Have you ever heard the horror stories — or maybe urban myths — of a family member who was tossed into the water from the end of a dock and told to “sink or swim?” Well, we hope that never happened because if it did, chances are that person would never go into a body of water again, right? We have 5 ways to make swimming fun for kids and that will benefit the entire family this summer.

Today, we want to help make the pool a fun body of water for our children and grandchildren. The benefits of swimming make the time it takes to introduce a child — safely, properly and in a fun way — pay off. The best pool contractors from Imperial Pool Builders, swimming pool contractors serving Decatur and Champaign, Illinois have sage advice to introduce children to a pool in a way that instills a lifelong love of and appreciation for, the water.

5 ways to make swimming fun for kids

The pool is much larger and scarier for a child than a bathtub is. In a tub, your child can touch the floor and sides and he can see both. In a pool, it’s a long way down. It might make sense to buy a plastic kiddie pool and let the youngster splash around in there — next to the pool — before you introduce them to it. You know your child best and know what is the best way to get him or her excited about swimming.

Keep each personality in mind and tailor the introduction to the water in a way you know will help instill a love of it. Your patience will pay off and you will have a child loves spending hours in the pool with you!

Tips for introducing your child to the pool

  1. Plan for hours or days or even weeks, getting your child comfortable with the pool.
  2. Take it slow and hold them tightly so they feel safe when you go into the water together. Hug him close and just walk around the pool. Slow and steady wins the race.
  3. When she’s comfortable, jump up and down a bit. Ask her to splash and make a big game of the splashing so she associates the pool with fun times.
  4. Once your child seems comfortable you can hold them under his arms and walk around letting his legs float free. Ask him to kick his legs as you walk around.
  5. After your child is comfortable out of your arms, let her hang onto the side of the pool and blow bubbles into the water. When you’re doing this you’re getting her comfortable with putting her face in the water. You do it first. Blow some raspberries and make it a game. She may try to copy you and if she does, encourage it!

Never let your child into the pool without wearing a properly fitted life vest. Don’t use water wings because they can slip off and your child will go underwater. After your child is truly comfortable and has been ask if he wants to jump from the side of the pool into your arms. Hold his hands and move a couple of steps back. Encourage him to jump toward you. Don’t let him go underwater or all your hard work will be for naught.

Don’t do swimming “lessons” with a child who is cranky or tired or he will associate the water with being grumpy! Aski us to test and clean the water to ensure chemicals are in balance and that your child’s delicate skin is protected.