The Best Swimming Gear for Kids

From goggles and swim fins to pool noodles and puddle jumpers, everything you need to help your kid cruise around the pool.

by Cathleen Pruden
Originally Published: 

Some extracurricular activities have high overhead in terms of the equipment you need, but swimming isn’t one of them. When learning to swim the breaststroke or butterfly, beginners need little swimming gear beyond a body of water and a bathing suit. This can be incredibly helpful in making newbies feel more confident in pools or lakes as they learn to swim on their own.

The most useful learning aids for teaching kids to swim are usually toys. When swimming is fun (with the help of select pool toys and swimming gear) kids are more likely to practice their strokes without dread. Swimming games help kids become more comfortable and confident in the water, ultimately making them more proficient swimmers. When they’re blowing bubbles, chasing a torpedo, or diving after sunken treasure, they’re also practicing their swimming.

There are tons of adorable floaties on the market, but most of them don’t meet Coast Guard standards and shouldn’t be used in place of a life jacket. No floatation devices should ever take the place of constant supervision and a multilayered approach to drowning prevention, so parents should never let their guard down around water.

According to Cathleen Pruden, a four-time All-American swimmer at Mount Holyoke College and the assistant swim coach at Bowdoin College, these are the best kids swimming gear and learning aids that will help them learn how to swim and become stronger swimmers.

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