Author Archives: SwimWays

Save the Date for the 7th Annual Swimways National Learn to Swim Day on Saturday, May 19th

Save the date for the 7th annual Swimways National Learn to Swim Day on Saturday, May 19th!

We started National Learn to Swim Day seven years ago as part of water safety month to help raise awareness about the importance of learning to swim to help prevent childhood drowning*. Learn more about how you can get involved at the National Learn to Swim Day website, and get tips on how to host your own National Learn to Swim Day event.

*Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-4? Help turn this tragedy around by teaching your kids to swim and practicing water safety with your family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Father’s Day Gifts for Outdoor Summer Lounging

If your dad is more likely to enjoy the great outdoors in a leisurely fashion, we’ve got 5 Father’s Day gifts he’s going to love!

1. SwimWays Spring Float Recliner XL

Spring Float Recliner XLThe Spring Float Recliner XL is 20% bigger than our original Spring Float Recliner. Dad will love the comfort and convenience of the backrest, ottoman, and cupholder and the roomy mesh seat will keep him cool on hot summer days. The inner spring provides added stability in the water – great for keeping his float in place even when the kids are making waves in the pool. When not in use the Spring Float Recliner XL folds flat into three compact rings. Supports adults up to 300 pounds.

Available for purchase on Amazon.

2. Kelsyus Big Nauti 4-Person Party Float

Kelsyus Big Nauti 4-Person Party Pool FloatIf dad is a lake enthusiast, the Kelsyus Big Nauti float is a must-have for the season! This 4-person party float features a durable fabric cover, beefy inflation, and backrests, ottomans, spacious seating areas and 8 cup holders for 4 adults. Includes side clips for tethering, two carry handles, and quick-release valves for hassle-free set-up and portability. Storage bag included.

Available for purchase at Bass Pro Shops.

3. Kelsyus Floating Chaise Lounger

Kelsyus Floating Chaise LoungerThe Kelsyus Floating Chaise Lounger is another great pool lounger dad will love! The Floating Chaise Lounger features an inner spring for stability, fabric cover and mesh seat, plus a super soft oversized backrest, ottoman, and cup holder. Fold it up into three compact rings for easy storage in the reusable tote bag. Supports adults up to 250 pounds.

Available for purchase on Amazon.

4. Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair

Kelsyus Original Canopy ChairDad will love the all-around awesome Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair! Perfect for any outdoor event, the convenient canopy on this portable camping chair provides 50+ UPF sun protection, is water resistant, and converts into a carry bag when dad is ready to head home. The sturdy powder-coated frame supports adults up to 250 pounds and the breathable mesh seat with a rounded front will keep dad comfortable and happy for hours. Includes a cup holder with O-ring for added stability. Also available in styles with an ottoman, bug net, and weather guard. Available at

Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Amazon, and Target.com.

5. Marvel Comic Book Floats

Marvel Comic Book Floats - Captain AmericaIf your dad is a Marvel fan, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to give him a piece of classic nostalgia he can also enjoy at the pool! Our Marvel Comic Book Floats feature graphics from real Marvel Comic Group covers:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #186, “Chaos Is… The Chameleon!”
  • The Invincible Iron Man #126, “The Hammer Strikes!”
  • Captain America #193, “Screamer in the Brain”

Of course, if dad is a collector, he may never open the box!

Available for purchase at Amazon.

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at SwimWays!

Swim Step 3: Teaching Kids to Swim

Editor’s Note: This is the third post in our three-part series focused on teaching kids to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program. The steps include Swim Step 1: Water Introduction, Swim Step 2: Water Exploration, and Swim Step 3: Swim Training. Swim along with us and teach your child the skills of a lifetime!


After introducing your child to the pool, watching them explore the water and gain confidence, the time has finally arrived to start swim training! You may choose to enroll your child in formal swim lessons right away or begin with some exercises at home or use a combination of both methods for a balanced approach.

At this stage, your child will start testing their limits of what they can do, so it’s important to remember to stay within arms reach of your child and remind them that they should never be in the water without an adult who knows how to swim.

Formal Swim Lessons

If you are going the route of formal swim lessons, a great place to start your search for a swim instructor is using the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Local Partners. Additional swim lesson providers include the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and your local YMCA.

An experienced swim instructor can be an excellent partner in your child’s learning to swim journey, and group classes can help your child gain confidence along with their peers, particularly for children four and older. (Further Reading: Choosing a Formal Swim Instructor by Mario Vittone)

Swim Training Aids

Power SwimrFor teaching kids at home, you may wish to use a flotation aid such as the SwimWays Power Swimr swim vest. (There are differing opinions about the use of flotation aids in swim lessons, so we recommend reading more about this subject before you decide what’s best for your child.)

Power Swimr flotation padsThe SwimWays Power Swimr is a graduated swim trainer that includes 9 removable inner flotation pads inside (5 in the back and 4 in the front.)

As your child gains confidence and skill, remove the pads one at a time to gradually move your child into a proper forward swimming position.

Graduated swim trainers enable your child to learn at his or her own pace. It’s helpful to think of the Power Swimr like training wheels for the pool.

Power Swimr graduated swim training system

Important note: If you are heading to a community pool or club to practice swimming with your child, check to see if there are any restrictions on flotation aids. Some pools require a Coast Guard-approved device such as our Swim Trainer PFD.

Tips from Our Swimming Expert

Watch this video to see some swim training tips in action!

If your kids are learning to swim this summer, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and share your experience with us and other parents! Connect with our Swim Steps ambassadors who are also teaching their kids to swim this summer too.

Prepare Kids for Swim Lessons with Swim Step 2

Editor’s Note: This is the second post in our three-part series focused on teaching children to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program. The steps include Swim Step 1: Water Introduction, Swim Step 2: Water Exploration, and Swim Step 3: Swim TrainingSwim along with us and teach your child the skills of a lifetime!


SwimWays Swim SweaterLast week we talked about 10 tips for introducing your baby to the pool and this week we’re continuing our series on teaching kids to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program with a focus on water exploration.

Be sure to review all the water safety tips we shared in our first post if you are starting your child out at Swim Step 2. Another tool for teaching preschoolers water safety tips at this stage is a children’s book from JCMF Children’s Charities called Josh the Otter. (Buy the book or watch it online.)

Once your child is comfortable being in the water in their baby float, it won’t be long before they will want to start exploring the water. However, it’s a big step between introducing your child to the pool and jumping into formal swim lessons, so that’s why we created Swim Step 2 to help ease the transition.

Swim Step 2 Goals

In Swim Step 2, the goals are:

  1. Continue to build confidence in your child gradually as they start to explore the water.
  2. Continue to develop trust between you and your child.
  3. Help your child learn pre-swimming skills such as balancing upright in the water and leaning forward to paddle.

Helpful Tools

Swim Sweater circa 1974Our Swim Sweater, Swim Vest, and Float Shorty swim training products (sold at Toys “R” Us) feature permanent flotation and are great tools at this stage. They provide just the right amount of support and freedom of movement so kids feel more confident as they take their first strokes.

Did you know we’ve been making Swim Steps products for more than 50 years? A few of you (including this author!) may have learned to swim with the little red Swim Sweater. There’s a reason this product is still around: It works!

Colorful Swim Goggles and Masks are also great for kids just getting used to water splashing in their face. They might even be tempted to lean forward and blow bubbles in the water!

(An important note about our Swim Steps flotation aids: Our flotation aids are NOT life-saving devices, they are designed for swim training. If you are looking for a life vest, try one of our kids PFDs.)

Water Exploration Tips

Maintain constant touch supervision with your child. They may feel more confident than their skills will support at this stage, so it’s important to be right by their side in case they want to reach out and hold you if they feel a bit insecure.

That said, don’t hold onto your child the whole time – let them explore and start to develop a sense of independence and confidence in their budding skills. At this stage you are learning what your child needs, so relax, have fun, and figure it out together.

Pool Toys and Games

SwimWays Pick Me Up PelicanWater surface toys can help to engage your child while still keeping them in their comfort zone. This water play also helps to create a positive association with being in the pool.

For kids 2 years of age and older, try toys such as Pick Me Up Pelican (sold at Walmart), Gobble Gobble Guppies (sold at Target), and Spouts (sold at Toys “R” Us) that also have a fun educational component.

Brightly colored floating balls or pool noodles spread out around the pool can also help encourage your child to swim over to them, building hand and eye coordination along the way.

Watch our Swim Step 2 video to see these tips and more in action!

If your kids are ready to explore the pool this summer, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and share your experience with us and other parents!