Wonder is the water familiarization component of the Swim and Survive program, designed specifically for children aged 6 to 36 months.
Swim and Survive ‘Wonder’
Wonder is a child-centred program which is taught with parent or carer and child together in the water. Parents are an integral part of their child’s aquatic education by providing guidance and support through activities that provide for the development of water familiarisation, exploration and water safety skills.
Wonder uses songs, games and activities to teach children a variety of skills including entries, floating, breathing and movement.
Wonder has 3 awards that are arranged by age groups. Within each age group are two stages which allow for a stepping stone of progression, keeping the program challenging and rewarding.
The Wonder program is a well-rounded and balanced program that provides
opportunities for experiences in the key areas for development of aquatic skills.
The key learning areas are strands which are consistent throughout the Swim
and Survive program. Within each stage of a Wonder Award there are 1-2 skills
from each strand that should be experienced. The Wonder program strands are:
Getting Wet is about entering the water safely using different entries appropriate for each motor development stage progressing towards encouraging safe independent entries and exits.
Keeping Balance provides experiences of body orientation and rotation skills which are vital for developing survival and mobility skills.
Breathing Skills develop confidence in getting the face wet, blowing bubbles and learning to submerge. Fun activities promote relaxation and breath control.
Kick and Arm Action activities promote kicking and paddling to develop basic propulsion skills. Initially, these skills will be rudimentary but as crawling, walking and running skills are gained on land, coordination of kicking and paddling skills will develop and become stronger.
Going Underwater is a gradual process encouraged as each child shows readiness to participate and initiate the skill themselves. Using simple cue words, actions and songs, this will create a fun and non-threatening environment to support the learning of this skill.
Staying Afloat activities focus on experiencing floating on the front and back. Learning to float is an important skill not only to progress to propulsion but is an essential survival skill for every child.
Water Safety is encouraged through emphasising the message ‘always swim with an adult’. Introducing young children to a simple safety message early in their aquatic education establishes a positive attitude towards safe behaviour.
Parent Education focuses on the 4 key messages of the Keep Watch drowning prevention program:
1. Supervise your Child: always supervise your child within arms’ reach
2. Restrict Access to Water: provide barriers to water locations
3. Be Water Aware: introduce your child to water
4. Learn Resuscitation
For more detailed information regarding program delivery, please see www.swimandsurvive.com.au.
For additional information on water safety and Victorian initiatives, please see www.lifesavingvictoria.com.au.