Learn to Swim

A guide to the Learn to Swim Programme

Christmas themed games and activities to use in swimming lessons

The Swim England Learn to Swim team have created some fun games and activities that can be used in the build-up to Christmas, giving your swimming lessons a festive feel.

We hope all your learners have a lot of fun taking part in these games and we’d love to hear your feedback on how your lessons went.

Explore more Christmas ideas for your swimming lessons here.

Santa’s Lost Presents, stages 1-7

Spread out sinkers and floats across your workstation and ask your learners to locate the ‘presents’ under the water and above. Encourage them to blow bubbles, especially in lower stages. Next, ask your learners to collect the ‘presents’ as a team or individually, then return them to the sleigh which is represented by a larger float.

Equipment: Sinkers, small toy floats and a larger float.

Snowball Catch, stages 5-7

Split your group into pairs or mini teams of three to four. Learners must then start throwing a snowball (any size ball) between them without letting it touch the water – as the water will melt the snowball! Starting in a standing position, learners need to complete ten catches within their team.

Once completed, they then move deeper and deeper: focusing mainly on treading water and communication skills within the water. This game is great for advanced levels.

Equipment: Any size ball, vary the size of the ball to increase difficulty.

The Elves Workshop, stages 1-7

The learners are the elves and the teacher becomes Santa. Scattering ‘presents’ (floating/sinking objects) around the pool, the ‘elves’ will go around the pool collecting as many ‘presents’ as they can within an allocated time. When they hear Santa call out ‘ho, ho, ho’, they must return their ‘presents’ to Santa’s Workshop.

Equipment: Small floats and sinkers.

Christmas Noodle Tree, stages 1-7

Using noodles to act as tree branches, hang them over the side of the pool. Ask your learners to collect sinkers and/or floating objects to hang or place on the tree branch (noodle). The more they can collect, the more decorative the tree will be.

Equipment: Noodles, sinkers, small floats.

Chimney Jump, stages 1-7

Ask learners to jump into the pool the way you think Santa would come down the chimney.

Reindeer and Santa Races, stages 1-7

Ask your learners to get into pairs, one learner is the reindeer and the other is Santa. The reindeer is at the front with a noodle under their arms, and Santa holds on to the ends of the noodle. When the teacher shouts ‘ho-ho-ho’, the race begins. For the higher levels, you could have a chain of reindeer.

Equipment: Noodles.

1,2,3 Snowflake, stages 1-7

Learners begin treading water and upon the instruction ‘snowflake’ they can demonstrate a star float, or in this case, a ‘snowflake’.

Equipment: Noodles – for support, depending on the stage.