If you live in an area that experiences actual seasons--like real winters complete with snow and temperatures that drop below 70 degrees--your pool may not be an available place to practice your swimming for a few months out of the year. These long breaks may have you concerned that all the advancements your son or daughter made during their swim lessons in the summer could be lost. Fortunately, toddlers and babies don't need a whole pool to practice their swim skills. In fact, the bathtub in your home is the perfect place for your toddler or infant to practice their swimming! Here are four things you can practice with your toddler in the bathtub to keep their swim lessons fresh during the off-season.
One of the biggest issues kids have when in the water is that they hate getting their face wet. Understandably, the chlorine burns their eyes and being so little they don’t understand exactly why.
Placing goggles in the tub for them serves a few great purposes. One, they will see it as a cool trinket or toy they can fiddle around with and figure out how to get on their face. Secondly, this will help with their breath control and comfortably of getting their face wet. Placing toys that sink in the tub, the infant can then have a little search and find by placing their face down in the water while looking for their treasures.
Blowing bubbles is something you learn in the infant classes and can very easily be practiced in the bath tub. Blowing bubbles teaches breath control and can be practiced with or without tools. Something you may bring into the tub to assist them are a straw or a bubble wand.
As they become better at using the straw to blow bubbles, shorted the straw by cutting it each time so that soon they will be blowing with their face in the water. The bubble wand is something they are most likely already familiar with so it is just a fun way to get them to practice their bubbles without realizing it
The back float is the most critical skill to be learned for infants. Not only is it a resting position, but its crucial for survival safety. Floating on the back is a safely position so that if they ever fall into the pool, they need to know that this is the position that they turn to until help comes.
Additionally, back floats are by far the most difficult to teach so practicing it at home will only make the process both faster and easier. Place a toy above their heads to keep them looking straight up and still.
Kicking can easily be turned into a game. Tell them to kick so that they make big splashes or play a game of “Green light, Red light” where they kick during green and stop during red. This falls under water conditioning and is a tearless exercise to practice.
Practicing these skills at home in their own bathtub will make them more comfortable when it comes to the next lesson. Furthermore, by making these exercises fun, they will be more eager to learn faster and have a smoother set of lessons ultimately becoming more comfortable and ready to move on.
About the author: Clairissa Myatt
Clairissa Myatt, Sunsational Swim Instructor in Boca Raton, Florida is a recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and spent her undergrad time as a Division II swimmer. After graduation, she knew she was not ready to give up her love of swimming so she found a new way to continue: teaching. In addition to working with Sunsational Swim School, she is also a swim instructor at a YMCA in South Florida. There, she is able to both coach a team and teach others to swim of all ages. Clairissa see’s swimming as more than just a survival skill to know, but a life investment.