Here at Aqua Sensory, we have an appreciation and understanding of touch in our Aquatic Classroom. How powerful our sense of touch is and how we can enhance our classes.
Without even realizing it, parents in the pool will be already filling their child’s emotional cup with beautiful moments of bonding. Skin to skin, releases ‘oxytocin’ the feel-good chemical of love and nurture.
Touch has many benefits like;
💦 Feeling calmer and less stressed
💦 Improved eating and sleeping patterns
💦 Deeper understanding of a child’s physical and emotional needs
💦 Increased body awareness and sense of oneself
Let’s look at touch in our classrooms, but before we start one consideration is to ensure your pool environments are conducive as possible. Water temperature, the time of day, the sensory state of the child are important considerations.
The Touch of Water
Gently sprinkle water on their toes and hands and watch for their cues. Do they reach out and try to catch it? Do they follow the water’s trickle with their eyes or listen to its sound?
You can also use equipment like a watering can, rain clouds or even cups to increase the flow and sound of water’s touch.
A Touch of Noodles
Pool noodles can be a touchy subject for some children and their parents too. Many young children may not be sure of them, they do not trust them. They squeak and feel different from what we are used to and provide less support than what we are used to. Desensitise them by cutting them into smaller pieces and allowing children to play with them at home around the house or in the bath. Allow them to use their imagination, a pool noodle can become a magic wand, a broomstick, a horse or tie it in a knot to become motorbike handles.
Holds with Touch
Gentle pushes off the wall help us find our reflexes, head on our parent’s shoulder and holding the feet provides a sense of grounding.
Special Touch Moments
Allow the parent and child to find their bubble and give each other plenty of hugs, to provide sensory regulation and a moment of calm. Provide the parent with prompts to be aware of their breath and body position. When the parent feels relaxed, the child will pick up on this too.
Would you like more ideas and inspirations for your classes or early years settings? We have just written a Fact Sheet called: Touch in the Aquatic Classroom. Message us below and we will whizz you a copy across. Find out more about our resources and how to join our Tribe. We love sharing and supporting.