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3 Beginner Swim Strokes to Teach Your Children

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3 Beginner Swim Strokes to Teach Your Children

As the temperature climbs, kids are bound to want to spend time in the pool. It's a great way to still get fresh air and exercise without sweltering in the heat. However, it's imperative a child learns proper swimming techniques to make sure they are safe as they enjoy the water.


The breaststroke is a simple style of swimming done on your stomach. Both arms should extend forward, with the palms of the hands flat against each other. After the arms are completely extended, pull both arms apart and quickly to your sides, while you pull your head straight up out of the water to breathe. Then, simultaneously frog kick your legs.

This stroke is one of the slowest swim strokes. It is a good beginner style because it can be done entirely with your head out of the water until you are comfortable.

Elementary Backstroke

The elementary backstroke can be a simple stroke to learn, although some people will struggle with it. The trick, of course, is whether the student can float on their back. This stroke is also known as "Monkey Airplane Soldier." The swimmer tucks both arms into their armpits (like a monkey), then both straight out (like an airplane), then quickly snaps them to their sides (like a soldier). The legs mask the arm motions.

Sunset Pools and Spas, a company which installs inground swimming pools in Chicago, recommends teaching this stroke to children because it's also beneficial for them when they get in trouble. If they are suddenly struggling to swim, they can flip over and float to catch their breath.

Crawl Stroke

The crawl stroke is done on your stomach, with your face in the water. Arms should come out of the water, one at a time, from your hip and extend fully in front of you. As it starts its decline back into the water, the other arm should surface. The legs kick in a flutter kick, with smooth motions under the water. The face should turn to the side to breath as the preferred arm starts to emerge from the water and put back in as it hits the water again.

This is the preferred style for quick and efficient swimming. Once swimmers become more advanced they can experiment with holding their breath longer and keeping their face submerged through several strokes.

Always remember, safety first when near the water and happy swimming!