5 Talking Tips for the Swimming Pool

Swimming season has arrived! Here are 4 tips for using your trip to the swimming pool as an opportunity to support your toddler's taking:

1) Pack your bag together and talk about why you need each item "here are my goggles, I need them to see underwater" "here is my pound coin, I need that for the locker" "here is my towel, I need that to get dry" This will help develop your child's verbal reasoning skills (using words to make sense of the world and to explain things)

2) When you are in the swimming pool try the following games:
- sing the Grand old Duke of York whilst holding your child and moving them up out of the water, down back into the water, and half way out. Your child will experience what the words mean, making it easier to learn them.
- support your child to swim around making them go 'fast, faster, slow and slower'. As above your child will hear the words and feel what they mean at the same time, strengthening the links in their brain.
- Spend a bit of time together just relaxing in the water and talk together about what you see around you e.g. "that man is swimming on his back" "that girl is really fast" "that boy is wearing green googles". This will help your child learn words and sentences structures for what he or she can see around them.

3) Getting dressed after you have finished swimming is the perfect opportunity to teach the concepts of 'wet' and 'dry'. Talk together about how you are wet and notice what else is wet: The floor, your swimwear, your goggles. Use a towel to dry yourselves and your belongings and feel how everything is now dry....except your towel which is now wet!

Have fun swimming this summer, it really is the perfect opportunity for language learning because your child does not just hear the words you are saying but they experience doing and feeling what the words mean.

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