Christmas Themed Swimming Lesson Activities

Create a festive feel with our Christmas Themed Swimming Lesson Activities.

Swimming teachers wanting to add a little festive sparkle to their swimming lessons may want to check out the following Christmas themed games. Including some of our favourite festive swimming activities as well as swim teacher activities from the Swim England Learn to Swim team.

1. Santa and his Reindeer, stages 4-7

Learners are put into pairs, and one learner (Santa) sits on a large float (sleigh) while the other learner (reindeer) has a noodle under their arms and kicks or pulls the large float across the pool.

These pairs compete against each other to get across the pool first and collect presents (smaller floats) along the way.

Equipment: large floats, noodles, smaller floats.

2. Santa’s Chimney, stages 1-3

Using the popular song ‘When Santa got Stuck up the Chimney,’ enter the water and make a circle.

Rotate as a group and carry out activities such as blowing bubbles and ducking under the water.

At the end of the song jump up out of the water and shout “ACHOO!”

3. Snowflakes, Snowballs and Snow Angels, stages 1-7

Move through a range of shapes:

  • Snowflakes are a star shape float on their front or back
  • Snow Angels, learners move their arms and legs in this star shape
  • Snowballs are tuck floats.

Challenge your swimmers by getting them to transition in and out of a range of the above shapes or make it easier by letting them use a noodle or float.

Equipment: Noodles, floats.

4. Home Alone, stages 3-7

Create an obstacle course relevant to the age of the learners.

Equipment: Noodles, floats (large and small), tunnels, toys.

5. Three Wise Men, stages 3-7

Link the water safety messages to the Three Wise Men and create a story around the Nativity.

Water safety messages and skills to be practised:

  • Safe entry
  • HELP positions
  • Survival stroke
  • Emergency numbers (999 or 112).

6. Festive Floats, stages 1-7

Learners could perform a sequence of festive shapes such as a Christmas tree, snowflake (star float), snowman (pencil float) and Christmas pudding (tuck float).

7. Christmas Tree, stages 1-4

Learners travel and swim around the pool retrieving items to be brought back to the central location to decorate and create a Christmas tree out of floats (laminated cards of a tree cut up).

Equipment: Laminated cards of a tree, toys, smaller floats.

8. Santa’s Workshop, stages 1-7

Learners are elves in Santa’s workshop tasked with collecting and building presents. Learners travel or swim around the pool collecting items as instructed and return to a set location to assemble the toys.

For example, collecting mega blocks or floats and proceeding to create an item for Santa.

Equipment: smaller floats, toys.

9. Reindeer Races, stages 3-7

Learners in teams of four use noodles to form a chain and have relay races. The distance and float used can be changed as an adaptation to different abilities.

Equipment: Noodles, floats.

10. Santa’s on his way, stages 1-7

Learners travel and swim around the pool. Teachers call out “Santa is on his way” and all the learners need to stop travelling/swimming and float in the desired shape until they are told to continue to travel/swim.

To make it more difficult include rotation from front to back during each float.

11. Christmas Dinner, stages 3-5

Use a large float in the middle of your area, use different types of equipment to build the table, sinkers as cutlery, small buckets as cups, squishy toys as the food on the table.

12. Golden Sinkers, stages 1-7

Learners travel or swim around the pool to collect five sinkers from varying depths of the pool.

Equipment: Sinkers.

13. Ice Holes

Use floating hula hoops or noodles and connectors to create ice holes.

Swimmers can jump through an ice hole or swim underwater and pop up in an ice hole.

You can create a race where teams have to jump through an ice hole and swim underwater to the next one.

Safety note: ensure swimmers are confident with the relevant skill before adding in equipment.