Being able to swim is a very important skill to have for numerous reasons. Not only is it an activity that is both fun and enjoyable, but it is also imperative for water safety. As mentioned in a previous post, drowning is one of the most common causes of accidental death in children. Swimming is one of the only sports that can actually save a life. Knowing how to swim at a young age is an excellent skill to acquire, as it helps to keep you safe when in the pool and around other bodies of water.
Although swimming is an important skill to acquire at a young age, you are never too old to learn how to swim, as swimming also has many health benefits. Swimming not only keeps your heart and lungs healthy, but it also helps to improve one’s strength and flexibility. As swimming is a low-impact sport, it is an excellent option for older adults who want a whole-body workout. On top of the physical health benefits swimming has, it also has mental health benefits, as swimming relaxes the mind and uplifts your mood!
Further, swimming is great for gaining confidence due to the fact that it is accessible to people of any age and any ability. Swimming lessons provide both challenge and rewards to swimmers. They challenge swimmers to continue to try and improve and become better all the while rewarding them for their accomplishments. This allows children, and adults, to become self-confident and believe in their capabilities. In addition, it is one of the sports that is most accessible for children with additional needs.
Swimming is also an activity that is very enjoyable and fun since swimming lessons are structured in a way for students to improve their technique through playing games and doing fun activities. Also, being able to swim means you can go to your friend’s pool party without having to worry or be afraid to go into the water.
Lastly, knowing how to swim opens up the door to being able to do other activities. If you know how to swim then you can partake in activities such as: kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, surfing, triathlons and much more.
Now that you see the importance swimming has in everyone’s daily lives, no matter their age, sign up for private or semi private swimming lessons today with us at Hippo in the Bathtub!
Do you have a reluctant swimmer? Does your child not love being in the water and requires a large amount of persuasion to go swimming? Introducing your children to water at a young age is an excellent way to ensure that they are water safe. Sadly, drowning is one of the most common causes of accidental death in children. That is why we believe that being able to swim is an essential life skill. However, what happens when your little one comes to the pool and seems very reluctant to participate in their lessons?
Of course, our highly qualified swim instructors will be there to help your child become at ease and more comfortable and confident in the water. But you, as a parent, can also help your child become more confident and comfortable in the water!
When swimmers are afraid and/or reluctant to go into the pool, it often has to do with the fact that they are uncomfortable and uncertain when it comes to water. Luckily, often times, all of our children take baths at home. The bathtub is an excellent tool to use to help children become more comfortable around water. The first step to helping your child become comfortable around water, is to make it an inviting atmosphere. This can easily be done by allowing your child to bring fun water toys into the bath with them. Toys that sink, such as rings, and toys that float, such as rubber ducks, are both excellent options to allow into bath time. As we also bring toys into the pool during lessons, this helps your child make the connection between toys during fun bath time and toys during lesson time.
Furthermore, another technique that can be practiced in the bath, is getting your child used to having water on their head. Often times this is something that young children or beginner swimmers do not particularly enjoy. Practicing this skill can be done by gradually, softly pouring water on your child (a toy watering can is a great tool for this). First, begin with pouring water on their shoulders. Once they are comfortable with this you can work your way up from their shoulders to their head – shoulders, neck, back of head, and finally top of head.
Lastly, an excellent way to practice swim skills with your reluctant swimmer, is to sing songs and play games in the bath. As this is how our instructors teach their lessons, one way to pick up on songs and games is to watch your child’s lesson from the window in the waiting area. Some examples of excellent games are Simon Says and Talking to the Fishies. Simon Says is a great game to practice putting your face in the water. Some of the things you could say are: “Simon says put your ear in the water”, “Simon says touch your forehead in the water”, “Simon says blow bubbles in the water”, “Simon says put your whole face in the water”, etc. Talking to the Fishies is a great way to allow your child to practice rhythmic breathing. This game is easily played by asking your child to ask the fishies in the water a question by blowing bubbles and then listening to the response by turning to the side and putting their ear in the water.
Here at Hippo in the Bathtub, we are certain that our instructors will be able to turn your reluctant swimmer into a confident swimmer who is comfortable in the water. By practicing these skills at home, it will simply help to speed up the process and get your child at ease in the water even sooner!
Almost every little girl dreams of being mermaid at some point in their lives. Being able to swim through the ocean (or pool) with a mermaid fin and tail seems like a dream. However, today it is very easy to purchase a mermaid tail that your child can wear to swim in the pool. Although, mermaid tails are easily accessible, it does not mean that you should purchase one right away as these tails are actually quite difficult to use.
We believe that it is important to first have a mermaid lesson before actually purchasing a tail. The reason for this is threefold; to avoid disappointment, for safety reasons, and to learn how to use it. Here at Hippo in the Bathtub, our instructors are trained to use the mermaid tails and can easily share their knowledge of it with you.
If you book a mermaid lesson with us, our instructors will be able to show your child how to properly use the mermaid tail. Often times, if you purchase a tail without first trying it out, you may think you know how to properly use it, but in fact you may be doing something incorrectly. Our instructors are there to show your swimmer how to use the tail properly through numerous mermaid drills and games!
Knowing how to properly use the tail, follows suit with the safety concern that arises with swimming with mermaid tails. If not used correctly, a mermaid tail can be a danger to swimmers. Children need to be quite strong swimmers to be able to use and enjoy the tails appropriately. Trying out the tail in a class with a qualified instructor can help you to see if your child will be able to use the tail confidently by themselves.
This leads to the last concern, avoiding disappointment. As mentioned earlier, almost every little child wants to be a mermaid at some point in their lives. However, if a tail is purchased before testing it out, your child may become quite disappointed when they do not know how to use it. Booking a lesson with us will allow your child to test out how it feels to swim with a tail and see if they actually enjoy swimming like a mermaid.
Perhaps after one lesson you will be ready to purchase your own tail, but if you are not, you may book more lessons, both private or semi private, with us. Even if you are ready to buy your own tail, you may want to share your child’s excitement of being a mermaid with their friends, in which case you can book a mermaid party at our facility. Whatever may be the case, we strongly believe that before purchasing a mermaid tail, it is a great benefit to both you and your child to first book a mermaid lesson with us.
Hippo in the Bathtub originally followed the Lifesaving Society’s “Swim to Life” swim program when we first started offering backyard swimming lessons in Ottawa. We choose this program since the City of Ottawa pools were currently using the program at their pools. In 2012, the City switched to the Red Cross swim program and we enthusiastically followed suit. Us Hippos LOVE the Red Cross swim program as it has many great awesome components and has amazing content. In this blog post, find out why we love the Canadian Red Cross swim program, and why you should to! (more…)