Swimming is an essential life skill, the earlier we learn the better. However not every child is a natural water baby and often need a bit of a helping hand and some encouragement. Busy lifestyles often prevent us from making time to take youngsters especially baby or toddlers to swimming classes
Here we have created a run down of activities you can do with your child, in your own time, with minimal cost all whilst having fun, and spending quality time with your child in preparation for when they do start lessons, and simply educating them with a valuable skill for life!
Make Water Fun!
All and any interaction with the water should be fun and positive. As much as you can, encourage splashing, showering over their head and try and make bath time a safe and happy experience!
IDEA Use your imagination! Fairy tail creatures, mermaids,superhero’s and animals of the sea can be incorporated into any time spent in the water. Child friendly bowls or cups and bath time toys are all great ways of making time spent around water enjoyable!
Give Them a Good Clean!
Create familiarity and confidence by pouring water over the face and head. You can start this from newborns - they have spent 9 months inside the womb – they are resilient enough to conker clean water running over their face!
IDEA Use small bucket, or shower head and pour over their face and head! "It's raining its pouring the old man is snoring…”
Safety Tip: Never submerge their face for more than a couple of seconds when first learning this skill
Goggles & Bubbles!
Most children have difficulty putting their face in the water and blowing bubbles. Learning through play, with your supervision, is the best way for this important swimming skill to develop. Let them explore under water using toys. Goggles are perfect for exploring the underwater world!
IDEA Bubbles! Little ones can practice this in the bath or in a bowl at home - get them to blow loud bubbles or quite bubbles, humming or even blowing out birthday cake candles. You can then transfer this skill when visiting your local swimming pool!
Try supporting your child under their armpits and shoulder blades and lay them flat on their back with their ears submerged, the earlier they experience this, the less daunting it is when they come to do it in a lesson environment. Getting them to relax whist in water will help them to float which is an essential part of swimming
IDEA “Twinkle, twinkle little star” - Use your hand, a small mirror or toy to encourage your little one to look up
When you take your little one to the local pool try and teach them to grip the edge of the pool. With lots of encouragement they should be able to do this after a couple of goes unaided, but always be there to support if needed!
IDEA Try a Spiderman or Incy Wincy spider shuffle down the ledge of the pool!
Any movement of your little ones legs is great! Ideally we want them swimming with long legs - by this we mean feet away from their bottoms. Encourage them to splash their feet, which can be done on the back and the front, practise big and small splashes, big and little kicks. Once again learning through play is the best way!
IDEA Use swimming aids such as noodles or floats under their armpits or you can simply assist them yourself and play rocket ships around the water space! Vrooom!
The pool is a fantastic environment to be in and enjoy as a family, but there are always hazards to be aware of around water. Educate your child as early as possible
IDEA Try and encourage them to always walk around the pool, to make sure they are with a grown-up before going into the pool and educate them on how to climb out of the pool and how to carefully enter the pool
All these activities can be included in a family swim session at one of our LED centres or simply at home in the bathtub or shower. Use toys, fun and lots of laughter, praise and positive reactions to any water interaction. If they go under - marvellous!! And if you can show them how it's done, they will follow by example!
If you want to come and join in our classes to encourage your child’s development, or to learn more skills to help you and your child's progress take a look at the timetable below and come on down! If you would like more information then please feel free to call a member of the team on 01395 577057 or contact us here !
Sidmouth Swimming Pool Times and Lessons for Under 4's
|Ducklings||3 to 4 years||Monday||10.30am to 11.00am|
|Discovery Ducklings||18 months to 3 years||Tuesday||10.30am to 11.00am|
|Ducklings||3 to 4 years||Tuesdsay||11.00am to 11.30am|
|Discovery Ducklings||16 weeks to 12 months||Thursday||10.00am to 10.30am|
|Discovery Ducklings||12 months to 18 months||Thursday||10.00am to 10.30am|
|Discovery Ducklings||18 months to 3 years||Thursday||10.30am to 11.00am|
|Ducklings||3 to 4 years||Thursday||10.30am to 11.00am|
|Ducklings||3 to 4 years||Thursday||11.00am to 11.30am|
All children aged under 3 swim for FREE!!
All adults swims are included in your LED Unlimited Membership but you can also come along and pay as you go from just £4.75 a swim!
If you would like more information on which will be the most cost effective method for you please contact the memberships team here who will be happy to guide you!
We can't wait to see you all!