Week 4: Ideas and Activities to Keep Your Swim Skills Sharp
Hello again! We've loved hearing from our swim families, who are sharing how they're using our "homework" to be ready to swim once our pools re-open - this week we've provided a printable for you to show/tell us why you can't wait to come back to the pool.
As you know from observing our lessons at the pool, repetition is key to mastering our goals and skills in each level. For this edition, we've assembled our favorite "homework" assignments from the last few weeks. The activities at the end are new so be sure to read all the way through!
For our smallest swimmers in our Water Acclimation Program...
In the bath: Practice the "1, 2, 3 GASP" method, several times if possible. Gently pour cups of water over their head to continue their water acclimation process. Practice holding hand using the "harbor hold" that we do during our lessons. (And of course, please make sure to ensure proper safety in the tub, never taking your eyes off your child!)
Song time!: In this program we love to encourage a positive relationship with the water - so with any activities that you do, the focus should be on exploring ways to have fun. One easy way: sing "It's Raining, It's Pouring" while using a small toy watering can or cup to gently pour water over your child's head. Click the image below to watch a quick YouTube video that includes the words to the song.
Go to the beach! (without leaving your home): With the time we have at home now this is also a great opportunity not just to use the bath for “bath time” but using it to have some fun as well. Have a “beach day” at home and allow the kids to get into their bathing suits and while “at the beach, in the ocean” look for fish of all different colors and play with water toys. If your tub is large enough, you can even have more than one child in the tub at a time and seize this opportunity to remind them about water safety rules while they're having fun. Play some summer music and even have a picnic after your time “in the ocean.”
... and for our friends in our Water Survival Program...
In the bath: Just as with our smallest swimmers, the "blastoff" is an ongoing focus for our "over 3" program. Encourage your child to float independently in the bathtub if the size of your tub allows for this. Your focus should be on practicing the same progressions you've seen in class and getting your child used to being on their backs. In addition, it's helpful to reinforce our focus on taking a nice deep breath ("1-2-3 GASP") before their face goes into the water. This will encourage them to hold their breath, rather than blowing out bubbles, which is essential for water survival.
"Dry" exercises: practice climbing onto a couch or bed or up the stairs - with supervision - to mimic the safe entry and safe exit that we practice in the pool. SAFELY jump off the bed or a small stool (one that is held steady) into a small pile of pillows or soft blankets. Practice your "Monkey, Airplane, Soldier" arms! For those in the Turtle 1 program, have your children practice the backstroke: pretend your hands are paintbrushes and "paint" the ceiling of your home, then move hands/arms in a circle by "washing your ears" and then smack your bottom to finish it off!
Watch a video: Here's a short video emphasizing water safety rules that should be enforced at home, at a pool and around any body of water. This video is geared towards adults but children will enjoy it, too!
...for those in our Stroke Development Program...
Stay in Shape! Sometimes it's easy to forget what a great workout our kids are getting in the water. Make it fun by playing a game of "Simon Says" or "Mother May I?" and have the activities within it include jumping jacks, frog jumps or other silly movements to keep them moving. Find a fun yoga video on YouTube and get the entire family involved. GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!
Work on your Breaststroke:
- To practice proper arm technique we need to make a pizza. Circle the arms around and meet the hands at the chest. Palms together and push up like you are cutting the pizza in half. Repeat and enjoy :)
- The kick for breaststroke can be practiced in a chair or on the couch. Click on the image below to see how!
Practice Leg Kicks: Practicing leg kicks outside of the pool will build up the muscles needed to do this movement well in the pool. With your child lying on their stomach on the floor or small pillow, practice lifting one leg and then the other, keeping their knees straight as they do so.
...for our Special Abilities students in Dolphin 1 and 2...
In the bath: Use a toy that can be tied visually to a reward - such as putting a stacking ring on the post or a pretend coin in a treasure chest. Encourage your child to lie back and put their ears in the water, and when they do so, reward them! This can also be applied to taking a breath, a submersion (chin, mouth, nose, eyes or full head) or something more simple, such as allowing you to pour water on their hands, face or body.
In this program it is important to have your child comfortable with getting their ears in the water. This is because if they ever fall in by accident, we want them to know what that feeling is, so they don’t panic! Try singing "The Wheels on the Bus," and when you do the "wipers on the bus," dip their ears in the water. This can be done in the shower or in the bathtub!
... for our Adult Students...
We've mentioned that developing core strength is a great way to keep up with your swim progress. Click on the photo below to read through several core exercises you can do at home.
Prefer to mix it up? Search within YouTube for "yoga for core strength," or click on the picture below for a yoga workout we particularly like:
We miss our swimmers and want to hear from them! We've created this fun printable for your child (or for you!) to tell us or show us why you can't wait to get back to the pool! We'll be sharing some of these on Facebook - scan or snap a photo of yours and send it in, then keep watching to see if yours is posted!
Go on a scavenger hunt - Here's a list of some fun scavenger hunt ideas to do in your house or outside. Click the image below (simply ignore those that aren't an option right now) and see how many items each of you can find! Our favorite is the "Sounds Scavenger Hunt" - which is yours?
Play with your food! - Most of us have endless containers of Play Doh and pasta in our houses - make the most of them with these fun activities which are great for kids of all ages! Click the image below and get creative!
We'd love to hear how else you're practicing your swim skills at home, or simply how you've been keeping busy! Send us a short video via Facebook - link below - so we can share how everyone is doing!
We can't wait to see everyone back at the pool!