Safe entry, exit and return
Sit, Listen and Wait: We are setting up a safety skill/habit that teaches your child to wait until they are given permission to enter the water. The goal is that parents can swim across the pool and count to 10 and their child waits on the side until permission to enter is given by the parent to get in.
Safe Entry: Independently rolling over and sliding into the pool. Child should hang on the wall until the parent gives permission to let go.
Safe Exit: Elbow, Elbow, Tummy, Knee, Knee: This activity is teaching your child how to safely exit the pool.
Safe Return: Humpties/Safety Jumps: These activities teach your child how to turn and anchor to the mat, platform or wall. If they were to fall in the pool from a seated or standing position, they are learning how to get back to the wall and either walk their hands to safety or climb out.
Parent Tot 1 (4-9 months/ 10-18 months) and Parent Tot 2
1. Safe Entry: If your child is crawling, begin to work on rolling over on deck and sliding in independently or with support. Support their forearms and hands as they scoot backwards into the water. You can put your hands on top of theirs when they are first learning how to hold on to the wall.
2. Humpty Dumpty: This can be done above and underwater. When submerging hold your child’s wrists, pull down into the water, let go of one wrist and turn your child back towards the wall. Make sure you turn them underwater, your child should come out of the water facing the wall or the mat. Ask your child to reach for the wall or mat and anchor.
• When practicing Humpty Dumpty’s we are simulating a fall into the water. Pull your child’s wrists down so they enter the water head first. Do not lift them up off the wall or mat and bring them into the water.
• If your child is leaning forward wanting to fall into the water, try inviting them into the pool without holding their wrists, letting them fall in and turning them under the water back to the wall or mat.
WaterBabies 1 (18-36 months)
1. Safe Entry: You are working on your child doing this activity independently; try to help your child as little as possible. Support your child’s hands as they lower themselves into the water. Have them anchor to the wall for a couple of seconds independently then reach for you.
2. Safe Exit: Support your child’s feet (with your hands) while you ask them to put their elbows on the wall and pull themselves out of the pool. Talk about pulling their tummy out and then lifting their knees up out of the water and onto the wall.
3. Humpty Dumpty: This activity will be introduced from the wall above water. Hold your child’s ribcage, ask your child to lean forward as if they were falling into the pool. After they come into the water turn them into the safety hold and ask them to reach for the wall. Let them anchor to the wall for a couple of seconds with your hands supporting their hands. Then have them practice Safe Exit.
1. Safe Entry: Safe entry should be done independently at this level. If your child decides to go in before you give permission, let them fall into the water, your instructor will sit them back on the wall and instruct them to wait for you. If your child falls in the pool when entering safely let them fall, then set them back on the wall and ask them to try it again. With your support, show your child how to slowly enter the pool and hang on so they don’t fall in.
2. Safe Exit: When exiting the pool, help your child put their elbows on the wall and pull their tummy up, supporting only their feet. Put a toy on the wall for them to reach once they climb out.
3. Go-A-Rounds: This activity is working on a half turn from the teacher to the parent or the parent to the wall or themselves. Help your child the first time so they understand what you are asking them to do. Go under with your child so you can see how much support they need.
4. Humpty Dumpty: Invite your child into the water, once they are underwater, reach for their ribcage and help them turn back to the wall. If they are doing Go-A-Rounds independently then go underwater with your child and with little support help them turn back to the wall and anchor. You can move them by touching the back of their head with your hand.
5. Safety Jumps: Let your instructor know if your child is jumping with 2 feet leaving the ground and they will show you how to do a safety jump safely.
1. Safe Exit: Working on doing this skill independently at this level. Let your child work to get out of the pool a couple times in each class. Only support your child’s feet if needed.
2. Merry-go-Rounds: This skill is working on turning in a full circle. Make sure your child anchors to your arm at the end of this skill. Some children love this so much they will turn around 2-3 times underwater before anchoring onto your arm!
3. Safety Jumps: Your child is working on doing this skill independently. After they jump in only support your child (if needed) by touching the back of your child’s head to help them swim back to the wall underwater.
1. Safety Jumps: Working on doing this activity consistently independently. Go under with your child and point to the wall, try not to help at all.
2. Pop-up into X: Ask your child to jump in, come up to the surface and lean their head back, look up at the ceiling, take a big breath and get into an X-shape. Support their head and let your child try to get into their X-shaped backfloat independently.
◦ When popping up into X, it is important for your child to take a breath once their mouth is out of water then get into X shape.