Welcome Song in Little Harbor
Why: Socialization and Buoyancy and Balance.
How: Gather in a circle and have parents lengthen their arms to support their child and create the Little Harbor position. This position allows the child to learn how to support themselves in the water by exploring buoyancy and balance. Encourage parents to support as low in the water as possible so the child can learn to stabilize their position. Parents and students are also free to splash their hands while singing along. This reminds the parents, infants and toddlers that the water is everywhere and helps to acclimate them to that sensation.
Song Lyrics: _______is here today __________is here today _________ let’s all splash the water __________ is here today!
Conditioning on the Steps
Why: Breath Control
How: Instruct parents to take a seat on the steps and hand them each a cup or watering can. Encourage parents to begin by pouring water gently from the back of the child’s head to the front so it is less intimidating. This technique is used to teach the students to hold their breath in response to the water being poured over their head, eyes, nose and mouth. Proper conditioning is a crucial first step to preparing for submerging!
During the initial introduction of learning breath control, submersion’s of young children must be brief (approximately three seconds) and few in number (no more than six per lesson). Once the child can consistently initiate the submersion’s AND can demonstrate competent breath control, submersion’s can become longer and more frequent.
Bridge and Fountain
Why: Breath Control
How: Use a dock to prop up the yellow cheese mat into a bridge. Instruct parents to hold their little one under the arms and move in a circular pattern. Hold the noodle up against the jet to create a fountain for them to pass through. Train parents to walk slowly through the fountain and look for the natural reaction of the child when the water pours over their face. After a few cycles you should notice that the student is prepared and simply closes their eyes and mouth when under the water. Water washing from the back of the head to the front is always less intimidating.
Noodle Boat Fun
Why: Buoyancy, Balance and Movement
How: Have parent place the student into the noodle boats facing the ring then gently tighten the ring. Be sure the student is positioned so that the noodle is at their armpits and their back is against the curve of the noodle. This creates a batter feeling of balance and results in the student being more comfortable in the noodle boat. Note; Place a small plastic ball under an infants chin if they are not able to independently hold their head up.
Back Float Circle
Why: To practice Buoyancy and Balance on the back.
How: There are a variety of support positions on the back but ultimately the best is the position that gives both parent and child the most comfort. Educate parents about the importance of a gentle touch and light hold.
Song Lyrics: The babies in the pool float in and out, in and out, in and out, the babies in the pool float in and out here at Little Flippers!
Fishes in the Ocean
Why: Breath Control and Safety.
How: Students sit on the edge with their feet in the water and with or without parent’s assistance sing the song and fall in on cue. Aim to submerge upon entering.
Song Lyrics: Fishes in the ocean, Fishies in the Sea, we all fall in on 1-2-3!
Wheels on the Bus
Why: To end each class on a happy note!
How: Gather students and parents into a circle and pass out a small floating bus toy to each student. Ask the parents to match their actions to the lyrics of the song.
Song Lyrics: The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheel on the bus go round and round all through the pool! Repeat with the following lyrics:
- Windows go up and down!
- Wipers go Swish, Swish, Swish!
- Doors go open and shut.
- Horn goes beep, beep beep.
- Babies Wave Bye Bye.