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Swimming Lesson Plans:- Infant 6-12 months

Swimming Lesson Plans For Infant 6-12 Months olds

In my swimming lesson plans, I start teaching children at 6 months.

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I know that this is controversial in some quarters but even if, like me you don't believe any of the information about drown-proofing babies there are some benefits that are not disputed.
  • The very time spent together with parent and child in the water is a great bonding exercise

  • There is little doubt that children who are started early in the water are, largely, less concerned about being in the water and putting their heads under the water

  • Children who start early and are taught properly have a healthy respect for the water
None of these things are in dispute.

I Don't Believe in Drown Proofing

Personally, I don't believe in Drown proofing. I have neither read nor by experience seen, any evidence that there is such a thing. Children must be closely supervised near water. End of Story!!!!

Here is what I believe swimming Lessons teach toddlers:

I do believe in teaching a Toddler to respect the water.

I do believe that teaching a toddler to hold their breath underwater might give an adult long enough time to stop the child from drowning should they enter the water by accident.

I do believe that a Toddler can learn to have some movement in the water that might allow them to be able to turn and grab an object that may just hold them long enough for someone else to save them.

I do believe that a Toddler can be taught to paddle to something and grab hold of it and learn to climb up on it to safety.

I do believe that over time a child can be taught to float and move in the water at a much younger age than most people would expect.

Image of a Parent / carer holding a young child in a float on back position. Something I teach in swimming lesson plans.
Teaching Infants How To Float On Your Back

I also know that you can achieve these things with a minimum of stress on a child.

Some Things I Think Are Nonsense

Some things I think are nonsense, at least until I see some evidence to change my mind.
  1. Teaching a baby younger than 6 months to float:-
    It can be done. I've seen it, but I have found no information about, it that even suggests that the baby will do it should they accidentally fall in the water. They can be taught to hold their breath, in fact, they usually do this naturally at this age but as for remembering to roll over and float, I've seen nothing. Besides they don't retain the ability. As soon as they get to the stage of wanting to wriggle they lose it.

  2. Forcing a child underwater will always make a child less afraid of being underwater:-
    If a child is never allowed to learn to put their own head underwater or at least talked into putting their own head underwater, forcing it will usually only make the situation worse. At some point in a child's learning, you may have to press home the need to put the head underwater but you must have the child's trust first to do it and that doesn't come quickly. Even for a parent.

Things that NEVER should be taught

Never teach a child to jump in the water after an object, especially one they have thrown. "What you teach a child in play is what they will do when you are not looking".

What you should teach a child and what can they be expected to learn?

Lesson Plan Age: 6 - 12 months:-
The above link will take you to a page where once you have entered your best email address and first name, you will be directed to the download page to get your lesson plan. I had to do it this way because the blog will not allow me to do tables. I think you will agree that this is one of the better ways to do a lesson plan. I mean in terms of appearance.

Parents or carers may not be interested in the entire plan but you can glean from it a number of ideas that will help you work out one more personally suited for you.


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