Fun and Games
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Your toddler may not be able to swim independently yet, but there are lots of fun pool games for toddlers that even little ones in arm floats, swim vests, or your arms can enjoy.
1. Scavenger Hunt: Toss all the floatable toys you can find into the pool and see how fast your toddler can paddle through the water to collect them. If your child’s water confidence isn’t very strong yet, you can always paddle along beside him.
2. If You’re Happy and You Know It…: If you haven’t yet taught your toddler this highly popular children’s song, swimming pool play presents the perfect opportunity. Change “clap your hands” to “splash your hands,” “kick your feet,”… you get the idea.
3. I’m a Little Pancake: This is a great pool game for toddlers that can help them learn confidence in the pool and balance while floating. Lay your child on her back and, supporting her with your hand under her back, move through the water. Sing to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot” these altered lyrics: “I’m a little pancake on my back. I’m a little pancake nice and flat. I’m a little pancake on my back. FLIP me over just like that,” and encourage your little one to roll over and float on her tummy. This can be challenging for reluctant swimmers, so be patient.
4. Frog Floating: Holding your toddler for support, position him on his side and encourage him to move his arms and legs and try to blow bubbles. This game is great for teaching side floating and combining movement and balance in the water.
Pool games for toddlers are lots of fun and very effective ways to build swimming skills. There are endless possibilities; try the ones listed here or see how many other ideas you can come up with!