As soon a summer hits, your kids will rarely change out of their bathing suits. Pool-owning parents know that learning to swim is just as much about safety as it is about fun. Along with swimming instructors, you will be the most influential person in teaching your child to swim. Why not make it fun? Here are 5 games that you can play with your kids to teach them how to swim through play.

1. Beach Ball Relay
A floatie is placed in the middle of the pool. Each kid takes turn swimming a lap around the floatie, pushing the beach ball as they go. Less confident swimmers may be allowed to hold the ball and kick, while strong swimmers may only push the ball without grabbing it. This can be done in teams, passing the beach ball like a baton.

2. Simon Says Swimming Strokes
One parent or child stands on the pool’s edge and calls out swimming techniques. “Simon says freestyle!” “Simon says back float!” “Tread water!” Oops. If a kid does the wrong stroke or obeys a command without “Simon says,” they’re out. Last kid swimming wins! 

3. Kickboard Obstacle Course
Arrange pool noodles, inner-tubes and more around the pool. Talk your kids through the route and then challenge to complete the course. Kids who are just learning to swim can use a kickboard to get around. After the first lap, invite your kids to customize the course for even more fun!

5 Fun Swimming Pool Games

4. Deep-end Treasure Race
Your older kids have had enough summers in the pool to feel comfortable in the deep end. If you have a pool that’s deep enough for jumping or diving in, this game will help them feel comfortable underwater. While one kid faces away from the pool, a child or parent throws a sinking toy into the water. After a few seconds when the toy has reached the bottom, yell “go!” and start the timer. The racer surveys the water, spots the toy and jumps in to grab it. The clock stops once the toy is back on the edge of the pool. Fastest time wins!

5. Air Ball
Treading water is one of the most important skills for pool safety. Form a circle in the water and see how many hits you can keep the beach ball from touching the water. Kids who are just learning to tread water can be placed in shallower water, where they can stand when they get tired.

Safety first. Then fun! What pool games do you play with your kids? As always, make sure that you are present when your kids are playing in the water. Even better – jump in with them! S.R.Smith makes your pool even more fun with diving boards, basketball hoops, pool slides and more. Happy swimming!