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Swim lessons are the first time a child may be exposed to a structured lesson plan, and they can be intimidated by the skills they are learning. Parents can help their students feel comfortable and progress in swim lessons by using Bear Paddle’s Online Homework Tips to practice their swim skills at home!

Levels

Introduction to Teddy

Teddy Paddle

Skill Requirement: Paddle while blowing bubbles and kicking with flotation, or student is paddling and kicking for 3 bananas during the submersion portion of the Teddy circuit.

  1. During bath time in sitting position:
    • Reaches / scoops for toys
    • Use scissor kicks generating splashes
  2. On the floor in sitting position:
    • Reach for toys
    • Kick Feet
  3. Sitting at table:
    • Reach for treats
    • Blow tissue acoss table
    • Blow ping pong balls across table
    • Pretend to blow out candle
  4. Confidence Counting:
    • Use Confidence Counting to practice using Puffy Cheeks to hold breath. Start with 1 banana and build to 5 bananas.
Teddy Float

Skill Requirement: Floating on back with parent assistance for 30 seconds

  1. During bath time:
    • Practice submerging ears into water
    • Tap spoon on bathtub floor and listen
    • water in the ear tickles
  2. Confidence Counting:
    • Use Confidence Counting to practice using submerging ears in water. Start with 1 banana and build to 5 bananas

Click here to print out the homework tip.



WATER ADJUSTMENT

Cub Paddle

Skill Requirement: Paddling with face in the water and kicking with flotation.

  1. In sitting position or laying on stomach:
    • child reaches for toys
    • parents should take hands on approach manipulating hands and verbally instruct child to scoop and paddle
    • child kicks legs in scissor motion
    • parents should take hands on approach manipulating legs and verbally instruct child to kick feet
  2. Confidence Counting:
    • Use Confidence Counting to practice using Puffy Cheeks to hold breath. Start with 1 banana and build to 5 bananas.
Cub Float

Skill Requirement: Floating on back with assistance for 30 seconds

  1. Practice submerging ears into water:
    • tap spoon on bathtub floor and listen
    • water in the ear tickles
    • count to 5 with ears in water
  2. Confidence Counting:
    • Use Confidence Counting to practice using submerging ears in water. Start with 1 banana and build to 5 bananas
Tummy Pool Exit

Skill Requirement: Using elbows and tummy to pull self out of pool.

  1. Crawl onto couch:
    • using both elbows, squeeze-put weight on tummy and bring knee up

Click here to print out the homework tip.



Basics of Swimming

Bear Paddle

Skill Requirement: Paddling and kicking on tummy.

  1. While standing reach arms one at a time above head and pluck cherries or apples from tree and put into pockets.
  2. While standing and bending over child, while lying on floor, flat on tummy, child reaches and pulls imaginary items towards body- parent can stand over child and help manipulate arm movement.
Kid Breaststroke

Skill Requirement: Arms extend together in the front of head, sweeping back in a circular motion with kicks.

  1. Parent stands behind child with palms up and creates resistance while child pushes down on hands of parent.
  2. While laying on floor, child makes snow angels.
  3. With child laying on floor, parent stands over child and uses hands to provide resistance for child using swooshing motion (bird flaps) and pushes hands of parent.
Kid Backstroke

Skill Requirement: Swooshing arms on back.

  1. In standing position child looks forward and puts hands together and shoots hands above head to “cut the pizza” then child brings arms down and around to “spread the sauce” then brings hands together again under chin to “eat the pizza”- repeat this process… “cut the pizza, spread the sauce, eat it up.”
  2. Airplane, Soldier, Chicken: With Student lying on floor, Student extends arms straight out to side like an “airplane” then moves arms to side of body like a “soldier” then slowly brings arms to up the body to make arms look like “chicken” wings and repeat.
Humpty Dumpty

Skill Requirement: Fall into water, turn, swim to wall and perform a Tummy Pool Exit.

  1. Parents discuss what child should do after falling into water and why it’s important to swim back to wall.

Click here to print out the homework tip.



Flip To Breathe

Kids Freestyle

Skill Requirement: Paddling and kicking on tummy, flip to breathe.

  1. While standing child reaches upwards to pluck apples and cherries from a tree.
  2. While laying on floor child emulates paddles and kicks- with one arm extended, child rolls onto back, flaps arms and rolls back onto tummy. Parents can stand over child and manipulate arms.
Junior Breaststroke

Skill Requirement: Arms extend together in front of head, swimming back in a circular motion with flutter kicks, flip to breathe.

  1. While laying on the floor, child shoots arms together and forward to “cut the pizza” then pulls arms backward to “spread the sauce” then brings arms under chin to “eat the pizza” child rolls onto back, flaps arms and rolls back onto tummy. Parents can stand over child to manipulate motion of arms.
Skill Requirement: Humpty Dumpy With Breath

Fall into water, flip to breathe, swim to wall and perform a Tummy Pool Exit.

  1. Parents discuss what child should do after falling into water and why it’s important to swim back to wall.

Click here to print out the homework tip.



FUNDAMENTALS OF SWIMMING

Junior Freestyle

Skill Requirement: Straight arms move alternately in a circular motion, with flutter kicks and flip to breathe.

  1. While standing in front of mirror, child makes forward arms circles by raising arm above head and reaching as tall as possible and keeping arm at shoulder width. Perform arm circles using one arm at a time then both arms.
  2. While standing close to a wall, child makes forward arms circles by raising arm above head and reaching as tall as possible and keeping arm at shoulder width.
Junior Breaststroke

Skill Requirement: On back, slightly bent arms move alternately in a circular motion, with flutter kicks.

  1. While standing in front of mirror, child makes backward arms circles by raising arm above head and reaching as tall as possible and keeping arm at shoulder width. Perform arm circles using one arm at a time then both arms.
  2. While standing close to a wall, child makes forward arms circles by raising arm above head and reaching as tall as possible and keeping arm at shoulder width.
Kid Butterfly

Skill Requirement: Dolphin kick with arms extended above head.

  1. While standing in front of mirror with side of body facing mirror, child moves hips forward and backward.
  2. Pretend to hula hoop moving with back and forth hip motion.
Chop-Chop Timber

Skill Requirement: Jump into water, swim to wall and perform a Tummy Pool Exit.

  1. Parents discuss importance of feet first entry into water when jumping into a pool- neck injuries.

Click here to print out the homework tip.



Swimmers For Life

Freestyle

Skill Requirement: Straight arms move alternately in a circular motion, with flutter kicks and side breath.

  1. While standing in front of a mirror, child makes forward arms circles by raising arm above head and reaching as tall as possible and keeping arm at shoulder width. Perform arm circles using one arm at a time then both arms.
  2. Child lays on floor with one arm extended and preforms half roll simulating side breath.
  3. With Student facing forward, slowly exhale air by humming to the count of four, turn head to side and take fast breath and repeat.
Backstroke

Skill Requirement: On back, arms move alternately in a circular motion with flutter kicks.

  1. While standing in front of a mirror, child makes backward arms circles by raising arm above head and reaching as tall as possible and keeping arm at shoulder width. Perform arm circles using one arm at a time then both arms.
Junior Butterfly

Skill Requirement: Arms move simultaneously in a circular motion, flip to breathe.

  1. While in standing position practice arm circles. When arm is extended above head, push hips out- when arm swoops past hips, push hips forward. Perform arms circles and hip movement with one arm at a time then both arms. Go slow when using both arms.
Chop-Chop Timber with Breath

Skill Requirement: Jump into water, swim to wall and perform a Tummy Pool Exit.

  1. Parents discuss importance of feet first entry into water when jumping into a pool- neck injuries.

Click here to print out the homework tip.



Competitive Strokes

Butterfly

Skill Requirement: Arms move simultaneously in a circular motion, with dolphin kick.

  1. While in standing position practice arm circles. When arm is extended above head, push hips out- when arm swoops past hips, push hips forward. Perform arms circles and hip movement with one arm at a time then both arms. Go slow when using both arms. When arm is extended above head, push chin forward looking at hands. As arms drop past chin, eyes and head follow the hands until chin is tucked. Repeat process.
Breaststroke

Skill Requirement: Arms extend together in front of head, sweeping back in a circular motion, with whip kick.

  1. In standing position practice motion of “cutting the pizza, spreading the sauce and eating the pizza”.
  2. While sitting on a chair with legs extended in front together with toes pointed upward, bring heels back while keeping toes pointed upward (knock). Point toes/feet outward keeping heels together (open). Push heels outward making a circle and back together and extended back in front of body (shut).

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Competitive Advantage

Competitive Turns

Skill Requirement: Flip to turn for competitive Freestyle and Backstroke and open turn at wall for competitive Breaststroke and Butterfly.

  1. Practice somersaults.
Streamline

Skill Requirement: Looking straight arms tucked behind ears; used for competitive push-offs and turns.

  1. In standing position or laying on back, lock arms behind head with hand place atop each other.
Sculling

Skill Requirement: Pushing water inward and outward using palms of hands in three different positions.

  1. 1st position- while in standing position and bent forward and with arms extended in front of body and palms down play the piano or dust the shelf.
  2. 2nd position- while in standing position and bent forward with elbows out and arms hanging outside chest, practice pushing palms together and outward like figure 8.
  3. 3rd position- while laying on back and arms at side, practice waving hands inward and outward while keeping hands at side of body.
Teamprep

Skill Requirement: Competitive sets, intervals, push-offs and finishes.

  1. Discuss swimming in sets i.e. 25 is one length of the pool.
    4×25 is four individual lengths of swimming- stopping at each 25.
    Swimming down the pool is 1 length or a 25.
    Swimming down and back is a lap or a 50.
    Swimming four lengths or 2 laps without stopping is a 100.
    A set may require the swimmer to swim 2×100 Freestyle or 4×25 Freestyle.
    Rest interval (RI) is the amount of time you rest during a set. i.e. 4×25 Freestyle RI:15 – students will swim one length of the pool and rest for 15 seconds before swimming another 25 Freestyle.
    This is repeated until the set is finished.

Click here to print out the homework tip.