“Froggy Learns to Swim” by Jonathan London


If you have ever been to the Polish Lake District, where I grew up, you know that swimming is just what we do over there in the summer. We basically swim through the summer. Kids don’t take swim classes, but somehow they all know at least the dog style stroke by  the 1st grade. I was taught how to swim by my grandpa, but my younger brothers learned how to swim by watching his older friends. After all, we start our lives in water and being able to float is encoded in our brain. Just to give you a little example, I’ve been bringing my younger son to the pool since he was 3 months old. Of course, as a baby, he doesn’t have the muscle power yet to swim, but he naturally floats, kicks his legs and shows no signs of distress whatsoever, even when submerged.  To delight of my older son, who has recently mastered the basic strokes and can’t wait to swim together with his little bro. I am sure he wouldn’t mind swimming with his friends either, but none of them swim for fun! They all take swim classes. Seriously, I know that raising another Michael Phelps is many parents’ dream, but really? Do we need an instructor to teach our children this very basic life skill? (Of course if the time in the pool awakens a dolphin in our child and they choose to learn to swim to beat Michael Phelps, a good coach is a must.) Secondly, teaching our children to swim is a great bonding opportunity, play time, can be lots of family fun. Why not to take advantage of it. And if you need some teaching ideas, Froggy’s mom has plenty of effective tools at hand.

Froggy went to the beach but didn’t want to get in the water. When he finally landed there willy-nilly with a big splash, his mother showed him how to swim like a real frog. He was making bubbles under water and toot-tooting above the water. He learned how to move his arms and legs by  playing chicken- airplane- soldier game. And once he got the hang of it, there was no way to make his get out of the water.

And who can blame him! Swimming is a great sport for kids. It’s great way to cool off on a sunny day, does wonders to children’s posture, builds up strength and stamina and works up healthy appetite.  And last but not least, just an hour in the water and your child  goes to bed early and sleeps like a rock. Meanwhile, you have some well deserved peace and quiet.

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