(courtesy of Cheerios and Lattes)
- Blowing bubbles- The purpose behind teaching children to blow bubbles is to get them used to blowing air out of their mouths in the water rather than sucking water into their mouths. (I often wonder why we call it “blowing bubbles” because the act of blowing bubbles is really humming in the water.)
- Begin, by working on teaching your child how to hum.
- Next, teach your child to blow into a straw in their drink cup, having them notice the bubbles that form.
- During the ‘Tub Swim Time’ give your child a straw and let them play around with blowing bubbles. Once your child understands that blowing air into the water creates bubbles you can remove the straw and teach them how to blow bubbles by placing their mouths into the water. Model for them how to blow bubbles and then stop and raise your mouth out of the water when you need a breath.
- Holding on to the side- Place your baby’s hands on the side of the pool. Place one of you hands on top of both of their hands to secure them. Then, extend their legs with your other hand to give them the sensation of swimming on their tummy. You can also gradually move your hand securing theirs when they learn to hold onto the side by themselves. *You will later use this position to teach your child to swim, so this is a great activity to begin with young children to get them comfortable on their tummy.
Singing with Water Motions: The best part about singing with water motions is that you can adjust or tweak any song/motions to best fit your child and their water comfort level. Here are just a few ideas to help you begin:
- Wheels on the Bus: This is a favorite of most babies/toddlers! When you sing lines like: “up and down” raise and lower your child into and out of the water, “round and round” swim or gently swing your child around and around, etc. I have also been known to add verses or adjust a few to fit better with water motions (ex. “the wipers on the bus go back and forth, back and forth”).
- Ring Around the Rosy: Have everyone stand in a circle and walk/swim around in a circle while swimming. When you get to “all fall down” practice lowering your child a little further into the water, or submercing your child (if you feel they are ready) under the water . You can also set your baby in a baby float and hold their hands as a family and swim around in a circle, tossing them up into the air (in their float) and letting them gently splash back down on “all fall down”.
- Humpty Dumpty: This is a great song to sing as a ‘verbal entry’ activity. When you get to the words “have a great fall” gently pull or have your baby jump into your arms.
- Motor Boat: (fun, active chant) “Motor boat, motor boat go real fast. Motor boat, motor boat go so slow. Motor boat, motor boat stop right now”
PLEASE always watch your child closely and never leave them unattended! Have a wonderful, super fun summer!