We hope you are doing okay during these challenging and frightening times. Have you had a chance to try out a few things from Swimming Practice at Home part 1? (Don’t worry if you have not done it yet). Here are additional exercises for those who are ready for more. Enjoy!
Blowing bubbles during the bath time (non-swimmer)
We mentioned in Swimming Practice at Home part 1 how to start gently with children who do not like the sensation of the water on their faces. Once they are comfortable with blowing out when the water is coming down to their faces, it is time to move to the next stage, which is submersing. Feel free to use goggles as it helps to see better. You can hold a toy in the water or place sinking toys (see below) in the bath and ask them to look in the water to catch treasures. Remind them to keep blowing bubbles whilst they hunt for treasures. This is a great way to build their confidence.
This green and ethical bath toy submarine from SOUZU would be another great one to use.
Blowing bubbles during the bath time (beginner and up)
Once your child has learned how to blow bubbles in the water confidently, we recommend you try this to make the skill stick.
You child should submerge their face in the water and blow bubbles (exhale), then come up to catch the air (inhale) when you tap on his shoulder or head. Repeat this head in and out/exhale and inhale exercise a few times to get used to the breathing rhythm. Instead of tapping the shoulder, you could simply give the command ‘bubble!’ for ducking the head in and ‘breath!’ for bringing the head out of the water. Ensure your child is actually blowing bubbles and not holding their breath underwater.
Backstroke leg kicking
For this exercise, your child needs to lie down facing up on the floor, sofa or bed. Check if they have pointed toes, stretching the end of their feet downwards before starting. Some children may be more familiar with the term ballerina toes. They can then start doing the flutter kicks as they would do in the pool, with each leg alternating. Make sure they are NOT bending knees and their kicks are upward and small. As with front crawl kicking, they can start out slowly and speed up their kicking.
Backstroke arm action
You will need a balance ball or a beanbag for this exercise. Your child should sit on a ball with feet on the ground, then lean back towards the floor, looking up the ceiling.
Keeping arms straight, start lifting one arm towards the ceiling. Carry on moving the arm towards your head, brushing the ear with the palm outwards.
Make sure the arm goes inline with the shoulder. Now use the palm to push the imaginary water all the way to his feet, with the hand arriving by his thigh with extended arm. Do the same with the other arm. Once your child knows how the movement works, they can speed it up alternating arms continuously. They can then start moving the ball backward with their feet, adding movement as if they are swimming the backstroke. They can’t see anything behind, so watch out they do not bump into things!
For more advanced swimmers, they can work on bending the elbow slightly when pushing the imaginary water towards their feet. This means arms need to be extended for the first part (above water) and they should be bend slightly for the second part (underwater).
Send us pictures or a video clip of your child practising at home to firstname.lastname@example.org.