Being able to blow bubbles in water isn't just a fun way to pass the time in the bathtub, it's actually an important first step to teaching your toddler to swim. It also helps your little one know what to do if she accidentally puts her face underwater, by pushing it out through her nose. While your toddler may not be enthusiastic about putting her face near the water at first, plenty of encouragement and positive experiences can go a long way in helping her feel more comfortable as she learns.
Start before you even get in the water, according to University of Florida swim instructor Beth Jenkins. Sit on the side of the pool and show her how to close her mouth and blow through her nose, like she's blowing into a tissue.
Start small and try blowing bubbles in the bathtub if the swimming pool seems overwhelming to your little one. While being closely supervised, have your toddler put just her nose and mouth into the water and blow to create bubbles.
Demonstrate the skill yourself, particularly if your child is frightened at the idea of putting her face in the water, suggests the West Austin Athletic Club. Put your face into the water and blow bubbles to show your toddler that this activity can be fun.
Play a game that makes blowing bubbles more fun. Tell your toddler that you're going to have a contest to see who can blow bubbles the longest. On the count of three, both of you dip your nose and mouth under the water and blow bubbles at the same time.
Work on helping your toddler become more comfortable with placing her whole head under water, but never force her to do so. If she's ready and willing, instruct her to place her hand on top of her head and then go under the water far enough that her hand gets wet, all while blowing bubbles. Alternatively, if she's not ready, continue working her bubble-blowing skills until she's more comfortable in and around the water.
Never leave your toddler unattended in the bath afterward -- she could try to test her new skill and accidentally suck in the water instead.