Thursday, August 1, 2013

Just Keep Swimming, Elizabeth!

Well, the girls completed 6 weeks of swimming lessons and have dramatically improved in the water.

I have 5 videos for each girl of their progress. However, since Vimeo will only let me upload so much per week for free, I'll be spacing out the posts.

When she first began, Elizabeth wouldn't really jump into the water. She would just kindof fall into someone's arms who happened to be in the water. She still won't jump without someone close enough to touch their hand, but she has gotten better.

Six weeks ago she would not leave the wall unless she could hold on to someone. Now she just kicks and floats her way around the pool. She is so, so, so much more comfortable in the water.

Her favorite game is Gingerbread Man. Her instructor, an awesome lady named Tonia who Elizabeth affectionately calls her "Rainbow Girl" because of her bathing suit, would line all the kids up on the wall or on the steps and then say, "Okay, You can't catch me! I'm the Gingerbread Man!" And all the kids would let go of the wall and kick their way to see who could tag her first. In the beginning Elizabeth wouldn't even chase her... she wouldn't let go of the wall. Now she loves it! When I take her to the pool, she tells me, "Go somewhere so I can chase you!"

She is still only comfortable swimming with a float on. I have a Speedo float vest we use when I bring her but she is very comfortable with no more than that. Her confidence level is above and beyond what it was only a few weeks ago when she wouldn't let go of me in the pool.

She is a lot more relaxed now as well and enjoys just having fun in the pool. Here you can see her riding the "Seahorse" noodle and using it to make an elephant trunk - another game Tonia taught her.

She still doesn't like getting her face in the water, which is the main step she needs to work on but she has come a long way in a short time.


  1. These are all such great ideas to get kids more comfortable with the water! Vince is just starting to gain his "water legs" and I've been wondering what sorta games I can use to coax him, too.

    Thanks for posting!

    Adorable as always - impressive what six weeks can do. Wow!

  2. Gina, there are some great games kids can play to work on their water skills. Another good one I didn't have footage of is called Sleepy Starfish. Without a float, you hold the child so they are floating on their back with the legs and arms stretched out, pretending to be a sleeping starfish. You count to ten and then pick them up from under their arms and lift (or toss for the more adventurous) out of the water and catch them saying, "Wake up, Starfish!" It helps them practice floating on their back (you can work up to when they can do it without anyone holding them).

    Not at this Y, but at another place a couple years ago, they also used singing nursery rhymes to help the kids jump into the water... like Ring around the rosy or Humpty Dumpty where the child jumps in on "Down" or "Fall". And Simon Says is another game you can use to have them practice kicking or blowing bubbles. :)

  3. I like that!

    Out of curiosity, do you or your husband swim? I do, but I taught myself. Always wanted to get "real" lessons specifically so I could one day teach my son the right way of doing things. Ha ha ha.

    We don't have a Y near us, but this is such a great idea, I'm half tempted to take him into Philly just to find one!

  4. James never really learned how to swim. I learned how to swim when I was very little and was on a summer swim team until I was 12. I spent several summers just at the pool for swim team practice and then just playing. Lunch was whatever was at the snackbar. lol. I'm not a certified instructor, so I don't think I could legally teach a class and there certainly are tricks like these games that are helpful for younger kids (but not so necessary for older ones) that I've been learning as I've been watching others teach my kids. If there isn't a Y, there might be a county or community pool nearby where you could take him or he could get lessons. The place we went before this was a county facility. Swimming is just one of those skills that is more than recreation... it can save your life... and I can't carry 5 kids in the pool. lol. :)