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www.wmfd.com - If your preschooler doesn't know how to swim, this summer may be the time for swimming lessons. }}" />

   
 
 
Health Minute Talks About Learning To Swim

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  Original Published: 6/30/2013If your preschooler doesn't know how to swim, this summer may be the time for swimming lessons. Teaching little ones how to stay afloat and master strokes all starts with having fun. Susan Hendricks has more in today's Health Minute. If you want to teach little ones how to swim, the first rule of thumb, is make it fun. YMCA instructor Scott Mennicke starts his lessons with the bucket game to help children get over the fear of putting their face in the water. Then, it's time for a little kicking. "You want to teach them the basic kicking and splashing uh, then they go with the backpack, so they can learn how to float with the backpack," says Mennicke. A baclpack in the pool? It's actually four pieces of styrafoam stacked together. Gradually, each piece of foam is removed until the child is strong enough to get around in the water without them, just like 5-year-old Ayden and 4-year-old Braxton. The next step, learning to stay horizontal, so they can master the basics for the freestyle stroke, often called the crawl. They practice kicking with the kick board, learn to scoop with their arms and blow bubbles to keep from gulping down water. And, Mennicke says teaching kids to swim can actually start in the bathtub. "Use buckets in the bathtun, pour it over their face, have them lay in the bathtun, kick, splash, learn how to blow bubbles," Mennicke says. It's all about having fun. And building skills to be safe, confident swimmers.
   
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