Week 6: Ideas and Activities to Keep Your Swim Skills Sharp
Welcome to the latest edition of Splash On! We can't begin to tell you how much we've missed our swim families, and once it is safe to do so, are excited to welcome everyone back to the pool.
Read through for new ideas to practice at home to ensure that when your swimmer comes back, they're poised to continue progressing their swim skills!
For our smallest swimmers in our Water Acclimation Program...
In the bath: Continue working on the water acclimation process, using a cup or play watering can to gently pour cups of water over their head. Sing songs and make the process fun while you're doing so - "It's Raining, It's Pouring" is a great option for this.
Practice "pool" safety rules: With most families at home around the clock, family pools and other bodies of water are more likely to be utilized, increasing the risk of water accidents. Reinforce water safety rules with your little one by "going to the pool!" Put a large blanket on the floor and get your swimsuits on (you too!) and talk with your child about water safety rules, which can be found here on the British Swim School site. Make sure to make it fun! Blow a few bubbles, sing songs - but remember to always have an adult Water Watcher on duty...this is good practice for our parents, too!
... and for our friends in our Water Survival Program...
Take a deep breath: It's not always easy to understand the concept of taking a deep breath in and out. Help your child understand with you as their guide! Lie on your back and have your child place their hand on your stomach - or if you're feeling brave, have them sit on your belly! Take a deep breath in and show them how their hand moves up as you do so, then let the air out with a dramatic "whoosh" that moves their hand back down. Kids will think this is funny but the activity will show them how air moves in and out of our bodies!
Practice "pool" safety rules: This activity is fun for our children in this level, too! With most families at home around the clock, family pools and other bodies of water are more likely to be utilized, increasing the risk of water accidents. Reinforce water safety rules with your little one by "going to the pool!" Put a large blanket on the floor and get your swimsuits on (you too!) and talk with your child about water safety rules, which can be found here on the British Swim School site. Make sure to make it fun! Blow a few bubbles, sing songs - but remember to always have an adult Water Watcher on duty...this is good practice for our parents, too!
"Dry" exercise: Place a few pillows next to the blanket and have your child jump into the "pool," then lie down on their back to mimic the backfloat. Position yourself behind their head so they're forced to look back at you, a position that facilitates the backfloat while in the pool. Remember, practice those "Monkey, Airplane, Soldier" arms!
...for those in our Stroke Development Program...
Strengthen your core: Swim athletes are known for having exceptionally strong bodies - especially their core, as this muscle group connects our powerful arms and legs that form the foundation of our swim strokes. Have your child focus on their core muscles with this quick 5-minute video - and join in for a quick workout for you, too!
Back to back(stroke): This week we recommend revisiting a few of the backstroke exercises that we first introduced awhile back:
- Have your child practice flutter kicks by lying on their stomach creating "white water" or "boiling the water" with their kicks. In our lessons, we focus on slow and steady movements without big splashes!
- Have them stand with their back to the wall and alternate their arms extending them all the way until their fingers reach the wall. Be sure to remind them to rotate their shoulders!
- Remind them that it is important to point their toes! They can practice this lying either on their stomach or back on the floor or couch and flutter kicking their legs while pointing those toes.
...for our Special Abilities students in Dolphin 1 and 2...
This week's Splash On! edition includes several activities that we feel would be a hit with our Special Abilities students! Take your cues from them to see which they might enjoy most. We recommend starting with "going to the beach" and the core strengthening exercises. Your child may also enjoy trying the "take a deep breath" exercise on their own - perhaps with a small toy or book on their stomach to show how their stomach moves up and down as they take deep breaths.
...for our Adult Students...
Stay inspired: During these crazy times it's easy to become a bit "lost" and forget your reasons for learning to swim or for staying active in the pool. Here are a few recommendations to keep your motivation alive:
- Read a few personal stories: from those who were seeking health benefits to others who learned to swim to become closer to their adult children, browse through these stories submitted to Swimming.org and rekindle your flame for swimming!
- Curl up with a good book: Check out this list of the "5 Books Every Swimmer Should Read," published by Swimming World Magazine. We especially can't wait to dig into The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory."
...and just for fun...
Complete a Time Capsule - Graphic designer/teacher Natalie Long found a fun and educational way for kids to record their feelings and experiences during the COVID-19 era, with a "time capsule" that can be printed and saved for looking back on for years to come. Older children will be able to complete this with little help, while younger kids will enjoy drawing the pictures and dictating their responses for their parents. We recommend using a sheet of cardstock or construction paper as the back and stapling the pages together to make it last longer.
Make a sidewalk masterpiece! - With some sidewalk chalk and a bit of painter's tape (or masking tape will work, too) kids can make these beautiful sidewalk mosaics. We think parents will enjoy the satisfaction of pulling the tape off at the end the most :) Click the image below for a quick tutorial on how to set this up.
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!