A continuation of our articles on teaching your toddler to swim. Our lesson this morning was very similar to last week's, so I'll concentrate on covering the differences. We forgot to take our camera so the pictures were taken on a mobile phone.
We had a full class again this morning, and the lesson started exactly the same way as last week's. After 'if you're happy and you know it', the instructor does a '1 2 3 swim' with your toddler and then gives them a high five. Amélie is the only one who doesn't respond. I've been teaching her to point to her ear, nose, eye, and mouth etc. but hadn't included high fives in our games. This morning however I watched in amazement as instead of a blank look, Amélie raised her hand up for a high five!
We did the 'humpty dumpties' the same as last week with all the same routines in-between. Finishing with the new rail hold we learned last week. The first difference from the previous lesson was instead of the full length holiday swim we did a glide swim through a hoop immediately followed by a full width of holiday swim (above the water).
I pushed myself off the side of the pool and glided underwater holding Amélie out in front of me. I let her go so she could swim through the hoop. Usually she swims through no trouble but today I saw her swim down and hold onto the bottom of the hula hoop. I was still underwater and managed to tap her wrists a couple of times to make her let go so she could swim through and up to the surface.
After this I put her in side holding swim position to complete the width, then turned, put her onto my back, and she held on to me as I did a full width of breast stroke. I take for granted that she will hold on now, but she's only been doing it since she turned 1 year old.
During the lesson 3 of the other toddlers cried a bit. I mention it because it's very unusual now. In the course of the baby swimming lessons there was sometimes a baby who cried. Amélie was no exception, during the early months she had a run of baby swimming lessons where she cried. However nowadays it's most unusual for one of the toddlers to cry.
Amélie had her MMR vaccine last week (article pending), I assume the other toddlers are of a similar age so there is a good chance that they have been vaccinated around the same time. Perhaps this is the reason why they were a bit out of kilter this morning. There was nothing persistent, nothing more than half a minute or so.
The lesson continued almost exactly like last week, with one exception. Last week the instructor launched the toddlers into the pool to retrieve the ball. This week we did a dive from the side using the sandwich hold. We have done this before but it was so long ago in the baby swimming lessons I'll go through it again briefly.
Your toddler sits on the side with a ball (or other floating toy). They throw the toy into the water, then you hold them in sandwich hold. That is palm of one hand on their chest, palm of the other on their back. I was standing on Amélie's right so I used my right hand on her chest and left on her back, but you could reverse the position if you feel more comfortable. You then say 'name ... ready ... dive ...' and dive them into the water chest first still holding them sandwiched between your hands. You then submerge them under the water and move towards the ball. The picture shows this point in the routine. Next, bring them up to the surface to retrieve the ball, but you remove your hand from their back so you are just supporting them under their chest using one hand.
I don't think there is anything to add really. We did woggles swims (pictured), horsey horsey, back to chest leg kicking, row row row your boat, wibble wobble, everything we did last week. Sometimes there isn't much new material to cover, and sometimes there is too much. This week was the former. Next week is half term so it will be 2 weeks until the next article. I would like to use that time to add to our diagrams section, but we are swamped with work for the next month or two so I doubt we will have time. I can promise an article after the next lesson though.