ADVENTURE BEYOND THE SHALLOWS
Now, your little explorers are ready to start putting into practice some core skills. These are fundamentals that’ll get them used to the motions and moves the body makes as they begin to travel through the water.
We here at Swim Squad HQ suggest making sure that they can still touch the bottom of the pool with their feet at this stage. Until they can swim a reasonable distance on their own, adults, stay close!
Check out our Stage Two Learn to Swim gear for even more support. They can wear their favourite member of the swim squad every time they meet the water!
Floating is an essential safety skill to learn. When we face trouble in the water, we need to float on our back before calling for help. It’s also another position for your child to become used to as they get more at home, moving through and exploring the pool.
To help get your child used to floating on their back, practice the star float. Ask them to make a star shape in the surface of the water, let them interpret this themselves. It’ll help them find their own buoyancy.
You can also get them to balance a flat bottomed toy on their tummy or head, encouraging them upwards, to the surface of the water to float.
Increase the difficulty by getting them to paddle around and maintain the balance. Increase the time, bit by bit for a fun challenge.
Bringing ball games into the water is a really fun way to engage core skills that get your child more comfortable in the water.
Try a simple game of catch. Rather than having them throw the ball back, get them to push it back with their hands, head or for a real challenge, get them to use their breath to blow it back to you as they paddle. These exercises will slowly build their recognition of the moves and motions they’ll put into practise later, as they start to learn strokes.
Build this up with the treading water exercises found in stage three!
As they grow more comfortable with the water, a good old game of ‘Simon Says’ is a great way to get them practising the skills they’ve already been introduced to.
Try a game of Simon Says with activities like:
• Holding their breath
• Turning around
• Putting their face in the water
• Doing doggy paddle
• Catching a ball
• Blowing bubbles in the water
• Collecting toys from the surface of the pool
If you’d like to dial up the difficulty, name each exercise after one of the Swim Squad.
Simon Says, show me Darwin the Turtle! (Float on your back).