Blowing bubbles is one of the most basic skills of swimming. Knowing how to properly let go of air under water helps a swimmer relax in the pool…and more importantly, prevents water from getting up the nose!
The hardest aspect of teaching this particular skill may be convincing your student that water will not go up the nose from blowing bubbles.
Be sure to work on blowing bubbles through the mouth before blowing bubbles through the nose.
How to blow bubbles through the mouth:
1.) Have your student stand or kneel in an area where the water hits his or her waist. (If you’re
teaching a small child, you may want to carry him or her to where the water hits your waist. Be sure to have a firm grip, supporting the child’s back and bottom with your hands and arms.)
2.) Instruct your student to dip his or her chin into the water until the mouth is covered but the nose is not.
3.) Tell the student to pretend as though he or she is blowing a birthday candle out. The mouth should form an ‘O’ shape, and the vocal cords should not make any sound.
How to blow bubbles through the nose:
1.) Have your student stand or kneel in an area where the water hits his or her waist. (If you’re teaching a small child, you may want to carry him or her to where the water hits your waist. Be sure to have a firm grip on the child, supporting the back and bottom with your hands and arms.)
2.) Instruct your student to hum, being sure his or her mouth stays tightly closed.
3.) Tell your student to lower his or her head into the water while still humming. The student should not stop humming and should continue to to do so while the mouth is underwater.
4.) If done correctly, bubbles should appear from the student’s nose while he or she hums beneath the surface of the water.
The student must NOT stop humming, especially if he or she is very new to swimming. If the humming quits, the student is likely to get water up the nose.
TIP: What to do if water gets up the nose
Accidentally sniffing up water can be extremely uncomfortable and scary for beginning swimmers. If your student does get water up the nose, instruct him or her to pretend that he or she is blowing into a tissue.