Amélie is a few days short of 13 months old, and has just completed her 36th swimming lesson. Unfortunately we are short on photographs from today's session, hopefully we can make up for it next week.
I'm happy to say that Amélie's sudden improvement in holding onto the side of the pool, and holding onto my shoulders, wasn't just a one off last week. In today's session I could tell her to hold onto the side and completely let go of her while I put my goggles on. We also managed a holiday swim although she slipped off again when I tried doing an underwater holiday swim.
The first new routine I doubt will help the babies to swim, but it will help them follow instructions. We all stood in a circle with our babies facing the centre of the circle. The instructor stood in the middle and sang 'If you're happy and you know it ...', first came 'clap your hands' followed by 'wave your hands' and finally 'splash your hands'.
We walked around while our babies followed the instructions. After this we did the '1 2 3 swim' where you try and get your baby to swim on the surface of the water. Another new routine was introduced where you have your baby reach out and hold onto the side of the pool. We have done this in the past but this time it was a hybrid of the '1 2 3 swim'.
We did a width in side holding swim position and stopped a little short of the full width. We then did the '1 2 3' where you push your baby forward quite quickly on the surface of the water while saying '1' then immediately bring them back again. Then the same again for '2', and then for '3' it's the real thing and they swim forward and hold on. So it's pretty much the same as the '1 2 3 swim' but instead of swimming from one person to another they swim from one person to the rail or side of the pool.
We did a glide swim through a hoop, chase the ball, woggle swim, horsey horsey on a woggle followed by horsey horsey on the parents back. We did some back to chest backstroke, and then out came the float
We did just about everything we have ever done in the past on the float. Sitting facing out and falling off, sitting facing in and falling off, climbing onto the float and running and jumping off it, the lot. These kids are fearless now, I leave Amélie a few seconds longer now when she falls off the float. She is always perfectly happy to go on again immediately afterwards. The image depicts the typical carnage as all the babies fall off. These kids are a little over 1 year old and falling backwards into water. The full picture is even more impressive but I can't publish anything where the parents or babies would be identifiable.
We did a couple of Amélie's favourite routines where she is thrown into the water by the instructor, who is sitting on the side of the pool. As soon as she came up out of the water I took her towards the side of the pool for a 'hold on'. The picture is from this exact moment this morning. Unfortunately there were hardly any photographs that came out well today.
We did a lot of work on the bar today, we did 2 sets of monkey monkey monkey. In-between those sets we did jumping off the rail. This is covered in a previous article, as is 'monkey monkey monkey'.
I'll not describe the rest of the lesson as it was all the usual routines. I think we must have covered all of the techniques now, and there are only 2 more lesson of baby swimming left. Then we move onto the toddler classes. I'll write again next week after lesson 37, let's hope we get some better pictures!