1. Safe Entry and Travel to the Dock
Why: To ensure that all students enter the pool and monkey walk to the dock safely.
How: Students may walk from the stairs to the wall, grab on and monkey walk to the dock, or students sit on the edge of the pool, roll to their bellies and slide in. You may practice this all at once or one at a time depending on the comfort of the class. Once they are all hanging onto the wall they can monkey walk as a group to the dock.
Song Lyrics: Slide, slide little monkey, slide, slide little monkey, slide, slide little monkey slide little monkey slide.
Why: To increase breath control and prepare students to submerge.
How: Use a cup to gently pour water over the student’s heads. Use a que such as 1 – 2 – 3 or ready set go and then gently pour the water from the back of the student’s head to the front. Let the water wash over their face and encourage them to close their eyes and mouths to practice breath control.
Song Lyrics: This is the way we wash our hair, wash our hair, wash our hair. This is the way we wash our hair here at Little Flippers!
1. Kick, Kick, Kick with Barbells
Why: To practice encourage independent movement through kicking.
How: Using equipment to help with buoyancy and balance encourage the students to kick toward you, the dock, stairs or wall.
2. Back Float with Teacher
Why: To achieve buoyancy, balance and relaxation in the water.
How: Encourage the students to lie back and relax while submerging their ears and looking up. Equipment can be used to practice this skill as well.
3. Glide or Swim to the Teacher
Why: For students who are comfortable with breath control, buoyancy and balance.
How: Position yourself so that you are facing the class and have the swimmers push off the dock or stairs and swim to you. At first you may have to hold under the shoulder or hold their hands to guide them off the dock and into water. Lessen the support as the student gains confidence.
5. Underwater Exploration
Why: To practice breath control and develop confidence with the water closer to the face.
How: Place the sinking shells or eggs in your hand and at arms reach of your swimmers. Encourage them to submerge slow ( an as far as comfortable) to reach under and grab a toy. Have them guess what is inside and shuffle things up for another round!
6. Happy Birthday Game
Why: To allow the student to practice breath control.
How: Pretend that it is each student’s birthday. Hold one or more fingers under water as the candle. Sing Happy Birthday and encourage all students to blow the candles out all at once using their bubbles.
7. Fishes in the Ocean
Why: To prepare students for how to react if they were to fall into the pool.
How: Have students monkey walk to a designated area and climb out of the pool. Once there have them sit on the edge of the pool. Position yourself to the front or side of the student and one at a time assist them with falling in, submerging, swimming to safety and climbing out.
Song Lyrics: Fishes in the ocean fishes in the sea, __(insert students name)__ falls in on 1-2-3!
In a Corner – 1 dock for continuous movement. Kick to the Wall, Monkey Walk Around the Corner and walk across the dock.
At the Stairs – 1 dock for continuous movement. Kick to the dock, walk across the dock and monkey walk back to the stairs (or move in reverse).
In a Lane – 2 docks for continuous movement. Kick to the wall, monkey walk to the dock, walk across one dock then slide to the next and walk across again.