Aqua Fun Academy
Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Hannah’s Welcome

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Hannah’s Welcome

Throwback Thursday to a warm welcome to our summer camp from Head Counsellor Hannah! Hannah is not only a swim instructor and lifeguard, but also a registered ECE and OCT. With more children’s qualifications than we can pronounce, her love for children speaks for itself. As does her love of AFA’s (optional) Friday spa days featuring manicures, a camper-favourite activity which she administers personally!

Early childhood education (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age of about eight. Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood education, denotes the education of children from birth to age two. Teaching at any level is a rewarding career, but early childhood teachers have a special opportunity to help children in their earliest stages. Early childhood education programs at Ontario colleges teach students the skills they need to get children started on a successful journey through the education system.

What does an early childhood educator do?

  • Assesses children’s developmental needs and stages in all developmental domains;
  • Designs curriculum to address children’s identified needs, stages of development and interests;
  • Plans programs and environments for play and activities that help children make developmental progress;
  • Maintains healthy emotional and social learning contexts for children; and
  • Reports to parents and supervisors on children’s developmental progress within healthy, safe, nurturing and challenging play environments.

About OCT: 

An Ontario teaching certificate is a licence to teach in Ontario. Only qualified teaching professionals who have been certified by and remain in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers can use the abbreviation OCT – Ontario Certified Teacher – next to their name. OCTs have met the standards for acceptance into Ontario’s teaching profession. They possess the academic and experience credentials expected of teachers in publicly funded schools. The OCT designation ensures students are taught by highly qualified people. OCTs have the necessary knowledge and skills to help students learn and achieve.

Summer camp has started, but you can still register for future weeks! Don’t have a camp for your kids yet? Join us for a week full of outdoor and indoor sports, arts and crafts, and daily swimming! Learn more here.

🏊🙊🙉🙈

Welcome

Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Andrew & Leah

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Andrew & Leah

Throwback Thursday to mat play with Andrew and Leah. Pool foam floats are primarily used as a leisure tool for comfort and relaxation, often with a cold beverage. AFA uses foam floats primarily for ice safety training, as they can easily simulate drifting sheets of ice over ponds and lakes. In Canada, this is considered a vital part of swim training. However, that doesn’t stop anyone from using the floats to simulate white-water rafting, a swimmer favorite downtime activity at the end of our classes.

During wintertime, many of us like to skate or approach ice on small rivers or lakes nearby. However, the sturdiness of the ice is an incredibly important factor to whether or not we are able to enjoy this pastime. Nobody wants to be the person to end up falling in the ice. Whether it is proving a point to your friends or taking a (very bad) bet, what could seem like a fun innocent idea at first could end up being an absolutely nightmare within moments. It’s important to learn the rules of ice safety before heading out during the winter season.

The colour of the ice is a very strong indicator as to whether or not it is safe to approach and walk on it.  Clear blue ice is considered the strongest form of ice.
Grey ice however is considered to be the weakest of them all and is not considered safe in anyway.

 

Mats are a swimmer favourite, as instructors can push them around to simulate white water rafting (without the danger)! Play time, or recess, serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the class. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it.

🏊🙊🙉🙈

November 26, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Summer Camp Arts and Crafts

Swimming Throwback Thursday to summer camp with instructor Robert. Who says kids get to have all the fun? Pictured here is Robert in our arts and crafts room practicing his painting skills along with the rest of the class. Arts and crafts provide a reprieve from the physical activities of the morning, usually out on the field or in the gym, and in the afternoons in the swimming pool. It allows our campers to create a fun take-home memento which they can keep for posterity! Although some may regard art education as a luxury, simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. Learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics may be more important than ever to the development of the next generation of children as they grow up.

Most people think that crafts and arts are just the same, but they are actually very different – both in principle and implementation. Art refers to unstructured activities, focusing on imagination and exploration. In fact, since the focus of art is imagination, you basically have no limitation or boundaries. Crafts, on the other hand, focus on structured activities with a certain purpose. So when you want to create greeting cards from scrap papers or making recycled papers, you are doing crafts activities.

Children receive stimulation when they are taking part in crafts and art projects since they need to focus on their imagination and creativity. When you give a paintbrush to your kid, for instance, you allow them to express themselves through brush strokes and colors and they are able to create whatever image they want. They can also learn about symbolic means of communication, and there are many ways to do so. Different colors represent different feelings, for example, and they are able to learn that. Sure, their creation may look like simple undefined lines, curves, or strokes…but that’s the way they express themselves and they can develop more if you are able to nourish their needs.

🏊🎨🙊🙉🙈

July 21, 2016

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Grey Ice

Our Swimming Tip Tuesday of the week:

Grey ice is unsafe. The grayness indicates the presence of water.

During wintertime, many of us like to skate or approach ice on small rivers or lakes nearby. However, the sturdiness of the ice is an incredibly important factor to whether or not we are able to enjoy this pastime. Nobody wants to be the person to end up falling in the ice. Whether it is proving a point to your friends or taking a (very bad) bet, what could seem like a fun innocent idea at first could end up being an absolutely nightmare within moments. It’s important to learn the rules of ice safety before heading out during the winter season.

The colour of the ice is a very strong indicator as to whether or not it is safe to approach and walk on it.  Clear blue ice is considered the strongest form of ice.
Grey ice however is considered to be the weakest of them all and is not considered safe in anyway.

However, there is also the indicator of ice thickness. It is said that 15cm is the minimum required thickness for a single person to walk on ice; 20cm being the required thickness for group skating or games.

Even with these indicators it is not enough to safely assess whether ice is safe enough for you alone or you and your friends to go out on. Ice thickness is a variable that fluctuates very often, and as such you need to be able to reassess the situation often. What could be thick ice one minute could be thin and unsafe the next. Also, one pocket of thick ice could easily be next to a pocket of thin ice, which could mean your next steps would be devastating. Common tips are to check the weather and to take note of the environment you are skating or walking on. Ponds and rivers fluctuate often.

Learn more about Aqua Speed here.

🇫🇷 Lire en Français: http://ow.ly/g9iM309GKIX

Grey ice is unsafe

Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Play Area Clean Up

Throwback Thursday to play area cleaning with Sam, Hannah, Onieka and our adorable little swimmers Andrew and Leah. At a depth shallower than most bath tubs, our Sunny View play area is a secure zone where swimmers can play and wait before the start of their classes, or even after the end of their classes. For some of our swimmers, the play area represents a comfortable way to ease into the water before starting class, which allows our swimmers to start class in a relaxed, refreshed manner.

Not every child wants to jump right in. Some want to wade in or gradually “sink” in—carefully sitting on each step of the shallow end’s entry point. And that’s ok. The play area is an easy way to allow a child to gradually enter the pool. The play area creates a simple transition. Transition is the period of time between activities, like when some students are waiting for others to finish or students are waiting to take turns doing activities. It is very easy for transition times to get out of hand, especially for preschool age children. There are many tricks that teachers use to make things go smoothly between preschool activities, including the play area.

Parents with infants too young to join our program also frequently splash and wade in the play area. The only requirement is a waterproof baby diaper. If you want to take your baby to a swimming pool then a swim diaper is a must. Even at the beach, a swim diaper prevents your baby from leaving an unpleasant reminder in the sand or salt water. Having the right swim diaper for your baby can make swimming with your baby much more relaxing for you.

Our play area is so entertaining that Andrew and Leah would rather clean up than go home.

🏊🙊🙉🙈

February 21, 2017

throwback-thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: November 22, 2016

Throwback Thursday to pool rafting with Menashe, Robert, Marcus and Sabrina. Pool foam floats are primarily used as a leisure tool for comfort and relaxation, often with a cold beverage. AFA uses foam floats primarily for ice safety training, as they can easily simulate drifting sheets of ice over ponds and lakes. In Canada, this is considered a vital part of swim training. However, that doesn’t stop anyone from using the floats to simulate white-water rafting, a swimmer favorite downtime activity at the end of our classes.

Mats are a swimmer favourite, as instructors can push them around to simulate white water rafting (without the danger)! Play time, or recess, serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the class. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it.

Is that Instructor Evan teaching in the background? Yeah, we think there’s some teaching happening too! 🤣

🏊🙊🙉🙈

November 22, 2016

TipTuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Ice Safety – Clear Blue Water

Our Swimming Tip Tuesday of the week:

It’s very important to consider the colour of ice. Clear blue ice is the strongest and safest. It forms when the temperature has been at least -8ºC for three consecutive weeks. The colder it gets, the faster blue ice will form. At a minimum thickness of 12 inches, blue ice will even support a large vehicle such as a mid-size pick-up. According to the Lifesaving Society, clear blue ice needs to be at least four inches thick to support a person and at least 12 inches for a mid-size pick-up. And of course, stay clear of grey ice.

Blue ice occurs when snow falls on a glacier, is compressed, and becomes part of the glacier. Air bubbles are squeezed out and ice crystals enlarge, making the ice appear blue. Small amounts of regular ice appear to be white because of air bubbles inside them and also because small quantities of water appear to be colourless. In glaciers, the pressure causes the air bubbles to be squeezed out increasing the density of the created ice. Large quantities of water appear to be blue, as it absorbs other colours more efficiently than blue. Therefore, a large piece of compressed ice, or a glacier, would appear blue.

Blue ice is exposed in areas of the Antarctic where there is no net addition or subtraction of snow. That is, any snow that falls in that area is counteracted by sublimation or other losses. These areas have been used as runways (e.g.Wilkins Runway, Novolazarevskaya, Patriot Hills Base Camp) due to their hard surface which is suitable for aircraft fitted with wheels rather than skis.

Want to learn more? Sign up on our website for personalized training with one of our instructors.

Learn more about Aqua Speed here.

🇫🇷 Lire en Français: http://ow.ly/87X4308LYRF

Clear blue ice is the strongest and safest form of ice

throwback-thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: December 2, 2016

Throwback Thursday to a full house at our Sunny View location.

In the top left: instructor Menashe consults a curriculum sheet while his swimmer takes a much needed break. An effective curriculum provides teachers, students, administrators and community stakeholders with a measurable plan and structure for delivering a quality education. The curriculum identifies the learning outcomes, standards and core competencies that students must demonstrate before advancing to the next level. Teachers play a key role in developing, implementing, assessing and modifying the curriculum. An evidenced-based curriculum acts as a road map for teachers and students to follow on the path to academic success.

In top centre: instructor Alex wrapping up a productive class with some play time. Mats are a swimmer favourite, as instructors can push them around to simulate white water rafting (without the danger)! Play time, or recess, serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the class. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it.

On top right: instructor Robert runs his swimmer through a kicking drill, a common tool used for improving both leg strength and leg technique. Drills need to be performed slower than usual swimming speed, this enables you to get a better ‘feel’ for the stroke, the motions; position of the hands, head, hips, feet. Once the ‘feel’ for each drill has been recognised and near perfected, you can then focus on increasing the speed at which they’re performed, so that when the full stroke is initiated you gain a sense of better efficiency.

On bottom: instructor Maria runs a swimmer through a back drill. This drill, often performed with a flutter board, works on improving both leg technique and strength, as well as improving back balance by helping the swimmer understand and adjust his or her center of gravity in the water.

A full house means we get to share a beautiful cross-section of the different stages of swimming lessons with you!

🏊🙊🙉🙈

December 2, 2016

WanderlustWednesday

Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: Shangri-La Toronto

Today’s Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: Shangri-La Toronto

This week’s Wanderlust Wednesday takes us to AFA’s hometown of Toronto, Canada. As a reflection of the best Toronto has to offer, the bottom portion of the 66 storey building is a hotel for visiting guests, while the upper portion is a condominium for Toronto residents. Shangri-La Toronto residents have access some of the best amenities in the city which include a 24-hour fitness center on the fifth floor complete with a yoga studio, 20-meter lap pool, hot tub, infrared sauna and the award-winning Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris.

From the Shangri-La’s unique vantage point, you can watch Toronto evolve into a world-class cosmopolitan city.

🇫🇷Lire en Français: http://ow.ly/9RNV306Q2dU

✈🌎🏙🏊🇨🇦

shangri-la-toronto

throwback-thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: November 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday / Flashback Friday to last week, where we caught instructor Robert setting a fashion-forward swimming trend. Why settle for one layer of eye protection when you can have two!

Dated: November 10, 2016

november-10-2016