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An easy way to give children the confidence to float on their back. Holding onto 2 milk bottles gives stability to lift their legs to the surface while feeling relaxed and comfortable. It is ideal for children that are still developing fine motor skills (easier to hold and manage than a kick board) and easy to manoeuvre allowing them to find their ‘balance’. The bottles are low cost and can be stored in a ball bag.
Floating while holding onto a rail/pool edge is a great way to work with a large number of swimmers at once. Every swimmer can be on task working to their ability while you as the teacher assist and provide feedback individually. Remember to look for eyes down, long arms and a long relaxed body.
When working with children performing back floats get them to sing a song (as a group is less embarrassing and stressful) to ensure they are practicing relaxed breath control. Relaxed bodies float better than tense ones and this drill takes children’s minds off the act of floating and encourages more natural floating.
Will it float or will it sink? Kids love learning about water and how it works. Explore what floats and what sinks and why. Who can make a boat to sail in the water? Whose sailed the best? Why? What kind of resources can be used to make these boats? Encourage your kids to think about why things float and sink - and then transfer this information into their swimming activities too.
Have you ever tried to be a yo-yo in the pool? It is done in partners (each have a turn being the “yo-yo”) and is used to help understand how air inhaled with breath-holding helps you float and exhaled helps you sink. Each partner holds breath at first and is gently pushed under the water – they will “bob” back up to the surface and the action is repeated – like a “yo-yo”.