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Swimming Lesson Ideas: Red The Bear Encouragement & Feeling Safe

Toys For Encouragement Are Great Swimming Lesson Ideas

As a swimming teacher I have to help many children to cope with their fear of water.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

There are many techniques that I use to help with this fear but the one that is the best is Red the teddy bear.

Image of a Bean Bag toy bear: One of my swimming lesson ideas use for helping to overcome children's fears in the water
Red The Bear
Red the teddy bear is a blue colored beanie bear that has "Your A Star" written on it. you can pick these bears up from just about any supermarket.

Why did I call him Red? Well for those of you that are not familiar with older Australian, a red headed person used to be called "Blue". So If a red headed person can be called "Blue" why shouldn't a blue teddy bear be called "Red"?

Red is Very Useful

Red is, as I have said very useful:

  • He can be used to comfort a frightened child.
  • He can be used to talk to a child 

It's amazing that a child will do what a bear asks but not the adult

  • He can be looked after by a child

A child will sometimes do their very best to make a bear feel safe even if they don't themselves

  • He can be used to distract a child.

Keeping Red Close

I have one down syndrome child that will do almost anything for me as long as he can keep Red somewhere on his body (i.e. tucked down his shirt).

  • Red can be throw and chased after 

According to the children he is quite fast, so be prepared to swim or run to catch him.

When I was a new parent my wife and I read many books on raising children. Well My wife red many books, I read some but mostly red the bits she underlined for me to read.

In most of the books the idea of bribing a child was frowned upon. Despite the reading I was never able to figure out the difference. But in the interest of political correctness:

  • You can use Red to bribe (oops contract I mean) to do something for you.

"If you put your head underwater(blow bubbles, touch your nose on the water etc.) you get to nurse Red."

  • Red can float and is very good a demonstrating it. You can use Red to show some one how you want them to put their face in the water.

So you see if you are going to teach a child to swim a Beanie Bear can be very useful.


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