Tomorrow, May 20th is
National Learn to Swim Day.
Hey GEMS: We think this is a great time to think about water safety because lots of pools are getting ready to open for the summer. Yay! We love going to the pool and we hope you do too!
If you haven’t learned to swim yet, don’t be embarrassed. And don’t miss out on the fun! You can learn to swim and have fun with all your friends at the pool this summer! Here’s how to start.
First get used to putting your face in the water, like Mercedes!
Practice in the shower or a sprinkler. Let the water run on your face.
The best way to learn to swim is to take swimming lessons, or have an adult teach you. But here are some things you can do until you can take lessons. Ask your parent to take you to a pool to practice. Find a pool with a lifeguard, and have an adult stay with you to be sure you are safe.
Things you’ll need:
- Swim goggles will keep the chemicals in the pool water out of your eyes.
- A swim cap will keep your hair out of your face. Or if you have long hair, put it in a braid.
Here are 5 things to practice to learn how to swim.
1. Water Walking
Get in the shallow end and walk around. Get used to the water and how it feels different than walking on land. Start with water at your knees, then go deeper gradually to armpits. At first you may be a little afraid. That’s normal. Don’t worry if this takes a few visits until you’re comfortable going this far into the pool.
2. Blow Bubbles
Stand in the shallow end of the pool and hold onto the side of the pool. Put your face in the water and blow bubbles. Stand tall and breathe normally. Do this a while and you’ll start to feel comfortable with your face in the water. When you’re ready, let go of the side of the pool and practice again putting your face in the water and blowing bubbles. You can also practice this at home in the bathtub.
Stand with your side next to the pool wall. Hold on to the side of the pool with the closest hand. Take a deep breath and lift your feet up while leaning backward. Try to float. This can take a few tries. Practice until you can float for 15 to 30 seconds. Then practice without holding onto the side. Don’t struggle or fight the water. Relax! We LOVE to float!
4. Practice Swimming
Stand facing the pool wall and hold on with both hands. Scissor kick your legs. Your legs will lift up in the water – like you’re lying on your belly. Keep kicking your legs and when you’re comfortable doing that, put your face down and practice blowing bubbles in the water at the same time.
After a while you can hold a kick-board or noodle instead of holding the side of the pool. Have an adult walk alongside of you as you practice taking a lap across the pool. After this becomes easy you can lay with a noodle under your chest and armpits instead of holding it. That way you can practice moving your arms. Be sure to keep practicing putting your face in the water, and blowing bubbles. Turn your head to the side each time to get a breath.
5. Practice makes perfect
To learn proper technique and additional strokes, remember to ask Mom or Dad to get you signed up for lessons as soon as possible. And if you keep practicing the next thing you know you’ll be swimming! Remember safety. Never swim alone!
GEMS: If you already know how to swim, we hope you get a chance to go swimming soon. If you don’t know how yet, we hope this encourages you to learn soon. Put the water splash emoji in the comments if you want to go swimming!