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View Full Version : Swimming as a hobby, explaining that to 6 year olds



swimshark
June 5th, 2011, 11:33 AM
This Friday is Career and Hobby Day at my son's school. Most likely I will be put in a kindergarten class to speak for 15 min on swimming as a hobby. I have to repeat this 6 times (for each class). There is a chance that my coach, Jeremy Linn, will also come and he and I will share the time. But, in case something comes up, I need to be prepared to do all 15 min. Any suggestions as to what to do? What to say to 6 year olds about swimming? I do have photos of me swimming while growing up. I'm not sure what else I will bring. Maybe a few pairs of old goggles (I have about 10) and they can all put them on.

Oh and the guidance counselor suggested I bring my parka, too. I guess the kids could try that on as well. And I'll have my gear bag with snorkel, fins, zoomers, kick board, etc.

jaadams1
June 5th, 2011, 12:12 PM
This Friday is Career and Hobby Day at my son's school. Most likely I will be put in a kindergarten class to speak for 15 min on swimming as a hobby. I have to repeat this 6 times (for each class). There is a chance that my coach, Jeremy Linn, will also come and he and I will share the time. But, in case something comes up, I need to be prepared to do all 15 min. Any suggestions as to what to do? What to say to 6 year olds about swimming? I do have photos of me swimming while growing up. I'm not sure what else I will bring. Maybe a few pairs of old goggles (I have about 10) and they can all put them on.

Oh and the guidance counselor suggested I bring my parka, too. I guess the kids could try that on as well. And I'll have my gear bag with snorkel, fins, zoomers, kick board, etc.

I would start off with the #1 thing. Safety around the water, whether you're at the river, pool, backyard kids plastic pool, etc. Don't scare them, but just remind them that they need to be with an adult supervisor.

orca1946
June 5th, 2011, 12:31 PM
Let then know this is something they can fo for life, not like a lot of other sports that can injure them & water safety & fun. Bring lots of old goggles to try on

knelson
June 5th, 2011, 01:19 PM
I think trying on your equipment will be a big hit for the kids. Safety around water is definitely a good topic. It's amazing how many people never learn to swim. Maybe you can bring some materials about where kids can sign up for swimming lessons in your area. I like the idea of trying to promote swimming as a lifelong activity and the need for exercise, but I think this one's going to be hard to get across to six year olds!

swimshark
June 5th, 2011, 01:35 PM
Thanks all. I will keep these in mind. The pictures I was going to show will be on a slide show playing while I'm talking. Now if Jeremy is there, I will have pictures of him as well. Of course, he will be bringing his Olympic medals as well. I think the kids will like that.

Keep the ideas coming.

Maui Mike
June 5th, 2011, 02:13 PM
Show a picture of some guy riding a monster wave at Jaws --- "If you'd like to do this some day you need to be a good swimmer."

Or maybe you could walk into the room with your swim fins on.

Just spitballing here. :)

ALM
June 5th, 2011, 02:20 PM
MEDALS. Take lots of medals. To a 6-year old, a medal from a Masters meet is probably just as cool as an Olympic medal.

I have a friend who saves all of his Masters medals for his grandkids. When they do something good, or reach some sort of goal, he gives them a medal.

chowmi
June 5th, 2011, 10:08 PM
Gear it towards your audience - these are little kids!

I would go light on content and make it about fun. Yes, bring your swim gear. Touch & feel is always a big hit! How much talking do you really intend to do? I would probably talk about 5 minutes, then play swimming themed games. For instance, do a match up game with swim terms on one side and match to the definition on the other (like swim safety or something). Then write NATATORIUM or SWIM FOR LIFE and then give them 5 minutes to make as many words out of those letters and the winner gets a cool prize, like a pair of goggles.

My kids tell me that the biggest hits are live animals (#1), snacks (#2), and cool stories (like the ENT who told story after story about what people put up up their noses and in their ears. You will never look at a McDonald's french fry the same way again.)

My husband and I decided if ever we had to talk about the bankruptcy profession, to compete for attention with the SPCA and ENTs and radiologists (PG rated stuff, not like the stuff my sis tells and SHOWS me!!), we are going to bring a dog (totally unrelated to the topic) and snacks of some sort. Probably candy!

I suggest bringing Goldfish crackers, swedish fish, or gummy sharks for the kids!

ElaineK
June 5th, 2011, 10:27 PM
Gear it towards your audience - these are little kids!

I would go light on content and make it about fun. Yes, bring your swim gear. Touch & feel is always a big hit! How much talking do you really intend to do? I would probably talk about 5 minutes, then play swimming themed games. For instance, do a match up game with swim terms on one side and match to the definition on the other (like swim safety or something). Then write NATATORIUM or SWIM FOR LIFE and then give them 5 minutes to make as many words out of those letters and the winner gets a cool prize, like a pair of goggles.

My kids tell me that the biggest hits are live animals (#1), snacks (#2), and cool stories (like the ENT who told story after story about what people put up up their noses and in their ears. You will never look at a McDonald's french fry the same way again.)

My husband and I decided if ever we had to talk about the bankruptcy profession, to compete for attention with the SPCA and ENTs and radiologists (PG rated stuff, not like the stuff my sis tells and SHOWS me!!), we are going to bring a dog (totally unrelated to the topic) and snacks of some sort. Probably candy!

I suggest bringing Goldfish crackers, swedish fish, or gummy sharks for the kids!

Hey, Chowmi, I don't have kids or work with kids, and, for that matter, don't know squat about kids! I love your ideas, though, and think they are spot-on. Thinking back 43 years ago, I would have loved all that! :applaud:

pwb
June 6th, 2011, 01:04 AM
Run them through a pre-race dynamic stretching routine (e.g., get them moving)
Show them the armstrokes and have them repeat them for you while standing ... correct (in a light and fun way) their form.
Then bring along a projector and show them what they get to do if they get REALLY fast -- http://www.floswimming.org/videos/speaker/1032-brett-hawke/106270-5-the-auburn-puke-session.
Talk about all the cool places you've traveled for swimming
Chowmi's idea to bring a dog is great. Show them what dogs can do in the water (http://www.dockdogs.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=45&Itemid=364), but let them know they'd have to learn to swim first to teach their dogs these cool tricks.

OK ... maybe the third idea's a little much for 6 year olds.

swimmerlady
June 6th, 2011, 01:14 AM
[QUOTE=pwb;244629]

Show them the armstrokes and have them repeat them for you while standing ... correct (in a light and fun way) their form.

do that while playing "Swimming" by Peter Gabriel

swimshark
June 6th, 2011, 07:19 AM
Great ideas. Sadly, no food allowed in the classroom. I am trying to come up with something I can buy in bulk that is swimming related to give out, though.

I love the idea of getting them to stretch and go through the arm motions!

Looks like I'll have Jeremy there. At least as of this morning he's coming. I just hope he doesn't take a nap after practice and sleeps too long. hee-hee. Jeremy will have his medals and I'll bring mine as well. I have several from Nationals and State Games of Oregon that are really cool looking. And I think I have my first medal ever won from when I was 6 years old.

ALM
June 6th, 2011, 11:09 AM
Great ideas. Sadly, no food allowed in the classroom. I am trying to come up with something I can buy in bulk that is swimming related to give out, though.

Little rubber duckies. They gave them away as the awards (instead of medals) at the Hurricane Man open water swim last month in St. Petersburg, FL.

__steve__
June 6th, 2011, 11:48 AM
Teach the kids the importance of high elbow, streamline, and strong kick.

ande
June 6th, 2011, 12:39 PM
Stick with the fun stuff

Be passionate & entertaining

Ask them questions

Bring prizes

Bring videos, medals, & gear

sketch an outline of the points you want to make

Tell short funny stories

have fun, get them excited

swimshark
June 6th, 2011, 01:30 PM
I found some water drop stickers today. I'm going to give them out. Still in search of pencils or rubber duckies. But since there are 162 kids in the kindergarten, I'm having to hope for a bargain.

chowmi
June 6th, 2011, 10:27 PM
http://www.orientaltrading.com/toys-novelties/novelty-toys/rubber-duckies-a1-389151-4-1.fltr?categoryFromSearch=true&rd=rubber%20ducks

Go in to Luau section or search around; they have pencils $4 for 24 or get the treasure chest - $18 with 100 pieces.

swimshark
June 7th, 2011, 08:02 AM
http://www.orientaltrading.com/toys-novelties/novelty-toys/rubber-duckies-a1-389151-4-1.fltr?categoryFromSearch=true&rd=rubber%20ducks

Go in to Luau section or search around; they have pencils $4 for 24 or get the treasure chest - $18 with 100 pieces.

Thanks. I was looking there but with so many students with shipping it would be a minimum of $40. I have found pencils locally that would be a total of $25.

chowmi
June 7th, 2011, 09:34 AM
I agree; one should never have to pay for shipping. Just in case you don't find anything else, try this

oops! never mind! well, if you want, i can forward you an email that has free shipping to OT.

you can also do Swimming Bingo - make up the cards and have swimming symbols and call out questions.

swimshark
June 7th, 2011, 11:17 AM
I agree; one should never have to pay for shipping. Just in case you don't find anything else, try this

oops! never mind! well, if you want, i can forward you an email that has free shipping to OT.

you can also do Swimming Bingo - make up the cards and have swimming symbols and call out questions.

Thanks for the offer but I found something awesome today - dolphin and whale erasers. I got 185 in total (he gave me extras) for $28. I also have some fill in the blank letters worksheets and a coloring sheet. This is in case Jeremy doesn't show up (he normally sleeps when this is going on). If he comes, filling in the 15 min will be easy.

I got some State Games of Oregon medals out this morning. They are heavy and will be good for the kids to try on.

taruky
June 7th, 2011, 12:28 PM
Talk to them about the merits of I-pull versus S-pull, lol. The oher thing you might want to bring up is that swimming can be a little like being in outer space. You feel light, get to float, etc. And the pool water is better for blowing bubbles than milk!

swimshark
June 7th, 2011, 01:30 PM
Talk to them about the merits of I-pull versus S-pull, lol. The oher thing you might want to bring up is that swimming can be a little like being in outer space. You feel light, get to float, etc. And the pool water is better for blowing bubbles than milk!

LOL! Maybe I should bring a bowl of water and have them test that. Wait... they would flood the room. It's been done before so I know it's not a good idea. heehee

swimshark
June 10th, 2011, 09:23 PM
Thank you all for the tips and advice. Today was the day and it went really well. Jeremy missed the first session but made it to the rest. The kids were interested and loved the stuff I brought in. I had old tech suits that are now banned (zippers and clips) so I didn't care what they did to the suits. Some tried on the suits which brought a lot of smiles from the rest. I also had goggles for them to try on and medals for them to pass around. I gave each kid a dolphin or whale pencil topper and for those who said they could swim, a fish sticker. Several kids were talking about their stickers later. I had a short slide show of me at age 2 swimming all the way up to my dad with me at Nationals when he was 64 (he still swims at age 71).

Jeremy was great with the kids. He brought his gold and silver Olympic medals and I heard some "oohhhh" when they got to touch them. A huge success and something that I will plan on doing in the future if they ask.

Karl_S
June 10th, 2011, 10:00 PM
Swimshark,
That's so great. I'm sure that you made a lifetime swimmer or athlete out of at least one of those kids, and in doing so set that child on a path to gaining better health and self-discipline. You never know when one of these seemingly small interactions changes a child's life forever.

That Guy
June 10th, 2011, 10:22 PM
swimshark, sounds like you and Jeremy did a fantastic job! :applaud:

swimshark
June 11th, 2011, 06:19 AM
Thanks Karl and That Guy. I hope it made a good impact. Several of the kids said they were on their summer league team which warmed my heart. I told them all that swimming is the only sport they can learn that could save their life. Although a few guessed the sport was football or soccer. hee-hee