Little Gamecocks Learn to Swim will be cancelled for Summer 2021. Keep an eye out for future details in Spring and Summer 2022!
Water Safety Lessons and Discussions
The objective is to have children know how to protect themselves from the sun and
Be sure to discuss the following: what is a sunburn and how they can get sunburnt
and importance of sunscreen and sunglasses
Activity:place a random array of objects on the table; be sure to have sunscreen, sunglasses,
a hat, and umbrella within the mix. Let your child pick all the objects that would
protect them from the sun and have them explain how it would protect them.
The objective of this lesson is ensure all children know what are the general pool
rules and how to identify a lifeguard.
Be sure to discuss the following: safety rules, how to identify a lifeguard, the dangers
of swimming alone, the importance of swimming close to a lifeguard, and how to identify
Activity 1:After explaining who the lifeguard is and what they do around the pool, have your
child draw a picture of a lifeguard in the stand with people practicing swimming with
a buddy in the water; once you are at the pool, have your child point out the lifeguard
to you before having them get in the water.
Activity 2:At the pool, start a game of I-spy in order to have them show you where the safety
equipment is located around the pool. Items to include are: the ring buoy, lifeguard
stand, shepherd's crook, backboard, and lifeguard office/first aid office. See our
attachedposter with safety rules.
The objective is for the child to understand the importance of entering a body of
water safely and how to check for hazards in the water.
Be sure to discuss the following: what does a safe swimming area look like; how to
check the water to see if if is safe to for swimming; what safety equipment should
be present (great for having your children remember past safety discussions); looking
for currents in the water.
Activity 1:Use the attached"Look Before you Leap" posterto have your child point out all of the hazardous items shown in the picture. After
they have pointed out all of the items, have them draw you a safe swimming location.
Be sure to have them include a lifeguard and parent as well as safety equipment.
Activity 2:Before going to the pool/river/lake, build a small cardboard boat at home; let your
child decorate it however they would like as long as it will still float for 20-30
sec (you can also use a floating toy or ball for this activity). Once you have reached
your swimming area, use the boat (or floating toy) to demonstrate how currents can
pull objects and people away from the edge of the water.
Activity 3:Start a game of charades at your swimming area in which you or your child will act
out the different types of animals and aquatic life that might be there.
The objective of this lesson to ensure that children understand situations in which
they can help and situations that need emergency help.
Be sure to discuss the following: what is an emergency; calling 9-1-1 and knowing
their name, what happened, and where they are; how to identify someone in trouble
(someone calling for help from the water, floating or treading water but unable to
swim forward, flapping or pressing their arms to their sides to stay above waterhow,
holding onto a safety line or floating object in the water); how to help another swimmer
Activity 1:Start a game of Red Light, Green Light. In this version of the game, you will list
a situation (for example, someone fell and scrapped their knee). If the child thinks
it's an emergency, they will get the green light; if the child thinks it's not an
emergency but something an adult can help with, they will get the red light and have
to stay put. If the child guesses incorrectly, they will have to take 2 big steps
Activity 2:Have the child explain what a troubled swimmer might look like. Then, to practice
the Reach and Assist, use the attached"Reach or Throw, Don't Go" posterto show all of the ways they "Reach or Throw" in order to help that swimmer. Once
they have seen the poster, use a small area in the pool OR a rug that is a pretend
pool and tell your child that you are a troubled swimmer. Have the child lay flat
on their stomach, reach out with a noodle/towel/ paddle etc, and yell "Grab On." Once
you have grabbed on, have them pull you to the edge of the pool and ask "Are you Okay?"
The objective is that children know how to enter and exit a boat safely and understand
the importance of using a lifejacket when on the water.
Be sure to discuss the correct method of getting in and out of a boat (grasp the side
of the boat and balance the weight in the middle of the boat); how to find the capacity
of a boat so that you don't overload the boat; what the importance of a lifejacket
is; how to wear a lifejacket and make sure it fits (if you pull up on the tops of
the shoulders of the lifejacket and it reaches the bottom of their ears, it's too
Activity 1:Have the child demonstrate the correct way to enter the boat. If you do not have a
boat or canoe to practice this skill, have them demonstrate it while getting into
a kiddy pool and/or bathtub by using both hands to hold onto the side and side step
into the "boat." Once they are in the boat, have them tell you how to enter the boat
and where to sit in order to balance the "boat."
Activity 2:Tell the child to show you how they will put on their lifejacket and how to check
for it being the correct size. Once they have their lifejacket on and are at the water,
have them enter the water and paddle around. But when you say "Titanic!" the child
must proceed to practice survival floating on their stomach (see link below) or float
on their back for survival (lay back and hold onto the lifejacket). Once you have
told them it's safe, they can return to paddling around the pool.