Many of you have heard the Humpty Dumpty song during your time with us at the pool. This jingle is a fun distraction for swimmers to sing while they are practicing “simulate falls” also known as “slide-ins”. It also helps overcome fear! A great way to introduce children to a new unknown skill or task is through distractions associated with play and songs. This form of structured play and games are not only FUN, but also supports the development of critical motor and survival skills, including the following:
- Gross and fine motor control
- Spatial awareness
All of our swimmers are taught water safety skills and pool rules during our lessons. This is to teach not only the life skill of swimming-But how to be SAFER around water (Check out our blog on SAFER Swimming Here).
It is very important for all children to know what to do and how to act if he or she ever falls into the pool. This is a a LIFE SURVIVAL SKILL. This is indirectly taught through our introduction of a ‘Humpty Dumpty’. This skill is performed with the parent (or teacher) assisting the child with a simulated fall by sliding into the pool. Upon submersion the child is taught to turn towards the wall and reach up for the edge to climb out safely. We sing a jingle to distract the child and this makes LEARNING FUN! As the child becomes more confident and skilled, parents begin to reduce assistance until it is no longer necessary. The goal of this skill is to teach the child to turn, reach their hands up and grab the wall and climb out safely.
A common mistake many people make is to teach children to jump to an adult. This is FUN for your child, but it does not reinforce the safety knowledge of getting to the wall so they can climb out to safety. This is the main reason why our team teaches a simulated fall (Humpty jump) before encouraging the child to jump assisted. We recommend only teaching jumps to children who are able to get back to the wall and climb out unassisted.
As we all know-Every child is different so some modifications and adjustments may be implemented so your child will feel comfortable. Below are a few scenarios that we have encountered with our swimmers:
My child doesn’t like to go under water-What do I do?
If your baby is still a little weary of putting his/her head under the water- DO NOT let them slip below the surface. We have found that slowly working towards full submersion by first touching chin, then lips, maybe ears, etc. has really improved the comfort level of the child and their willingness to continue trying. It is very important to turn your child back to the wall immediately to climb out-This exercise will help to boost their confidence level and soon you will have a little FISH on your hands!!
My Child is a FISH! What do I do?
If they are comfortable going under the water, let them go in a free fall fashion into the pool. While lifting them up from the submersion turn them to face the wall. Then help them paddle and kick back to the edge of the pool. This exercise teaches the child to feel the sensation of free falling into the water and to return to the edge aka SAFETY! Most swimmers do not realize that the closest wall maybe behind them.
Learning to swim is a huge milestone in a person’s life. It is not only a life skill, but something FUN that they will enjoy for the rest of their lives! Early exposure to the water and safety skills is KEY to the proper foundation for learning to swim. Making SWIMMING FUN motivates children to want to come back to lessons each week. You will be AMAZED how much they learn through PLAY!
See you at the Pool! -Miss Christine