15 Water Safety Books That Are Perfect For Aussie Kids

6 October 2019

VACSWIM is a South Australian Government supported initiative designed to help primary school aged children learn to swim. For over 50 years, we have provided children with opportunities to develop their confidence and competence with swimming, survival skills, as well as basic aquatic emergency procedures.

But your children's swimming journey doesn't begin and end with the VACSWIM program. It's important that your children learn about water safety at home and the sooner they do, the better. Reading to babies and children aids brain development, strengthens imagination, stimulates curiosity, and helps them develop communication skills. Help your child's development by reading with them every day!

We've shared 15 kids books that are designed to prepare your little ones for water safety now and in the years to come.

1. Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me
Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me follows a little girl and her dragon best friend as they spend a day at the beach. They build sandcastles, swim, and get thrown into a race against time to stop pirates from claiming buried treasure. Along the way, the little girl instructs her impulsive dinosaur friend about water safety. This book is particularly handy for learning about water safety thanks to The Dragon's Water Safety Rhyme, and a checklist of swimming safety rules that is included in the book.

2. Kids Don't Float
Kids Don't Float is written for toddlers and preschoolers and is designed to teach them that while some things float in water, others do not. It's written in a sing song rhythm, so your young ones can remain entertained and engaged as they learn about the unexpected dangers of getting too close to the water, and why they should always wait for an adult.

3. Llama Llama Learns To Swim
Based upon the much-beloved children's series from Anna Dewdney, this book follows its title character Llama Llama as he learns to swim for the very first time. It's the perfect book to accompany your children to their own swimming lessons. If they're at all nervous, try reading to them before their lesson so that they can relate to Llama Llama's own uneasiness, and observe his eventual success.

4. The Bear's Vacation
The Berenstain Bears go on a vacation to the beach. Papa Bear decides to share how to be safe with Small Bear. It is one crazy adventure. It is a great book to share with kids getting ready to go on a beach vacation or just in general. It helps to teach beach safety & that following rules can keep you safe no matter the circumstances.

5. Beckett Beaver Learns About Pool Safety
This book is written by a former lifeguard and swim instructor. It follows the classic "do" and "don't" format, optimising the ease with which your child can comprehend the rules of the pool.

6. Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim

Stewie the Duck comes with a song about swim safety that's easy for toddlers and young children to memorise. Encourage your child to repeat it themselves before you take them swimming!

7. See Me Bubble: Teaching Kids to Love the Water
Kids love to blow bubbles from a very young age, but they don't know where bubbles come from. This book is packed with vibrant colours and silly sayings to delight your children and teach them the importance of 'bubbling,' which is really the importance of breathing. It also comes with crucial drowning prevention information for parents to take note of.

8. 1, 2, 3, Jump!
Kids have spectacular imaginations, and they can run wild when they're afraid of something as challenging as swimming. This book features a protagonist who's also scared to get in the water and must overcome her fears. It has plenty of encouraging advice for fearful young ones.

9. Water Safety with Swimmy: 10 Water Safety Rules Everyone Should Follow
Not only is this helpful book packed with information about water safety, it's written in the cadence of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, so the rules are easy for your kids to memorise.

10. Maisy Learns to Swim
This beautifully illustrated book takes your child through the entire swimming experience. Read this one with your kids in the days leading up to their first swimming lesson so that they can get used to all the steps it takes to swim, from entering the pool to learning to swim in the water to the importance of finding your towel quickly afterward so you don't catch a cold!

11. Leo Can Swim
Leo Can Swim provides a nice introduction for your kids to the thought of swimming. What makes this book extra special is it's illustrated with a diverse cast of characters from different ethnic backgrounds. No matter the colour of their skin, your children can find characters that look just like them.

12. Ruby Learns to Swim
This book not only encourages kids to stay safe when around water, but it also reminds them that swimming is a fun experience. With fun illustrations and a simple writing style your kids can chant along to, it's another great addition to your children's swimming lessons.

13. Toby the Dolphin and Water Safety
Toby the Dolphin contains important lessons about water safety. Written by Splash Medics, a group of paramedics and EMTs, the book is designed to help you get your little ones prepared for their swimming lessons.

14. Lifeguard: Beach First Responder
This book introduces your children to lifeguards-what their responsibilities are, and why it's so important for kids (and adults) to listen to them.

15. Saturday Is Swimming Day
Saturday is Swimming Day tells the story of a little girl who is very nervous about getting in the pool during her swimming lessons but is encouraged and supported by her kind swimming instructor, Mary. It helps kids know that it's normal to be nervous about learning to swim and that it's okay to go at their own pace.

VACSWIM offers children the opportunity to develop a range of skills and positive experiences in the areas of water safety, confidence and competence in the water, personal survival activities, and basic aquatic emergency procedures. Learn more about our programs available at over 120 pool and beach locations around South Australia.