During the lockdown, a plethora of at-home exercise channels, programs, and guides for children popped up: from yoga with kids to swimming in the comfort of your own home (of which we are guilty).
However, if you are a parent of a child under the age of 3 or a child that is not yet comfortable putting their head under water, you know handing them a resistance band will not do much for their swimming ability. That is why, we devote this blog to honing in the basics. Let's dive in!
If you are starting off this journey with a baby that is younger than 12 months, there are a few techniques that would be useful to know in the bath. In this video, you will find a demonstration of how to properly hold your baby and how to perform the conditioning with a cup. Given that Mike and Clio's babies are all grown up, this video is presented by Laurie Lawrence. Please note to always be in the bath with your baby and never leave them unattended.
If your child can already sit up in a bath but has trouble submerging their face in the water, here are a few ideas of possible exercises:
1) The Straw Trick: You could give your child a straw to blow bubbles in the water with, then you can gradually shorten the straw until your child finally feels comfortable putting their mouth in the water.
2) Move the Ducky: Once your child can blow bubbles in the water (even with just their chin submerged), you can play the game of making floating toys move by blowing big bubbles - no hands allowed!
3) Look for the Fishy: Getting your child used to wearing goggles, could be a good way of facilitating face submersion as this will allow them to open their eyes in the water more comfortably. Putting a sinking toy to the bottom of the bathtub and asking your child to look at what colour it is gives children a goal for their face submersion. If you do not have sinking toys, simply ask them to tell you how many fingers you are holding under the water (pro tip: do not show any fingers until their goggle are in the water).
For an illustration of how these three exercises can be performed, watch Mike and Louise here below:
4) Wet the Sticker: Once your child is more comfortable blowing bubbles and putting parts of their face under water try and have them wet a sticker that you had previously put on their forehead. For a demonstration, head over to our previous blog.
After spending some quality time in the bath, you can always practice a few coordination exercises on the mat or simply on a comfortable carpet in your living room. Stay put for our next blog on roll-overs, getting out of the pool, and peek-a-boo exercises.