Teaching your toddler the basics of swimming will make him more confident in the water and help him to stay safe if he accidentally falls into the pool. Don’t think for a minute that it’s too early to give your tot swim lessons — drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children younger than the age of 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the main objective is serious, swimming lessons are exciting and fun for kids — be prepared, however, to be involved in some major splash warfare.
Before you start swimming lessons, become familiar with child CPR. Take a class at the Red Cross office or your local hospital so you’ll know what to do in the event of an accidental drowning. Your toddler should wear a comfortable, fitted swimsuit that won’t drag in the water. Slather him with sunscreen SPF 15 or higher if you plan to swim outdoors. Give him a snack one hour before you get in the pool to keep his energy levels up. Have a dry towel and clothes next to the pool in case your child gets cold. Limit lessons to 15 minutes or less. Swimming takes a tremendous amount of energy — particularly for a little person.
One of the most important skills to teach your child is proper breathing. You want your toddler to be relaxed in the pool. If he panics, he may start inhaling water, which expedites drowning. Sit on a step with your child in your lap. Instruct him to take a deep breath in and hold it for a few seconds, then slowly exhale. Gradually increase the time he holds his breath. As your toddler gets more comfortable, encourage him to put his face in the water while he holds his breath. If the child is hesitant, show him how he can blow bubbles under water.
Play some simple games to help your toddler acclimate to the water. Many tots are hesitant about putting their heads under water. Help your toddler overcome his fear by dropping a toy in the pool. Encourage him to retrieve the toy and help him to wipe the water from his eyes when he comes back up. Another game you might play is the “wall crawl.” Show your child how to move hand-over-hand along the wall. The walls and stairs are safe places your toddler can hold onto if he gets scared.
It will be a while before your toddler is old enough to swim on his own, but it’s important to get him familiar with the basics. Start with the back float. Squat in the water so that he can rest his head on your shoulder. Instruct your toddler to take a deep breath in so that his belly pushes up. When he feels confident in this position, move him fully into the water and support his lower back with your arm. Encourage him to tilt his head back and point his toes.
Most toddlers are really good at kicking and splashing Mom or Dad with water. Your tot will probably need help focusing on technique, however. He may instinctively draw his legs to his chest and kick froggy style. Show him how to point his toes and scissor kick. Start at the wall, then graduate to a fun floatation device like a kick board or water noodle. Always stay right next to him in the water and don’t try to teach him too many lessons at once. Toddler’s have very limited attention spans. If you teach kicking one day, save arm motions for another lesson.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More