Part of teaching children to swim is to make water play fun. Pool toys have been a fixture of the backyard pool for many years. Kids (and adults) naturally gravitate to the bright colours and buoyancy that they bring to the water. They become the centre of incredible flights of imagination, feats of skill and daring and sometimes epic battles.
Here are five great pool toys that have been present in our pools for years and have enriched our water play experiences from childhood.
Safe swimming is a topic that is brought up in the media and in homes with monotonous regularity every summer. Inevitably there is an incident or an accident that sparks the interest of the news reporters and suddenly there is a flurry of activity on the television. Often this is followed by a push to make sure that you’re supervising your children appropriately when there is a body of water nearby. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough as part of responsible parenting. But there are lots of other ways that you can also prepare your children for a safe summer of swimming wherever they might be.
Have you ever seen one of those montages that they show after an olympic swimmer has won an unexpected medal, or has won a whole swag of them? Over the years, as an avid olympics watcher, I have seen many of them.
There are usually a lot of training photos, video of serious looking discussions with coaches and solo swims up and down the pool with solemn voice-overs discussing the sacrifices made by the whole family and the time and effort put into training and preparation.
Swimming is one of the most versatile and diverse exercises that is available for nearly everyone. It is a whole body workout.
As you teach children to swim correctly, they learn that an efficient and beautiful stroke is one that uses their whole body to propel you through the water. You can focus on particular areas by changing your stroke or using swimming aids but in general, every time you swim from one end of the pool to the other, you are making changes in every part of your body.
Not last summer, but the summer before, I had one of those very special moments, where you can genuinely be proud of your child – you can gloat and you can feel extremely superior to all the other parents around you. It doesn’t happen that often and frankly you’d probably become unbearable to be around if it did, but when it does, it creates a memorable bubble of happiness that you can remind yourself of at a later date, when your child is behaving like a little monster.
We were at the swimming pool on a very warm summer evening, swimming in the kid’s pool with my then three-year-old daughter. She had been learning how to swim and practicing consistently for about a year. She could quite easily float by herself, as well as short swims and dog paddles. It wasn’t exactly my idea of bliss standing thigh deep in lukewarm indoor pool water, but I could keep watch while she frolicked around happily not needing to intervene to rescue her at all.