I've been taking the kids to the wading pool 1 to 3 times a week. We go on the days the girl I babysit can go with us (so it will be more fun for him with a playmate.) I have talked to numerous lifeguards so have been taking the following toys with the intention that they would help the kids learn to swim:
1. Diving balls. The ones I got at Target can either float or sink depending on if you screw them large or small (We know why that works from reading the Magic Schoolbus lol.)
2. A large plastic truck that they can push on the bottom of the pool. (It replicates the swimming position of arms in front and legs extended back.)
Today I was finally able to add kid-sized kick boards. They were doing really well with them, pushing them forward while kicking. Then the friend sat on hers and fell under water. My son tried to do the same thing. And when his face was under water he started kicking his legs and he was swimming!!! The friend did the same thing except she kept her hands on the bottom of the pool. However, she is on the verge of swimming. (Her 4th birthday is this week.)
My son did several sessions of swimming, so he's got it down. Now we just need to keep going so he can be comfortable with this. Then we'll try in the deeper pool swimming back and forth from me to my husband.
My son taught himself to ride a bike. We gave him a balance bike at 29.5 months old. Eventually he graduated to a 2 wheeler when he was ready. He was riding a 2 wheel bike at 3. This spring, before it got hot, he was going on frequent 4 mile bike rides with my husband and loving it.
I just love unschooling. Letting the kid do it at their pace. I gave him the tools and he figured it out. I can't wait for him to teach himself to read!!!
In other related news, my daughter will be 2 in 6 weeks. She is wild and reckless in the pool. I have to stay right beside her to keep her head above water as she is constantly falling down. I have tried to show her how to float on her back. Today when she would fall down, she would often turn herself over as if she was trying to float on her back. As this skill would make her so much safer around water, I hope that she is successful. She also is better able to get herself up when she falls. She actually looks like she's got some very beginning swim stuff happening. I was joking with the lifeguard that I think she'll be swimming by 2. Well, maybe not, but I'm almost certain she'll figure it out next summer before her 3rd birthday. (She also has a balance bike. We gave it to her much younger than we did our son, though she hasn't really been interested in it yet. She watched her brother riding it today and spent more time on it than she ever has before. They're just so cute when they ride balance bikes at such a young age.)
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing and living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.