Swimming pool games are lots of fun and they can help your child in learning to swim by putting a challenging skill into a fun context. Games also help to increase a child’s awareness of water resistance and motion.
For beginners who are wary of the pool or the water. Sit on the edge or on a step in the water (whatever they’ll do) and
- stir the water with your feet
- move your hands back and forth in the water
- scoop and pour water with cups or hands
- throw the water up and try to make rain
- kick and splash with your legs
- walk holding the edge
- walk backwards, sideways, on tiptoe, taking giant steps
- jump or hop
- walk while blowing bubbles or blowing an object (ping-pong ball) across the surface
- walk and do dog-paddle arms
- play Follow-the-Leader
- in shallow water walk on their hands with legs trailing behind like a crocodile
- chase an object (ball, kickboard) around the pool. Or if you have more than one child they can “scramble” to get to the object first.
- catch and throw a ball
- push ball under and let it go to see it jump into the air
- pick-up objects from the bottom (start with crouching down, face up to pick up something in shallow water and progress, eventually, to duck diving to the bottom)
- swim through a hoop or under someone’s legs
- tag (try to cross the pool without being tagged)
- play keep-away with the ball. One child tries to get the ball from 2 or more children who are throwing it around.
- Play “Pirates”. Someone calls out directions and you must do the appropriate action – eg. port = swim left; starboard = swim right; stern = back; bow = front; shark = all get out of the water; pirates = all get in the water again.
- play Marco Polo
- have diving or bombing contests
- have races, for speed, distance underwater, while dribbling a ball and so on.
- play ball in deep water (a basic water polo)
Do you have a favourite game to play in the pool?