to keep their fingers closed to pull water back. Tell them stronger arms can speed up kids’ movement in the water.

The next step of how to teach your kid to swim is giving a breathing lesson. Many children usually stop and stand up to breathe, that is totally fineas breathing is the hardest part of freestyle stroke.

But you need to encourage the kids to lift their heads instead of stopping and standing up. Give help by holding the kids around their waist and when you say ‘breathe’, tilt the body so they can lift their head.

Other swimming strokes for beginners include breast stroke and backstroke. How to teach kids to swim using these strokes—particularly backstroke—needs more patience as it requires higher water skills.

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Safety Tips

how to teach kids to swim

Don’t let the excitement of swimming lessons make you neglect the safety. According to the statistics, drowning deaths in children increase during summer, the time when many parents take their children to the pool or beach.

how to teach a child to swim without putting them in a danger? Whether you’re teaching in a private or public swimming pool or open water, it’s always necessary to put the safety on the top of priority.

There is a long list of water safety tips to keep in mind, be sure to read each point carefully.

Adult Supervision

Always make sure your children get into the water only with adult supervision. All water activities must be supervised, even if the kids are already good at swimming. If you’re in a crowded public pool, a water watcher can’t focus on a particular visitor.

Stay near to your children and give them all of your attention. Ditch your books, phones, and magazine for a moment.

Consider the Depth of the Water

Many drowning cases are caused by deep water. Before getting into the water, always consider its depth.

If there’s no sign about the depth, you might ask the water watcher or lifeguard to make sure it’s completely safe for your children. If they want to jump, the depth must not be less than 9-ft deep.

Remove Toys from Water

Another tip for how to teach kids to swim safely is to remove all toys from the water. After you’re done swimming, don’t leave the toys in the water. Make sure to get them out of the water as you leave the pool.

Your children may be tempted to enter the water to take it without your supervision. Of course, it can be very dangerous for young children.

Do Warm Up

Before each swimming session, it’s important to do warm up. Not only does a warm up help raise heart rate, but it also helps reduce injury.

Ask your children to perform traditional stretches to prepare their muscles, especially arms and legs muscles. Besides, warm-up lets you get more from the workout.

Keep First Aid Kit Near

Every workout has risks and swimming is no exception. Your kid might bump into the floor or pool stairs and bleeding. Or, other kid might walks carelessly and slip.

Accidents or injury can happen to you or your children, so you need to make sure to keep the first aid kit near the water. Having this kit allows you to give first aid to avoid the worse conditions.

Be Aware of Pool Drains

How to teach kids to swim safely includes teaching them to be aware of pool drains. Swimming near suction outlets or pool drains can be dangerous, especially for young swimmers.

Choose a spot that is clear from distractions so you can get some peace of mind during the lesson.

Consider Hidden Hazard of Open Water

If you decide to swim in the open water, there are many more things to keep in mind. Open water is unpredictable so you have to be aware of situations like uneven surfaces, limited visibility, and currents.

Before entering the water, check the depth by entering your feet and wade. Avoid fast-moving water like streams or rivers—even good swimmers can get drowned.

Teaching your kids to swim can be fun and challenging at the same time. Knowing how to teach kids to swim allows you to be a good personal instructor for them. To make sure you’re on the right track, understand the need of your children based on their age. You also need to consider pool safety guidelines to ensure that everything goes right.

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