This week, we’re joined by the team behind Kangaroo Beach, the adorable preschool show that follows four young animal friends as they train to become cadets with their lifeguard heroes, keeping the water safe at the spectacular Kangaroo Beach.
With summer now officially here, this show is the PERFECT way to help introduce your littles to the idea of water safety. The episodes are full of dangerous situations and emergency rescues, but ultimately the episodes are designed to inspire kids to think first and inform themselves before they hop into the water – and once they do jump in, have the time of their lives! Because who doesn’t love making a splash?!
In fact, at UKMums.TV, one of the things we love most about Kangaroo Beach is that it’s a great way to engage families in what can sometimes be an overwhelming subject – water safety. And the advice comes straight from Bondi Beach’s chief lifeguard and star of Bondi Rescue, Bruce Hopkins and Ironman world champion Craig Riddington.
So, as we dive into our feature about how families can help their children learn to swim this summer, our first piece of advice is to tune into Kangaroo Beach – it’s showing this summer on Milkshake! Weekdays at 7:35am.
More top tips to help your littles learn to swim…
Try and squeeze some swimming lessons in ahead of the holidays
As with any skill, learning to swim is a matter of practice, practice, practice. But that practice needs to be of the right technique… you don’t want to be practicing bad habits or they’ll stick and will be hard to shift. So, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of experts in the field of swimming! Do bear in mind that there can be long waiting lists for beginner lessons, so try to plan around. And do take recommendations from other parents!
Make sure you’re safe in the water if you’re taking your child swimming on your own
Before you jump in to help your child learn to swim, it’s important to make sure that you are confident and safe in the water before you take your child swimming… and if you’re not, consider swimming lessons for yourself too – adult swimming lessons are readily available across the UK, and offer a safe and supportive environment for learning how to swim at a later stage in your life.
Try to pick swimming locations with lifeguards on duty
Lifeguards can help make a swimming area safer to swim in for families. They’re ideal for non-swimmers and weak swimmers, as they gain confidence in the water, and can offer parents peace of mind.
Have the right equipment to hand
Depending on your child’s age and experience, your child may need some kind of floatation device. If children are weak swimmers, armbands are great. These disk armbands are super, as they help with buoyancy, aren’t quite so restrictive as inflatable armbands and, most importantly, as your child’s swimming improves, you can gradually reduce the number of disks. Pool noodles are also a fantastic learn to swim aid, as too are floats (kickboards)! Oh, and invest in some goggles (that fit!). Check out these cute Zoggs Kangaroo Beach goggles!
Keep it fun
Keeping things fun in the water really helps to keep children engaged with learning. Kids will always learn best when they’re enjoying something (the same is often true of adults too!). SO be sure to play with children in the water, introduce toys that can be played with in the water, and create fun games to keep the littles amused and motivated to move through the water, learn to blow bubbles and increase their confidence.
Brush up on the basics and take things step-by-step
To help your kids learn to swim you need to employ a solid mix of creativity AND science! So, make sure you know the basics, and break things down, step-by-step.
Make use of (good) resources online. These videos from Propulsion Swimming may act as a good starting point as they follow the Swim England framework for teaching children how to swim, so can be useful for breaking things down and building your child’s swimming ability from the ground up, so to speak.
Nothing as complex as swimming happens overnight, so be prepared for lots of practice!