Homework for your swimmers

Tossing the ball back and forth in the yard, reading before bed each night...we all know that if we want our child to get better at something, they need practice. Well, how are we supposed to practice swimming without a pool?

My children have gone from pool-resistant to excited swimmers since they began at Goldfish Swim School in the fall. Even though they enjoy their lessons, I wouldn't say they are ready for the Olympic trials. We could use some work. With the sunny pool season finally in sight, maybe your children would benefit from some swim lesson homework, too,

I asked the Goldfish team what we could do at home, and several team members gave me some great ideas.
  • In the bath tub, you can carry over many skills from swim class:
Goggles: Larkyn experienced a major jump in confidence once she was comfortable wearing goggles, which allowed her to finally put her face in the water. From the Goldfish blog: "Studies show that wearing goggles while swimming improves balance in the water by 50%. The more comfortable the swimmer feels in the water, the faster the learning curve will be. Goggles can be worn in the bathtub and even around the house to get young swimmers comfortable wearing them."
"Watch this!"

Here she goes...

Bubbles! (and foot out because the Elsa band aid can't get wet. You know).


Underwater Conditioning: In class, we use a little duck cup that is filled with water. We say "Rhys, ready, go!" as I pour water starting at his shoulders and eventually over his head to prepare him for dipping underwater. Big celebrations follow the splash over the head!

Blowing bubbles: We have difficulty with Rhys opening up his mouth with a giant smile as he jumps in, ending in him swallowing pool water. To prepare him for a closed mouth, we practice filling our cheeks with air ("catching a bubble") and actually blowing bubbles in the water. Even without water, your child can practice blowing out pretend birthday candles to gain breath control.

Kicking Legs and Pulling Arms  This is one of the first routines we practice in class. For babies, we pull their arms for them, getting them to completely cup their hands and move the water. It is fun for them to reach out and pull for special bath toys, too. When kicking, you want a straight leg with a slightly bent knee.

Sea Otter Float: This is where my kids are least comfortable. Neither one wants to get their ears wet, but learning to float on your back is an essential safety skill. Be there for them to support their head if they are afraid and don't push it if they aren't comfortable trying this. Gradually, their hands arms will move away from their faces as they try to cover their ears. Their arms should eventually be extended and treading water with their hands to keep their balance.

There are some fun and easy ways to support your swimmer at home!  Have fun and be safe...

1 comment:

Nana said...

It is so much fun watching them now that they are comfortable with the water. Larkyn will tell you thst she loves swimming now.

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