The Underwater Tea Party.

Always a big hit with the kids- it gets them used to the deep end, prepares them for jumping and diving and aids their discovery that the water pushes them up.

Tadpoles should monkey down the wall, then line up along the bar in the deep end. As you are going, explain that “we are going to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen for a posh tea party. Has everyone got their best costumes on?”

Show that the pool is not scary – “no pirates, no crocodiles and the drains don’t suck you under.” Do this by laying down on the bottom and waving to the kids.

“Let’s just make sure you all float. When I say go, all let go of the bar and make this face underwater”

Use any silly face that involves the hands and therefore letting go of the bar.

(Their legs must stay still) “Did anyone sink?”

“One hand flat like a saucer, hold the china tea cup nicely with the other hand, pinky in the air and just float under the water while I bring you a nice cup of tea.”

“Who would like sugar?”  Dole out the sugar/lemon/honey, then sip the tea.

“Remember your manners, no slurping, no burping, no drinking from the saucer!”

“Who loves chocolate cake? – hold out your plates. Try not to drop any crumbs on the Queen’s nice white carpet.  Now let’s eat it under water. “

“Well, we’ve all had a nice tea party. Time for a little sit down, like your grandma, to let our tea settle.”


When you are in the bath and you push a bottle of empty shampoo, with the lid on under the water does it stay down or come up? UP. Because it’s full of ….? Yes air.”

“ So if you take a big breathe and go under will you stay down or come up? Yes, come up”

One at a time, press them to the bottom by getting your body above theirs until they reach the bottom and let go. 

“ Wave goodbye to everyone you know and love. Big breathe, ready steady…”

“Feel the water bringing you back up – just remember to swim when you come up” 

Be sensitive to nervous kids, let them go at their own pace.

If they are scared you will have to devote time to proving that they float and gently increasing the depth.

When they can do this without panic, then they are ready for jumping and diving.

The more confident can attempt reaching the bottom on their own.

Teaching plan, Shirley Swimming Pool 2021 Copyright West End Swim School Ltd