Are we listening

Aqua Sensory is a child led approach when working with water which means we take the time to listen, to hear and interpret what our babies and children are saying.  

This month we are looking at the ways we communicate in water. We’ve been developing ‘parent messages’ as ‘tools’ which work best in the pool, but maybe even at home too.

However, what immerged very strongly in our research and findings from our recent Sound, Water and Babies workshop is; our own capacity to listen.

As a parent, early year’s educator or aquatic professional, how easy is it for you to keep listening to what your babies and children are saying?

Water asks us to listen more deeply to ourselves as well as our children.

When we feel heard we feel safe.


But, we can only feel safe when our no’s are listened to, when our facial expressions, subtle cues and nuances have been noticed and our emotions felt and interpreted as best we can.

We have a saying here at Aqua Sensory: “The more we listen the more we hear!”

We also know that effective communication in water between parents and children is more about listening and observing than it is about what we do or even what we say… and water is definitely on our side when it comes to this.

In our Aquatic Classrooms:

  • Water asks that we slow down and go at baby’s pace and so we can observe and notice more. There are fewer distractions in our aquatic classrooms so that you may be more present for your baby or child.


  • You might be asked to feel through your hands or listen with your hearts and not just with your ears. Together we are making a difference to how your child feels and learns in water. We are not just paying attention to their ability to swim.


  • We encourage lots of eye to eye contact so that you can read your baby’s non-verbal cues correctly and we show you how you might respond in tune.


  • We show you holds and moves that support your child’s listening skills as well as your own. Through a deeper sense of feeling heard we learn to swim faster!


Listening is not always easy

We appreciate that deep listening is not always easy and that it often takes skill and practice to do so. As parents, we are asked to listen through our own tiredness, beyond our own insecurities and expectations to what our children are really saying.

At Aqua Sensory we see the pool through a baby’s eyes but through their ears as well. What does it take for a child to feel seen, heard and welcome?

Listen out for our simple but effective parent messages later this month.

Are you a parent, early years or aquatic professional? Share with us your experiences, we would love to hear from you.

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