4. Little Flippers; Mirror Games, Roll Overs, Back Float Circle & Big Mat Fun

Welcome Song in Little Harbor

Why: Buoyancy, Balance and Socialization!

How: Gather in a circle and have parents lengthen their arms to support their student to create the Little Harbor position. This position allows student to explore the feelings of buoyancy and balance with support.  Encourage parents to support as low in the water as possible so the student can learn to stabilize their position (parents may need to bend their knees slightly to achieve this). 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!

Mirror Game

Why: Breath Control 

How: Prop a kick-board with a mirror stuck to it along the wall (one for each student).  Have parents take a few steps back and support their child under their arms.  Cue 1-2-3 then under and swim to the wall.  Encourage students to grasp the wall (if possible) and look up into the mirror.  Practice a few times. 

For More Advanced Students; ask parents to release thier student under water just before the wall, to allow the student to float / glide into the wall and grab on. 

Roll Overs

Why: Breath Control,  Submerging and Safety

How: Support the child under the arms while facing the parent with the noodle in between the two of you. Be sure the cue the student (1, 2, 3 lift up then submerge. Once they are fully submerged and before the parent takes hold, rotate them to the back.

For More Advanced Students: release and allow the parent to roll/guide.

Back Float Circle

Why: Buoyancy and Balance 

How: There are a variety of support positions on the back but the position in which the parent and student are both relaxed is key.  Educate parents about the importance of being in a relaxed state 

FOR MORE ADVANCED STUDENTS encourage parents to supporting just the head just enough so the student can breath and let the water support the body!

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!

Big Mat Falls (6 – 12 months or those that cannot walk/crawl)

Why: Breath Control and Safety

How: Have students climb up and sit on the big mat and follow the actions of the song. Repeat the song a few times and count one, two, three before falling/jumping in and submerging.

For More Advanced Students; ask parents to take a step back from the mat, so the student can independently fall into the pool. 

Big Mat Maze with Monkey Walk (crawlers and walkers)

Why: Breath Control, Movement and FUN!!!

How:  Set up the pool using cones along the edge and leading to the Big Mat. Encourage students to monkey walk past the cones, crawl up onto the mat and under the noodles.  At the end of the mat cue 1 – 2 – 3 and Jump In! Circle around a few times encouraging the parents to give little to no support and promote independent movement and submerging.

FOR MORE ADVANCED STUDENTS; Create some continuous movement in you class by encouraging students to monkey walk to the bridge. Encourage parents to cue their child and gently submerge them for a body length or more if able.

Challenge More Advanced Students to slide or jump off the mat once they reach the end!

Fishes in the Ocean

Why: Breath Control and Safety.

How: Students climb out at the edge of the pool, 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.  

FOR MORE ADVANCED STUDENTS; Encourage parents to submerge their child completely or to allow the to fall into the water independently and / or  add the turn around by having parents position themselves at the side of their children and assist them with falling in on cue, submerging and turning  to the wall.

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.