Wonder - For children aged 6 to 36 months

Wonder is the water familiarisation component of the Swim and Survive program, designed specifically for children aged 6 to 36 months.

The Program is a child-centred program which is taught with parent or carer and child together in the water. Parents are an integral part of their child's aquatic education by providing guidance and support through activities that provide for the development of water familiarisation, exploration and water safety skills.

Wonder uses songs, games and activities to teach children a variety of skills including entries, floating, breathing and movement. Wonder has 3 awards that are arranged by age groups. Within each age group are two stages which allow for a stepping stone of progression, keeping the program challenging and rewarding.

Wonder is the first stage in a lifetime of fun and safety in the water

The Wonder program provides opportunities for experiences and the development of aquatic skills whilst in the care of a parent or carer. The Wonder program strands are:


Getting Wet is about entering the water safely using different entries appropriate for each motor development stage progressing towards encouraging safe independent entries and exits.

Keeping Balance provides experiences of body orientation and rotation skills which are vital for developing survival and mobility skills.

Breathing Skills develop confidence in getting the face wet, blowing bubbles and learning to submerge. Fun activities promote relaxation and breath control.

Kick and Arm Action activities promote kicking and paddling to develop basic propulsion skills. Initially, these skills will be rudimentary but as crawling, walking and running skills are gained on land, coordination of kicking and paddling skills will develop and become stronger.

Going Underwater is a gradual process encouraged as each child shows readiness to participate and initiate the skill themselves. Using simple cue words, actions and songs, this will create a fun and non-threatening environment to support the learning of this skill.

Staying Afloat activities focus on experiencing floating on the front and back. Learning to float is an important skill not only to progress to propulsion but is an essential survival skill for every child.

Water Safety is encouraged through emphasising the message 'always swim with an adult'. Introducing young children to a simple safety message early in their aquatic education establishes a positive attitude towards safe behaviour.

Parent Education focuses on the 4 key messages of the Keep Watch drowning prevention program:

1. Supervise your Child: always supervise your child within arms’ reach 
2. Restrict Access to Water: provide barriers to water locations 
3. Be Water Aware: introduce your child to water 
4. Learn Resuscitation

Wonder Award 1

Wonder Award 1

To achieve this award you must be able to:

STAGE 1

1. Enter and exit the water safely with carer. 

2. Experience the water on the head and body.

3. With instructor guidance and using cue words, undertake submersion preparation.

4. Display comfort when cradled on the back. 

5. Be gently rocked, turned and towed through the water.

6. Be encouraged to splash the arms and kick the legs.

STAGE 2

1. With support, lean forward, reach for carer's shoulders and enter the water from a seated position.

2. Exit the water safely with carer. 

3. Initiate putting water on the face, head and body.

4. Demonstrate readiness for submersion.

5. Experience surface glides with carer using continuous contact.

6. With assistance, float on the back with head on the carer's shoulder.

7. With assistance, roll from one side to the other - back to front, front to back.

8. Carer to manipulate legs and arms to kick and paddle on front and back positions.

Wonder Award 2

Wonder Award 2

To achieve this award you must be able to:

STAGE 3

1. With support, safely enter the water from a seated position towards the carer. Be turned towards the edge to hold. 

2. Hand walk along the pool edge with assistance.

3. Imitate the blowing of bubbles on the surface of the water. 

4. Demonstrate readiness for submersion.

5. Experience being gently submerged by carer towards themselves.

6. With assistance, float on the back with head on the carer's chest.

7. Experience body rotation in a vertical position.

8. Move legs up and down with carer encouragement. ('kick, kick')

9. Experience reaching for objects and pulling arms through water.

STAGE 4

1. With support, safely step into the water from a standing position towards the carer. Be turned towards the edge to hold.

2. Hand walk along the pool edge and climb out with assistance.

3. Attempt to blow bubbles below the surface of the water.

4. Experience assisted glides from instructor to carer.

5. Experience assisted glides towards poolside and hold onto edge with support.

6. With encouragement, float on front or back using a flotation mat.

7. With assistance, support self holding a flotation aid.

8. With support, move the arms and legs through the water.

Wonder Award 3

Wonder Award 3

To achieve this award you must be able to:

STAGE 5

1. With support, enter the water using a slide in entry and hold onto the pool edge.

2. With minimal assistance, attempt to climb out independently.

3. Blow bubbles in water with the face fully submerged.

4. Demonstrate readiness for submersion.

5. Experience free floating glides for a short distance towards poolside and hold onto edge with assistance.

6. Float on the back with support under the shoulders.

7. With assistance, rotate body from back to front whilst holding a flotation aid.

8. Using a flotation aid, demonstrate a kicking action.

9. With instructor guidance, demonstrate pulling arms and hands through water.

STAGE 6

1. With support, safely jump into the water from a standing position towards the carer and return to the wall ready to exit.

2. Exit the water safely unassisted.

3. Blow bubbles with the face fully submerged, take a breath and repeat the sequence.

4. With encouragement, initiate own submersion for short distance and recover securely.

5. With assistance, hold a controlled back float for a period of 5 seconds and recover to a secure position.

6. With assistance, rotate body in a vertical position whilst holding a flotation aid.

7. With support, combine leg and arm movements.