Last year, I took my KG kids to the pool once a week while the other kids were napping. They were SO adorable in all of their swimming gear, like little cartoon characters with their over-sized goggles and colorful suits.
The first week, I thought maybe I was going to teach them a thing or two about getting used to the water. One of my coworkers had talked about having her kids blow bubbles and trying to put their faces in the water. After I quizzed my group on all of the rules (we’d been practicing for a week), I told them it was finally time: “Go for it!” They couldn’t get in fast enough! They shrieked and giggled as they propelled their tiny bodies down the shallow end steps and straight into the water. One kid jumped up and went over sideways like a whale. They were splashing and going under. Oh. Turns out my kids are a bunch of baby fish!
We still visited every week. They’d ask me every day, “Teacher, today swimming?” No. “Tomorrow?” They really don’t get much free time in their busy kindergarten schedule so I was happy to let them go a bit wild in the water. I think that free play time is the best for learning social skills- if I never share my floatie, the other kids don’t really want to hang out with me. Huh. And they got to be creative with making up games too. They’d chase each other and have to take turns throwing and finding the rings. They got more used to the water, more used to each other, and more used to me whether I went in too or not, “Teacher Katia, look me!” They also learned a bit about independence and helping their friends after swimming when they tried to pull clothes back onto their sticky-wet bodies (if they could find their own shirt!).
Unfortunately, the sad day came when it was Winter. Sunny 84 degrees out and it was far too cold for swimming. On our last day, we made a thank you poster for the life guard, Pye Pye. We had said thank you to him at the end of each swimming session, but he was really touched by our card and the 10-child delivery. Hopefully we can go again this year!