Who’s looking forward to the summer?! I tell you one thing… I am! I absolutely love it – lots more sun (I hope!), being able to sit outside in the evening, trips to the beach, maybe a little jaunt abroad. Yippee!
While the Nemo Swimming team will be hanging up their SwimFins and taking a little break over the summer, there are still plenty of things that you can be doing to help boost your little Nemo’s confidence in the water – and keep them entertained at the same time!
In this blog, we highlight the many ways that the summer months can help your baby, toddler, or young child when it comes to all things swimming. Let’s dive in, shall we?!
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming
On an average week, I take my little Nemo for a half hour swimming lesson. Every now and then, I’ll take her to a public pool for a bit of a play, too. Usually, though, she spends no more than an hour in the water – excluding baths, of course. When we go abroad, though, it’s a completely different story!
We recently returned from Tenerife – absolutely amazing time was had by all. My almost-two-year-old was delighted when she saw we had a pool in the back garden – it was, quite possibly, the most exciting thing ever! Every morning, she would wake up, point out the window, and shout “pool!”. Had we not fished her out every now and then for food and naps, she probably would have spent the entire week in that pool. Much as it didn’t do my tan much good, or give me a chance to enjoy a good book, it did wonders for her water confidence. Of course, this was in part down to the extra time in the water, but also because she had the opportunity to explore in the shallow water, to play new games, and to watch other swimmers – old and young – have fun in the pool.
The benefits of shallow water
Whether you’re heading abroad, down to the beach, visiting a nearby splash pad, or simply getting the paddling pool out in the back garden, shallow water provides phenomenal learning experiences for young children. Let your little Nemo explore by walking in the water. You’ll know yourself how different it feels to run or walk in the water; most babies or toddlers won’t have had much opportunity to really explore this new feeling, so it’s a great opportunity to let them learn about their own buoyancy and figure out what they can and can’t do. Encourage them to jump, hop on one leg, walk sideways like a crab, or – if the water is shallow enough – sit down. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that your little Nemo is always closely supervised, but I’m sure you all knew that already!
Water load of fun!
The summer is the perfect time to let your little Nemo indulge in some unstructured-play sessions in the water. They will love watching you have fun in the water, and their water confidence will come on leaps and bounds as a result.
Here are a few ideas you can try:
- Grab some toys, and let them be the teacher for a change – encourage them to show you where they want to go, what they want to see, and what they want to do.
- Try getting your little Nemo to swim on their back – with your support, as needed – and kick a ball with their legs.
- Grab a woggle and play some horsey horsey, go underneath the rainbow, or lie back on those lazy sun loungers – have some fun with it!
- Let your little swimmer go down a slide into shallow water – the sensation of landing in the water will be new and exciting to them.
- Encourage them to jump in, from the side or from a wobble board, and see how big a splash they can make. Sploosh!
That’s it from us for now, but we will be back soon with more hints and tips to help keep your babies, toddlers, and young children safe in the water this summer. If you missed it, check out our recent blog post about floatation aids – what are the best aids out there, and how can they help your little swimmers.
Happy swimming, y’all!
Written by Emma, Nemo Swimming