Adam Knight - 5 top tips to help your children return to the pool
Getting back to pool after being off for a while can be like finding a needle in a haystack, throw in children and teaching them how to swim in the mix can be a whole other story!
With this, I want to give you five tips on how you can prepare your child to get back into swimming lessons in the smoothest and most successful way possible.
1. Bath time games
I highly recommend that you play games such as Simon says, Treasure hunt and Finding Nemo in order to improve water confidence. Pouring water overhead and playing games that encourage your child to independently put their face into the water will give them a huge head start when they arrive on poolside for their first lesson back.
Simon says - Ears in the water, chin in the water, nose in the water, one eye in the water, face in the water (zip your lips first)
Treasure hunt - Choose a character (Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Mr Smee) Make it a competition “I bet I can get the treasure first”
Finding Nemo - Ask your child to close their eyes and count to ten. Hold a Zoggs Dive stick or Splashem toy at the bottom of the bath and encourage your little one to grab the toy - with their face in the water or by blowing bubbles.
Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes - Using a cup, pour water on you and then on your child. Then try and get them to pour on themselves while singing.
2. Ask questions
Start a dialogue and conversation about swimming with your little one. Discussing all aspects of swimming with your child will not only help them affirm what they need to do in order to achieve good technique, but will also mentally prepare them for their first lesson back. Here are some questions you could ask your child:
Where do we look when we swim? Down at the fish
How should our body be when we swim? Flat like a pancake
How do we kick our legs? Straight legs with pointy toes
How do we do our arms? Straight arms in a BIG circle.
What is your favourite thing to do when you go swimming?
3. Buy Zoggs Learn to swim products:
Zoggs have an incredible range of practical and sustainable swimwear and toys. My personal favourites in the Zoggs range for children 3 years and up include:
Zoggs little twist goggles - Leak free, easily adjustable and promote water confidence and achieving that all important horizontal body position
Zoggs dive sticks - Encourages children to put their face in the water and reach for the toy
Zoggs Splashems - Helps facilitate learning to swim through fun, they can be retrieved from the bottom and squirt water
4. Take them to the pool yourself and have FUN!
Swimming is so much more effective if children are having fun and enjoying themselves. There is no point trying to force your child to do something they don’t want to do as this could knock their confidence. If you take them swimming yourself and allow them to play and explore, when they attend their swimming lessons they will relate this activity with the fun experience they’ve just had with you.
5. Inspire their Imagination
Inspire their imagination by using characters such as Nemo/ Dori, Ariel the mermaid, Sebastian the crab and Aqua Man to make swimming relatable and fun. A character or role model that is relatable for children can be an extremely powerful tool for boosting nervous children’s confidence.
One final thing to note is that your child will look to you as a role model too. This means that if you demonstrate how to put your face in the water, how to kick your legs with pointy toes, how to perform a star float ect your child will be much more likely to do the same.