How Do You Teach A Two Year Old How Do You Swim?

Teaching your toddler how to swim is a must. Whether it’s in the bathtub, at the pool or beach, or even in a wading pool, knowing how to swim can be life-saving. Luckily, with the right tools and guidance from you as a parent or guardian, your child will learn this important skill in no time!

How To Teach Your Child To Tread Water (aged 2-5 years)
Teaching swimming to a two-year-old requires patience and a gentle approach.
Introducing water activities to toddlers can help build their confidence in the water.
Using appropriate aids, such as armbands, can be helpful in teaching toddlers how to swim.
Building a support system and seeking professional guidance can enhance the teaching process.
Creating a positive and fun environment is essential for engaging toddlers in swimming lessons.

Get Your Child Comfortable In The Water

Taking your toddler to the pool and letting them play in the water is a good way to get them comfortable with being in and around water. 

Make sure that they can float on their back and stomach, as well as move their arms, legs and head independently while they are floating. 

Once they are comfortable enough with floating, teach them how to swim by having them put their face in the water while holding onto your hands or side of the pool wall.

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Practice Floating On Her Back

Stay calm and relaxed. It’s important for your child to see you being calm and relaxed as well, so that he can make the connection between your body language and his own feelings.

Breathe normally. If you’re prone to hyperventilating, it might be helpful to take some deep breaths before approaching the pool—but try not to overdo it; this is a fun activity for both of you, so don’t let anxiety distract from the experience!

Keep arms at sides; keep legs straight and together (this is called “floating”). Looking up at the sky keeps her head above water, even if she closes her eyes; she’ll be able to find her way out of trouble if she gets startled by something above or below her in the water (such as another swimmer). 

Practice these things until they feel comfortable enough that she can do them on her own with minimal instruction from mommy-or-daddy.

Back Float with SupportUse a swim float, such as the Speedo Kids’ Begin to Swim Fabric Baby Cruiser, to provide buoyancy and support while practicing floating on the back.
Flutter Kick with FloatUtilize a kickboard, like the TYR Kids’ Start to Swim Kickboard, to practice flutter kicking while maintaining a back float position.
Gentle Head SupportUse a swim noodle or the Speedo Kids’ Begin to Swim Fabric Arm Floats to provide gentle head support while practicing back floating.
Guided Arm MovementsIncorporate swim fins, such as the Finis Long Floating Fins, to assist with arm movements and balance while practicing back floating.
Independent FloatingGradually reduce support aids and encourage independent floating on the back, promoting confidence and water safety skills.

Demonstrate Kicking And Paddling

You can do this by demonstrating the motion with your arms in the water, or by having your child sit on a floatation device and showing him/her how to kick their legs while holding onto it. Demonstrate how to use a kickboard, which provides stability in the water while kicking back and forth. Also demonstrate how to blow bubbles underwater with a snorkel, as this is fun for children!

Teach How To Float On Her Stomach

Make sure she is comfortable and relaxed, then show her how to keep her head above water by holding her nose and blowing out while keeping an eye on the surroundings. Reassure that she can float on her stomach, but don’t force it if she’s not ready yet!

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Show How To Safely Enter And Exit The Pool Or Water Area

The first step to teaching a child how to swim is making sure that they are physically and mentally ready. 

You can’t teach a two year old how do you swim if they aren’t comfortable with getting in the water yet, so make sure that they are either used to being in the bathtub or pool before you begin.

If your child isn’t used to being around water, then it’s best just not to push them into it until they’re ready. 

Don’t force them down into the pool if they’re scared; instead, try some other ways of exposure like taking baths together or going swimming at a public place like an inflatable kiddie pool where there is no pressure on them (and where you can be close by).

When introducing new activities such as swimming lessons for toddlers, it’s important not only that your child really wants this experience but also that he/she feels safe enough when around water and adults who know what they’re doing at all times

Encourage Proper Breathing Technique

The next step is to encourage proper breathing technique. When you’re swimming, you should breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. 

As you get used to swimming, try breathing in as you push off a wall or use your arms underwater, then exhaling as your head goes under water.

It’s important that your child learns how to swim with their head above water at all times; this will help prevent drowning incidents later on in life.

Breath Control DrillsUse the Finis Swimmer’s Snorkel to focus on breath control and rhythmic breathing patterns.
Bubble Blowing ExercisesEngage in bubble blowing exercises using the Speedo Competition Nose Clip to develop proper exhaling techniques.
Swim Fin TrainingIncorporate swim fin training with the TYR CrossBlade Training Fins to enhance body positioning and breathing coordination.
Bilateral BreathingPractice bilateral breathing with the help of the Speedo Bullet Head Snorkel, alternating between left and right side breathing.
Exhalation UnderwaterEncourage exhalation underwater using the Aqua Sphere Michael Phelps Focus Swim Snorkel to promote breath control and lung capacity.

Tell Your Child To Call For Help If He’s Ever In Trouble

  • Teach your child his or her name, address, and the phone number of someone to call if he or she is ever in trouble.
  • Teach your child that there are lifeguards at the pool and they can help.
  • Tell your child to stay calm and not panic, because panicking will make it harder for him or her to swim.

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Set A Good Example

It’s important for your child to see that you are comfortable in the water and able to swim, as this will help them feel at ease with it too. 

If you don’t know how to swim yourself, consider taking lessons or hiring a coach or instructor who can teach you how to be safe in the water with your child.

Always Be Present When She’s Swimming Or Playing In The Water

Teaching your child how to swim is a great way for them to have fun and learn about their body. But it’s also important that you are always present when they’re in or near water. Children can drown in less than one inch of water and even small amounts of fluid can pull them under if they go unsupervised.

  • Always be present when she’s swimming or playing in the water.
  • Don’t leave your child unattended.

Don’t let your child swim alone; keep an eye on him at all times and stay close enough so that he can call out for help if necessary (and vice versa). Being able to see each other helps reduce any anxiety while also giving you peace of mind regarding his safety while swimming!

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Keep A Safe Distance Between You And Your Toddler

Always stay within arms reach of your child. It’s tempting to let them play on their own, but you need to be close by in case something happens.

Don’t let your child play in the water alone. Even if they have mastered swimming and are just playing around, make sure that someone is with them at all times when they’re near water.

Don’t let your child swim without a life jacket on or around deep waters (like pools). This will keep him or her safe from harm if he/she should fall into a body of water and not be able to get back up on their own power because he/she isn’t able to tread water yet!

Use a Pool Safety FenceInstall a removable pool safety fence, such as the Life Saver Pool Fence, to create a barrier between you and your toddler while near the pool area.
Utilize Pool Safety AlarmsInstall pool safety alarms, like the PoolGuard PGRM-2 In-Ground Pool Alarm, to alert you if your toddler gets too close to the water.
Practice Active SupervisionMaintain constant visual supervision of your toddler while they are near water, ensuring you are always within arm’s reach.
Teach Water BoundariesTeach your toddler about water boundaries using visual cues, such as colorful pool deck markers or designated play areas.
Use Toddler Floatation DevicesUtilize toddler flotation devices, such as the Stearns Puddle Jumper Life Jacket or SwimSchool Deluxe Tot Trainer, to provide an added layer of safety while maintaining a safe distance.

Choose A Good Assortment Of Toys That Your Toddler Can Play

The best toys for teaching a toddler how to swim are ones that are easy for them to grab and hold. 

They should also be able to throw away from themselves if necessary, but not so far that they land on another child. 

Floating toys or those with handles provide extra safety, but make sure they’re not too small or lightweight that your child may lose them in the water. 

Finally, make sure you choose toys that can easily be cleaned after use! We recommend using disinfecting wipes for quick clean-ups before storing them away again.

Building confidence in the water is crucial for beginner swimmers, including toddlers. Explore practical tips and strategies in our guide on building confidence in the water to help your little one become a confident swimmer. Let’s dive in and boost their water skills!


We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, but we hope that you now feel more confident about taking your two-year-old swimming. 

It’s important to remember that safety is the most important thing when teaching your child how to swim and playing in water. 

If you’re concerned about your child’s ability level or readiness for swimming lessons, seek out a qualified instructor who can help guide you through these activities safely.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for teaching swimming to toddlers:


How early can I start teaching my child to swim?

The appropriate age to start teaching swimming to a child can vary, but most experts recommend starting around 1 to 4 years old, when children can better understand instructions and have the physical ability to participate in basic swimming activities.

Do I need a professional swimming instructor to teach my toddler to swim?

While having a professional swimming instructor can be beneficial, it is possible to teach your toddler to swim at home using appropriate guidance, resources, and safety precautions. However, if you prefer professional guidance, you can consider enrolling your child in swimming lessons.

How long does it take to teach a toddler to swim?

The time it takes to teach a toddler to swim can vary depending on various factors such as their age, comfort level in the water, and individual progress. It is important to be patient and allow your child to learn at their own pace.

What safety measures should I take when teaching my toddler to swim?

Safety should always be a top priority when teaching a toddler to swim. Ensure constant supervision, use appropriate flotation devices or aids, choose a safe and controlled swimming environment, and teach your child basic water safety rules.

How can I make swimming lessons enjoyable for my toddler?

To make swimming lessons enjoyable for your toddler, create a positive and fun environment. Incorporate games, toys, and activities into the lessons, maintain a relaxed and encouraging attitude, and celebrate small achievements to keep your child motivated and engaged in the learning process.