Do you delight over the simplest splash?
What do you see, hear, feel when you are in the water?
Are we becoming numb, devoid of sensations, sensory experiences?
I’m pondering this thought, questioning as I look around my swim school.
I’ve been observing our baby’s expressions when they first join, their parent’s reactions, our toddlers and older children. I’m not judging, not generalising, merely pondering.
Where is our curiosity, delight, wonder, awe for water?
The simplest splash.
The feeling of tickles against the skin.
The sparkles as droplets catch the light.
The sounds of little sprinkles.
The sounds of the big splish, splosh and splash.
Catching the splashes with our fingers.
Making more splashes with our toes.
Tickling the water.
Tasting it with our tongues.
I find our young children naturally play WITH the water.
Testing out their balance and buoyancy.
Like little spacemen they twist and twirl.
I sometimes hear parents say, don’t splash.
I sometimes see parents pull their face away.
I sometimes see the teacher who wants to keep her hair dry that day.*
I sometimes can feel parents getting anxious when their child wants to pause…
simply play with the water for a while.
I sometimes see what I couldn’t see before.
I also see parents joining in too.
Swimming on a pool noodle themselves, playing swim chase with their child.
Allowing the child to splash them.
Encouraging their child to play together with cups of water over both of their heads, shoulders, knees, and toes.
I see the teacher who is playful too.
Bobbing up and down, encouraging and modelling.
Being present, attentive to needs, observing, guiding, allowing for time and space.
Being curious herself to watch, wait and wonder.
In our world that is so busy, we are bombarded by images, photos, videos, forced upon us daily. Filters, edits, crops all distort and alter these images. To present us the most perfect picture.
How can we use and stretch our imaginations, when we are almost seeing everything through a virtual screen? Videos are now so clever; through special effects, we could almost believe the experience is real!
Water to many is simply JUST water.
A medium that is simply there.
In the pool, we simply walk or swim through it.
We don’t pay it much attention.
I have noticed that for our young children, their curiosity and awe for the water is there from birth. The womb is the perfect sensory developmental playground full of warmth, tactile and proprioceptive sensations. The pool can translate their sensorimotor stimulations, providing the nurturing touch and intimate magical moments with their parent or carer.
I feel it’s time to ponder again.
To linger in the moment.
To add more curiosity and awe into our classes.
To wait-watch-wonder as our young children instinctively do.
Let’s embrace how we feel in water.
To be present and in touch with our emotions.
To navigate our movements with freedom.
To break from our liner, structured world.
Reflect. Stand back. Observe. Question.
Do you work WITH the water?
Do you choose your resources with care?
Do you have too many resources that may cause overwhelm?
Explore your resources with creativity and imagination.
What 10 different ways can you play with a cup?
Let the water and your children become your teacher.
At Aqua Sensory we have been working hard behind the scenes to bring about new creativity and awareness to the pool. Our resources are designed to ignite imaginations, create sensory buzz, reduce confusion and overwhelm. Our new Tribe membership will soon be ready. We are creating a new vehicle for learning and a chance for early years and aquatic professionals to connect together.
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