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Warm-Up Fun Games

Here are some exciting fun games to get your swimming class started. Keep them fast paced and you have a great warm-up. Remember in all the excitement to keep things safe.

Water Safety Quiz

Objective:
Improve water safety and survival knowledge.

Players:
4 to 8 - divide larger groups

Required:
Plenty of clothes large enough to fit everyone, at least four different items per player, more would be better. The more variety you have, the more fun it is for the players. Think of it as reverse strip poker.

Preparations:
Put all the clothes neatly onto the poolside. Stay near the shallow end of the pool where the water is no more that chest deep. This helps players who are not used to wear clothes in the water.

All players start wearing only one piece of minimal swimwear at the shallow end.

Ask Questions:
The quiz master asks questions about water safety or lifesaving skills.

Whoever has the first correct answer puts on one item of clothing and swims two lengths before rejoining the group. Beginners may just wade into neck deep water and come back to the group.

Continue until all available clothes are worn by the players. The winner is the one wearing the most clothes. If two players wear same amount of kit, the one with the heaviest outfit wins.

Final Race:
It will be interesting to see how fast the winner can swim with all this kit on. Maybe you let the whole class race over to the other side. That gives those a winning chance who didn't do so well in this game as they wear less clothing.

Spray and Soak

Objective:
Teach careful behaviour on poolside and highlight dangers.

Game type:
Active. A lot of movement may be required.

Players:
6 or more players, dressed in dry long sleeve tops (hoodie is best) and long pants.

Required:
Swimming pool with water hose

Rules:
All players start this game in dry clothes, otherwise you wouldn't see who has been sprayed. One volunteer (or the teacher) is in the middle of the pool with a water hose which is turned on.

Everyone else walks clockwise around the outside of the swimming pool without stopping and within the range of the water hose. No running, for safety reasons.

The person with the hose can move the hose out of the water and spray a person. Players can take cover behind other players who then get soaked instead. Or they always face the hose with one side in the faint hope they only get half soaked.

Whoever gets completely soaked (more than 3/4) jumps into the water and takes over the hose. Continue until everyone is in the pool. The last one to jump into the pool is the winner. This is a great game to start your swimming lessons.

Get Dressed For Survival

Objective:
Teach aquatic agility and swimming in clothes.

Players:
The more players, the more fun, but the game will work fine with just 2 people. With a small group this game can involve everyone, or it can be just an "up-front" game if you've got a larger group.

Required:
Plenty of clothes, at least four different items per player, more would be better. The more variety you have, the more fun it is for the players. Each person needs a shirt, pants, socks, and what ever other clothing you would like to use.

Preparation:
Have all of the players line up, in the pool at one end. Have someone else who is not playing take all of the players' clothes and bring them to the other end of the pool. Have that person get the clothes wet until they sink to the bottom, and then mix up all the clothes and put them in a pile at the bottom of the pool. That person now gets out of the pool or out of the way of the racers and becomes the judge.

The Game:
When the teacher says "Get Dressed" the players swim to the other side of the pool, find their shirt in the pile and put it on, then swim back to the first side. Once they touch the edge they turn around, race back, then find and put on their pants, then race back to the first side. Next come the socks and so on. The order doesn't really matter. First person back to where they started and all dressed wins.

Twist 1:
Use jeans or long pants and hoodies or rainwear because they are more difficult to get on.

Twist 2:
You may also like to play it the opposite way where you have to swim to the edge, take off the clothing, then swim back touch the edge and back to take off another piece of clothing. Once they've taken all their clothes off, play the first game and put it all back on again. Great fun.

Winter Experience

Objective:
Teach the neccessity of clothing layers and choosing warm clothing, to be prepared for situations where one falls into water in winter. This game can be quite a challenge, but may actually save lives in winter.

Required:
Two bins of various winter clothing items (hoodies, rainwear, snowboarding kit, heavy jumpers, etc.) with at least four different items per player, more would be better. The more variety you have, the more fun it is for the players. Beginners may want to use only mitts, scarves, hats and socks. Advanced swimmers can use long johns, jeans, sweaters, sweat shirts, rainwear, and such. If there is no shallow water available, PFD's can be worn.

Preparation:
Players start the game dressed only in T-shirts and shorts. Put the winter clothes onto the far side of the pool. Spread them out so they can be easily seen. Sort them by size. If the clothing is not the appropriate size for the participants, especially pants, this can cause problems.

Method of Play:
The group is divided into two teams, queued up into two rows on the opposite pool side from where the clothes are.

Whoever is first, swims across the pool and chooses an article of clothing that is appropriate for winter. It must be properly worn.

Then they swim back and tag the next player. The first team to wear all the appropriate clothing and finishes first wins this game.

Bottle Hunt

Objective:
Teach underwater swimming and agility.

Required:
About a dozen clean, unlabeled plastic water bottles. No glass bottles.

Method of Play:
Fill the water bottles with pool water, screw the cap on, and hide in the bottom of the pool.

The challenge for the swimmers is to find the bottles, which is a lot harder than it seems as clear plastic bottles are hard to see underwater.

Make sure you retrieve all the bottles, leaving none in the pool.