I feel like I’m a pretty laid-back, non-helicopter parent, but there are a few things that do terrify me as a parent to young children. Those two things are choking and drowning. Did you know that drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14? Nerve-wracking, right?

With summer right around the corner and many pools opening up for swimming fun, National Learn to Swim Day is perfect timing to raise awareness for water safety and the importance of learning to swim. This year, the sixth National Learn to Swim Day will be celebrated on May 20 (it’s always held on the third Saturday of May). National Swim Day began in 2012 by Swimways, as a way to help educate caregivers about water and swim safety and how important learning to swim can be. Where we live (Michigan), there are lakes everywhere, along with many of our friends and family who have pools. We have moved learning to swim to the top of our “prepare for summer” list.

Below are a few fun ways to celebrate National Learn To Swim Day with your children, while also teaching them the importance of water safety and swim safety.

  1. Enroll your kids (and yourself if you’re not a proficient swimmer) in swim lessons! Check your local parks and recreation for affordable and accredited classes.
  2. Head to the library and find some fun books to read with your kids about water safety.
  3. Print off these super cute printables from the Learn to Swim site and have a coloring afternoon.
  4. Head to your local community pool for a day of fun in the sun. Grab some popsicles afterwards.
  5. Thank your local lifeguards for their hard work with homemade thank you cards.
  6. Print these Learn to Swim certificates to encourage and celebrate learning to swim.
  7. Check out your local splash and play (we have indoor and outdoor ones in our area).
  8. Learn CPR and First Aid! This is so invaluable and important!
  9. Go kayaking or canoeing. Don’t forget your floatation devices.
  10. Have a pool? Have a pool game competition (basketball, volleyball, etc). Fun options here!

Since we plan to be out of town on National Learn to Swim Day, we celebrated a few weeks early (and we had a long rainy spell that left us feeling cabin fever) at one of our local pools. We’re lucky to have many pools near us and we particularly love that this one has a designated kiddie area for the kids.

This was Brielle’s first time in the pool and she loved every single second of it. The girl is a little fish in the bathtub so I had no doubts she’d love the pool. She was fearless (which makes me a bit nervous about being around water and solidifies my thoughts to get her in swimming lessons ASAP). Aiden has always been a little fish too so he is super excited for swim lessons! Preparing them to learn to swim now at a young age brings me peace of mind, especially as we plan to eventually install a pool at our home.

She loved her SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy! She couldn’t stop smiling and splashing as she floated around comfortably. I love that the canopy was removable for indoor pool time and I know it will be a lifesaver this summer from protecting against the sun rays (has UPF 50+ protection too). Plus it folds up easily (with a travel bag) to save on space when traveling!

The baby spring float is a perfect way to introduce babies to water. The floats provides stability (it has a great wide circumference) and balance so that they can be comfortable and readied to learn to swim. The mesh layer is perfect for letting kiddos splash away. Be sure to pick one up for your kiddo the next time you’re cruising through Target (online or in store)! The unicorn one is so fun!

Have your children taken swim lessons? Any tips? Do you spend a lot of time on the water in the summer?

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