Water safety expert, Mario Vittone, has written a special feature article for our main website called Pool Toys for Water Confidence. Did you know that the best way to build confidence in the water is through play? In his article Mario explains how water fun helps children develop their swimming ability and build water confidence, he also gives some pointers on what pool toys to use to get started.
“Though I grew up on summer swim teams and went to more than my fair share of swim practices, I believe a great deal of my confidence and ability in the water was developed not when I was “learning” to swim – but rather when I was just playing in the water. I was learning how to be a better swimmer and didn’t even know it was happening.” – Mario Vittone
If you haven’t seen the announcement yet – the SwimWays.com Memorial Day Sale is well underway – Stock up and get ready for hours of pool fun! Get your little one some learn to swim gear, or grab something for yourself! Sale ends May 28, 2013.
National Learn to Swim Day is on Saturday, May 18th. If you’re wondering how to celebrate, why not throw your own event? And if you can’t host it on Saturday – National Learn to Swim Day can be any day you want – there’s no time limit on learning to swim, we want learning to swim to be an everyday event! Where do you start? Check out these tips we put together for you:
CHOOSE & BOOK A VENUE
Contact your local public pool, community pool or YMCA and book a location for your event.
BRING IN THE EXPERTS
The following people and organizations have the tools and resources you need. Reach out and invite them to speak or perform a demonstration at your event regarding learning to swim and water safety.
YMCA pool staff
Swimming coach / instructors
SPREAD THE WORD
Once you have your venue and suitable speakers it’s time to promote your event!
Email invitations to your friends and other contacts.
Create a Facebook event.
If an expert will be there, let people know! Having an expert attend will really help your event attendance. People are looking for expert advice.
Contact your local newspaper, television, or radio station for media coverage.
Let SwimWays know! We’ll be happy to share your event on our website or social media pages.
National Learn to Swim Day 2012
When you know how many people plan to attend your event, think about providing some food and drink. Keeping your attendees refreshed and nourished will ensure energy remains high throughout the day. Bottled water, chips, or trail mix will keep everyone happy. If you have the budget, have the event catered. Or even better, ask attendees to bring their favorite dish to share with others!
Whether it’s music, pool games, poolside games, or even coloring sheets – think of something for everyone so no one gets bored!
ESTABLISH SOME RULES
Make sure your attendees stay safe. At the start of your event, communicate the rules of the pool where your event is being hosted. Post rules around the area and make sure attendees follow them. If everyone follows the rules, the event will be fun and safe for all involved!
National Learn to Swim Day 2012
WHEN IT’S ALL OVER
Tell SwimWays about your event! We’d love to see your pictures and read your stories!
Swimming pool games are a great way to keep kids entertained and help them become better swimmers at the same time! Here are some popular swimming pool games that kids can play that are not only fun, but designed to help them develop their swimming skills too.
Pool Float Race
A pool float race is a fun way to help kids become stronger swimmers! Each kid is given a float, and everyone starts at the same place. Mark off a place they will swim to, and then with a whistle have them race to the finishing line.
The float race can be a lot of fun with variations too. You can even have a pool float relay race, having kids reach a point, hop off their float, and swim the rest of the way!
Another option for kids – especially the younger ones – is using a kickboard, which helps them strengthen their legs for swimming! The Marvel kickboard is very popular, letting kids race with their favorite Marvel character, like Captain America, Iron Man, or Spider-Man!
Treasure hunting is always a favorite, and can keep kids entertained for hours. Throw a number of toys and objects around the pool, and have your kids go and find them as fast as they can! Whoever finds the most objects wins. This also encourages kids to become better underwater swimmers.
This game is lots of fun when played with the Toypedo, or for more expert swimmers, try the smaller Toypedo Bandits. Since the Toypedo Bandits come in packs of 4, it’s easier than ever to use them for a treasure hunt! The smaller size of the Toypedo Bandits can make finding and retrieving them more challenging, which can help kids become more observant underwater.
For another challenging variation, try adding the Toypedo Revolution to the mix. Its color scheme helps it blend into the background of most pools, making it a challenge to find. This will really make kids look for it!
The Color Catch game is another popular game that’s fun for all ages of swimmers. Each child picks their favorite color, and then swims off to retrieve all the objects in the pool of the same color. Whoever finds all the toys or objects that matches their colors first wins!
This game can be played on the surface or under the water – or for a more challenging variation, try using toys that both float and sink!
You can make this game bright and fun by using a combination of Toypedo Bandits for the underwater toys, and Rainbow Reef fish for the surface. Pick a set of your favorite colors, and enjoy the color catch game!
What kinds of pool games do you play with your kids?