We spent a lot of time at beaches and pools this spring from Manila to Cebu, Boracay to Palawan, and Burbank to Bali. Seeing my 5-year old nephews Kai and Hoops swimming on their own was such a joy. I marveled at how quickly they learned and how much fun they had in the water. I figured it's time for Amelia to learn how to swim too.
We've been attending a toddler class once a week since June at La Petite Baleen
in Atherton, where babies as young as a month old learn to swim. The first couple of session were very light. We were basically just in the pool to get the kids comfortable in the water and get acquainted with the swim instructor. We learned songs and rhymes that we've repeated every week since, in order for the kids to learn the routine and know what to expect. Kids and routines!
|"Hold your ribbon, Amelia."|
At the end of her first lesson, she got a ribbon officially declaring
her a whale and a "Save the Humans, Learn to Swim" tee.
|Ready for swim class|
|Learning about propulsion with the "Kids in the Pool" song|
Next we learned submersions, where kids learn to hold their breath and close their eyes and mouth when the go under water. Amelia was a natural at that. She mastered "textbook la Petite Baleen submersion" the first time we tried it, according to Teacher Kevin. She is a survivor. Haha.
Then the kids started to wear goggles and fins, which are part of lessons going forward. The theory behind the goggles is, if they can see underwater then they can orient themselves and learn faster. And the fins help their little feet propel. We skipped a couple of lessons because of a cold one week and then we were in LA the following week, and she regressed a little bit. She wasn't jumping in the water or swimming to the instructor as readily as before.
|Going through the tunnel|
|Kids have to get comfortable being on their backs, which is their |
most vulnerable position. If they know how to float on their backs,
they can keep themselves from drowning.
|Swimming to the steps|
This week, I've started to let her go in the water and have her swim to the stairs. I think she was mad at me for letting her go. Haha. After 2 months of lessons at 20 months old, she is starting to swim. We're both looking forward to ongoing lessons as our endless summer continues.
La Petite Baleen
60 5th Ave.
Redwood City, CA 94063
Photo credit: Ricci Sylla