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Toddler Swimming Lesson 8

Last weeks lesson was canceled at the last minute because the pool temperature was too low. This is why out lesson 8 article is a week later than it should have been. Still no Clare today, so I took my Dad along to take the pictures. He's not as proficient with the steamy low light conditions as Clare so only a couple came out.

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We started the class as usual until it came to the 'humpty dumpty' part. Instead of sitting on the wall the toddlers stood on the wall with the 'toes on the edge' technique that was introduced in lesson 6. The parent held their hands to prevent them from accidentally falling backward. Our pool has a wall around the side so they are standing on the wall and not at floor level, so we have to be extra careful.

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The picture was taken this morning as Amélie splashed into the water from standing on the side. We did a lot of surface swimming in the lesson. There was the usual first surface swim from the instructor to the parent. Then 2 surface swims through a hula hoop to chase a floating ball. After that the instructor made a makeshift bridge using floats and they did a surface swim through the bridge a couple of times too. We have done all of this before but not all in the same lesson.

We did the surface swim to holding onto the side of the pool, and then we did a new surface swim. No big deal, just swimming from parent to instructor rather than the other way around. During most of these surface swims, Amélie wasn't floating as well as some of the other toddlers. One of the others even had their head well above the water.

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The instructor told me to try and let go of Amélie at a bit of an angle. Usually you set them off swimming pretty much flat. I tried setting Amélie off tilted about 25 degrees with her head higher than her rump. It worked out much better that way.

Sinking toys were then handed out. We were to have a race, the rules were as follows. We all throw the sinker forward, say 'name ..., ready ..., go ... ' and set off with a glide swim. While parent and toddler are under water we retrieve the sinking toy from the bottom of the pool. The toddler should reach out and grab it, failing that the parent can grab it and pass it to the toddler.

We then come up for air and finish the length in side holding swim position. When we get to the side of the pool we place the floating toy on the side and put our toddler on our back as they hold on for a holiday swim. The first one back is the winner. I couldn't tell you who won, but when I turned around at the end to see the losers finishing there was no one there. I guess we came last.

The dreaded 'monkey monkey monkey' was next. If you have read previous articles you will know that our child can only go one way. Very happy going left but just doesn't go right. We did the move where you take your child's hand to get them to come from holding the side to swimming away from the side. We sometimes do that through a hula hoop and today was one of those times.

Some of the other toddlers are almost doing it themselves now. Taking one of their hands off the side on their own, turning around, and pushing off towards the parent. After your toddler has come away from the side you swim them a short distance, turn around and come back through the hoop. You leave them to swim the last few inches alone and say 'hold on' so they hold onto the side when they reach it.

We ended the lesson with wibble wobble and row row row your boat. I've gone through this in previous articles, basically wibble wobble the toddlers sit on the float with their feet facing out. The float is rocked more and more until they are tipped off into the water. Row row row your boat, is the same but a different rhyme and feet are facing in so they fall off backwards. We then do run run run, where you help your toddler climb on the float, stand up and run off.

Every time before today we have held our toddlers hands (one held by parent one by instructor) as they jump off the edge of the float. Today we let go and let them splash into the water, go under, and float to the surface. This was pretty good fun actually, although Amélie was a little surprised to say the least.

At the very end we do 'the grand old duke of York' at the end of a verse we do some underwater move. Today we paired up with another parent and toddler. You face your parent partner, both of you are holding your toddlers facing towards you. You go under water with your toddler and sit on the bottom. Under the water you turn them around and set them off swimming towards your partner. So you effectively swap toddlers underwater.

There was just time after for a high five with the instructor, and then Amélie and I were taking an unusually cold shower. I had to change her myself again because the lovely Clare wasn't with me. Amélie is bemused with my nappy technique, I do it with her standing up and she is not impressed! She will be glad to get Clare back no doubt. As will I, as we have not had any decent photographs for a while now. All being well I'll write another article next Monday after the next lesson.

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