It’s already the middle of summer – has your little swimmer developed the confidence to jump in the water? As a parent, there is so much you can do to offer your own swim lessons and help your swimmer-in-training become self assure/aware enough to take the plunge.
To jump start learning, I recommend using the Kiefer Paddler, let me tell you why.
The Paddler is adjustable and works well with most children under the age of 10. It isn’t a lifesaving device – it is a learn to swim and be competent in the water device. With your guidance, it will help your child learn to swim safely and properly.
The problem with other learn to swim devices on the market is not how they are made but what they teach. Arm floaties, for example, encourage kids to keep their heads up and feet down. Problem. What happens if the child falls in the water without the floaties? They revert to what they have been taught, head up, feet down, and sinking soon follows.
The Kiefer Paddler is a unique learn to swim device because it is a teaching tool as well as a floating support. By positioning the Kiefer Paddler at the chest or hips (depending on size and ability of the child), young children are encouraged to keep their body parallel to the surface. This promotes learning to float and be comfortable in the water. Children can freely propel themselves back and forth across the pool by kicking or pulling unrestrained with their arms. Unlike floaties or life vests, there is no limitation in mobility.
Kiefer offers other learn to swim tools like the Swim Buoy Inflatable Bubble Trainer or the Kiefer Swim ‘N Play Trainer. The Paddler and the Bubble Trainer work in a similar fashion, but the Paddler provides a more stable support system for a nervous or novice swimmer. The Paddler’s swim noodle composition wraps nearly all the way around the body, preventing face submersion unless it is chosen by the user. Kiefer also offers the Rock It Boat, a kick and body position trainer. Rock It Boat doesn’t offer the same amount of upper body mobility as the Paddler, making the Paddler the ideal choice for first timers.
In the water, parents can assist familiarizing the child with the Paddler. The Paddler can become a speed boat along with a song to help relax your swimmer. Loosening the adjustable belt to allow a firm handhold allows you to use the Paddler as a harness and pull your swimmer around the pool in big circles. This encourages their feet to float (or you can encourage them to kick) behind them. Sing ‘motor boat, motor boat go so slow’ (slow circles) ‘motor boat, motor boat go so fast’ (faster circles) ‘motor boat, motor boat step on the gas’ (super fast circle).
As a coach and a parent to a toddler, I have found most kids have a joyfully competitive nature. Set up a course for your swimmer to race across and time them. Whether you are in a backyard pool or your local aquatic center, just pull out your watch and shout out “ready… go!” Our three year old loves when I count out the seconds as she kicks across a 25 yard pool with her Paddler.
I’d love to hear what other parents and teachers are doing to get kids to take the first plunge into the pool. What has worked for you?
See you at the pool,