Summer is officially here and for most of us that means a lot of extra pool time. Play areas, diving boards and water slides aside, what are some fun games you and your child can play together to maximize their learning this summer?
“Kick” the beach ball – (Beginner) We promise your beginner will love this one! Have them sit on the stairs and do a quick review of their flutter kicks. Remember toes pointed, little bend in the knees. Put the ball down in the water in front of them and have them “kick” the ball to you. No stairs? Hold them with their back to you and place the ball in front – Then swim together to pick up the ball.
Mirror Me! (Beginner, Intermediate) Look at your swimmer and have them mimic you. This can be as basic as put your ears in the water, put your mouth in and blowing bubbles but can advance from put your face and eyes in to nose bubbles. For intermediate swimmers this can include going underwater, sitting on the bottom of the pool, streamline jumps (arms straight up overhead and locked, hand over hand), big arms, breaststroke arms etc.
Bike rider (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) This is a kicking exercise and you will need a noodle. It can be used to practice any kick your swimmer is working on in lessons. Tie your noodle in a knot and this is your handle-bars. Have your swimmer hold either end of the handle-bars with their arms extended straight out in front of them and off they go.
Stepping Stones (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) rings work great for this but you can use anything that sinks. Depending on the level of your swimmer the stones can be closer or further apart. Try things like, “Do scoops to the first stone,” “Do flutter kicks to the second stone.” For intermediate swimmers try swimming underwater, various kicks and strokes they have been practicing. For more advanced swimmers try swimming butterfly, breaststroke, surface diving and swimming underwater. You can even have them stop and tread water on top of one of the stones.
Playing games with your children will allow them to progress and develop. Observe what they are doing during lesson time and incorporate these skills into your games. For additional ideas on what you can work on, check out our curriculum matrix.