Saturday, June 16, 2012


Swimming. A favorite summer pastime.
Doesn't everyone love to swim?
No. Not when it means making the swim team.

As adults, we often forget about the incredible concerns young children have when it comes to "being on a team". We assume that just because a child enjoys an activity, they will enjoy that same activity at a competitive level.

Make the Team, Baby Duck by Amy Hest is a story about a little duckling who would like to try for the swim team, but doesn't feel quite up to the task.

Her parents say all the things most of us would say when trying to coax our children into the water.
"Don't you remember what fun you had last summer?"
"Be a big girl now, and jump right in!"

 But Grandpa Duck is wiser. He listens and then responds to Baby Duck.
"Perhaps when you're ready, you'll be on the team."
Teams are great. They teach both useful skills and life lessons.
Sometimes I wonder...
Perhaps we need to be a bit more like Grandpa Duck, waiting till the child tells us they're ready.
Then they can enjoy the activity and the team as well!

Take a look at all the books in the Baby Duck series by Amy Hest and Jill Barton. They're charming read alouds with a touch of thoughtful Grandparenting woven into each one.

Sensory Extension Idea:
Rubber Ducks in the Water Table
Materials: Water Table or some type of tub or shallow plastic container, water, rubber ducks, small pitchers or cups, towels for cleanup.
Procedure: Fill the water table or container with water, add ducks and other items. Allow children time to explore and find ways of moving the ducks around in the water. Move them in a group or one at a time. Can they race each other like a swim team?
Talk about swimming under the water and over (on top) of the water.

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