Swimming Game – Car Wash


Car Wash

Core Skill

The core skill developed in Car Wash is water acclimation and breath control. It’s a gentle introduction to water on the face and the concept of submersion.


This game is suitable for young children accompanied by an adult, perfect for parent-tot classes and Level 1 swimmers.


Car Wash is a playful activity where children experience water being poured over them while moving through the water, simulating a car wash experience.


  1. The child, accompanied by an adult, moves through the water.
  2. The instructor or parent gently sprinkles water over the child.
  3. Progress to having the child blow bubbles.
  4. Gradually increase confidence in face submersion.
  5. Introduce more water pouring over the swimmers using buckets, hoses, or water features.

To adapt the Car Wash game for a Level 1 class where kids are independent in the water without parents, a swim instructor could follow these steps:

Adapting “Car Wash” for Level 1 Swimmers

  1. Introduction: Start by explaining the game and demonstrating how to move through the “car wash” without assistance.
  2. Equipment: Use larger buckets or incorporate sprayground features like water mushrooms or gentle showers to simulate a more immersive car wash experience.
  3. Independence: Encourage children to move through the water independently, promoting self-confidence and reinforcing the skills they’ve learned.
  4. Buddy System: Pair up children so they can take turns pouring water over each other, fostering teamwork and social interaction.
  5. Challenges: Introduce gentle challenges, such as moving through the car wash with eyes closed or blowing bubbles while being splashed, to develop breath control and comfort with water on the face.
  6. Safety: Ensure all activities are supervised closely to maintain safety, especially when children are using larger buckets or near sprayground features.
  7. Positive Reinforcement: Provide plenty of encouragement and praise to build confidence and associate the water with positive experiences.

By using these adaptations, the swim instructor can create a fun and educational environment that helps Level 1 swimmers become more comfortable and capable in the water.

Difficulties Instructors Might Face

  • Fear of Water: Some children may be initially scared of water being poured on them.
  • Parental Involvement: Ensuring parents are actively participating and supporting their children.
  • Progression: Judging the right time to introduce more water or encourage submersion without overwhelming the child.
  • Equipment: Availability of water features or tools to simulate the car wash experience.
  • Attention Span: Keeping the children engaged and entertained throughout the activity.

This game is adapted by Swim England’s Car wash game!

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