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  6. Swimming lesson games

Swimming Lesson Games

Swimming lesson games are usually carried out to create a familiarity with water for kids who are new to the pool. As always when teaching young children or babies with little experience in the pool these games should be under very close adult supervision, whether it’s from you or an instructor. Swimming lesson games are a fun spin on building co-ordination and confidence for your little tadpoles while they get used to the water. Below is a list of some of the most popular swimming pool games.

These pool activities are designed for toddlers and preschoolers to play in a shallow child’s pool. Each activity will help your child become more comfortable in the water and build pre-swimming skills.

Swim like an alligator

Make a collection of sponges, balls and plastic toys that float on the water. Scatter them on the surface of the water and watch baby search for the toys. Pretending to be an alligator will help bub get used to the feeling of floating on their stomach and using their arms and legs to move, if your child is not floating on their own yet then you can kneel in the pool and hold their waist to keep babies head above the water. As your child gets more comfortable in the water, you can alter this game by playing in a larger, deeper pool and support your little alligator while they collect the toys.

Diving for treasure

This game is for a slightly older child, and again, is best played in a shallow pool where your child can stand. For this game you will need to collect a few sinking toys from around the house, such as dive rings or small drink bottle filled with water, and place them on the bottom of the pool for your child to collect and place in a bucket or basket alongside the pool. As your little one gets older, you move this game to a deeper pool and encourage your toddler to put his or her face under the water to collect the toys.


Have baby place his or her face in the water and blow bubbles. If bub is reluctant at first, lead by example. You can also move baby around in the water while encouraging them to kick. To create a little more fun you can sing the motorboat song! “Motorboat, motorboat go so slow. Motorboat, motorboat go so fast. Motorboat, motorboat step on the gas”.

Hand Puppets

Grab and old sock and have a little fun with the glue gun. Use your imagination to turn your old sock into a frog hand puppet! The hand puppet can then be used to encourage your toddler to kick and paddle in a circle while singing, “Kick, kick went the little green frog one day, kick, kick, went the little green frog. Kick, kick went the little green frog one day and he kicked, kicked all day long”.

Kickboard boat

For this fun game you are going to need a floating board that your kids can use to hold onto. Pretend that the board is a boat and your child’s feet are the engine. Get your toddlers to race their boats across the shallow baby pool and see which one crosses the finish line first. If your little one needs a bit of help go keep their head above the water then hold them to one side around the waist. This will help with practicing kicking in the water and muscle co-ordination.

Ice play

This is a game that requires a bit of preparation beforehand. Fill balloons of different shapes and sizes and place them in the freezer over night. When they are frozen, take away the balloon and place the ice in the shallow end of the pool with your child and let them play with the frozen ice and watch it change shape as it starts to melt.

Watering can be fun

Clean out your garden watering can and place small bowls or containers near edge of the pool near the steps. Encourage your child to fill up the watering can and containers by standing on the first or second step in the water. If your bub needs more physical activity, move the containers further away from the edge of the pool.
Thanks to AUSTSWIM Australia for some of these great baby swimming lesson games.