Parents play an active role in increasing water confidence in babies and young children from an early age. It is not essential to take your child to a swimming pool as bath time activities are a good introduction to the water.
Bath-time can help to introduce your child to a number of aquatic experiences in a warm and comfortable environment.
Children should be encouraged and helped to wet their faces, tummies, splash, blow bubbles, sing and play in the bath to get them used to the water.
Here are 3 bathtub activities that promote water confidence in your hesitant swimmer.
1. The Elevator Game
In gradual steps, this game will introduce different areas of the face to the water. This activity is perfect for a child who does not like getting their face wet or does not understand how to put their face into the water.
- 1st Floor- Chin
- 2nd Floor- Lips (Blow Bubbles)
- 3rd Floor- Nose (Blow Bubbles optional)
- 4th Floor- Eyes
2. The Cup Game
This activity introduces different body parts to getting wet by using a cup to gently pour water onto them. Starting at the toes and working your way up to the hair. You can sing the song “This is the way we wash” as you go through this game.
“This is the way we wash our _____, wash our ______, wash our ______. This is the way we wash our ______ in the big bathtub.”
3. Treasure Hunt
This activity promotes goggle use or just placing the child’s face into the water along with practicing breath control.
- Using sinking toys, place them at the bottom of the bathtub.
- Using goggles/ or not, tell your child to look down and try and find the sunken toys.
- Ask them to find a specific toy, a specific colored toy, or to try and find as many toys as they can.
These activities promote confidence from an early age. This will help transition to a “big pool” so much easier if they are comfortable and confident in water before they are introduced to a swimming pool and swim lessons. No matter what you do, be sure to let your child enjoy the water and always stay with your baby while he’s in the bathtub!