With the kids missing out on swimming lessons, our Swim School Operations Manager Rachael has put together some ideas to try to keep their learning and exploration going! 

Who would have imagined that swimming, whether at the beach or your local pool, was not going to be part of your weekly routine this year?

If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool, I’m sure even though it’s getting cooler, the sparkling blue water is keeping your children occupied during this unprecedented lockdown period.

However, water play or water experiences don’t just need to be saved for the swimming pool or the beach. If you have a bath, I have come up with a few activities which toddlers to older kids might enjoy over this testing time for families.

Number one rule is always safety – please don’t leave your children unattended while in the bath.

Bubbles are an important part of swimming. Get small floating objects and encourage your child to blow the toys along the surface of the water. Make a noise at the same time which helps encourages the blowing out aspect.

Goggles can be fun at bath time too. If you have a mirror that you can put into the water, your child will love seeing themselves in the bath with goggles on. “Blow the bubbles and watch them coming out of your mouth!” Add a couple of drops of food colouring to the bath water, and you can add bubble bath too if you have some.

There are numerous water activities on the internet that will occupy your little ones so that bath time can continue to be an educational activity with water. The possibility buying a bath bomb at the moment is nigh-on impossible, however when I was living in Fiji, this was the recipe that circulated around the play group for a DIY bath bomb.

Get the kids involved in making them with you so you have virtually an all-day activity – great for a rainy day.

Bath Bombs

Time: 10 minutes, several hours of drying time.
Cost: About $2 per bomb if you make 12

Tools & materials
225g (1 cup) baking soda (bicarb soda)
110g (1/2 cup) Epsom salt
110g (1/2 cup) corn flour
110g (1/2 cup) citric acid
Large bowl
Glitter or dried flower petals (optional)
2.5 tablespoons coconut oil (or any other veggie oil)
About 1 tablespoon water
About 2 teaspoons essential oil (for scent)
4-6 drops of food colouring
Small jar or bowl
12-18 silicone moulds

First, mix the dry ingredients (baking soda, Epsom salt, corn flour, and citric acid) together in a large bowl. Use the whisk to make sure the mixture is clump-free. Baking soda is a key ingredient in this bathtub explosion. Citric acid takes the place of vinegar in this chemical equation, but it doesn’t react with sodium bicarbonate until it gets wet.

If you want, you can add visual decorations like glitter into the mix. If you don’t have biodegradable glitter perhaps use dried flowers petals so it’s better for the environment.

Now mix up the wet ingredients (oil, water, essential oil, and food colouring). Put all these
ingredients in a jar and shake them up. Add the scent (essential oil), about 2 teaspoons. You can tweak quantity to suit your taste, then add the colour. Stick to a single hue to avoid accidentally muddying the bath waters. Stick to 4-6 drops of food colouring total, but feel free to mix up different pigments.

Slowly add the liquid to the dry mixture. Really slowly, like a teaspoon at a time. Whisk as you go, and slow down if things start to look fizzy. You should end up with a mixture that just barely clumps together, like damp sand.

Stuff the mixture into your silicone moulds, ASAP. You don’t want the mix to dry out while it’s still in the bowl, which is why you should make sure you have enough moulds to make a dozen or more bombs at once. Press the mixture down firmly into your silicone moulds of choice.

Let the bath bombs dry. If your mould has a lot of details in it, you might just want to give them a whole day to be safe.

Pop them out when completely dry, add them to the bath water and BOOM, bath bombs are ready to explode!