Friday saw the end of term for Ben and Chloe and the start of a welcome respite from lost shoes and soggy school runs. It also saw the end of Amy’s first term as a Kicker with Puddle Ducks. Unfortunately due to Amy having spent all week full of cold and utterly miserable I had to take the decision to skip our last lesson of the term which was a real shame as it meant she missed out on all the festive fun but more importantly as it was to be our last lesson with Sarah and we weren’t able to say goodbye and thank you – so I’m doing that here instead . . . Thank you so much Sarah, we’re going to miss swimming with you!
When Amy started her Kickers sessions back in September she really wasn’t keen at all. She clung to me like a limpet and told me quite clearly “Don’t like it” however within a matter of weeks she was into the swing of things and particularly enjoyed kicking her legs and learning the songs.
As I mentioned in our mid term update – we found Amy’s limits around week 4 when we discovered that going under water really wasn’t something she enjoyed! This didn’t matter – Puddle Ducks lessons are structured in such a way as to make sure that your child can work at their own level, whilst always moving forward. Amy is never forced to go underwater if she doesn’t want to, just given the opportunity.
As the weeks progressed Amy has got braver and braver – it has been a real joy to watch her skills develop. Amongst other things, she will now sit on the side and wriggle into the pool before holding on safely to the side (though she does like to be back in my arms quite quickly). She is able to hold onto the side without help and turn to me to set off for a swim – the next stage is to encourage her to push off the wall with her feet. She can hold the side and “monkey monkey” down the wall without me holding her. She can kick her legs and make a good old splash. She loves to ride on my back for a cowboy ride – in fact I think this is her favourite thing to do. She’s less amused when it involves a “Seal Dive” though and is keen to keep her head above water whilst I dive down.
She doesn’t particularly like to lie on her back in the water at the moment and she’s not overly enthused by jumping in. That said, it does depend on what we’re doing – if we’re singing “Jelly on the plate” she is happy to wobble in but she won’t jump in to swim. Funny girl. Over the last few weeks we’ve noticed that she’s less bothered if she does go under the water during a jump, previously she would have hated it so I made sure I caught her quite quickly but as her confidence grows she doesn’t mind having a bit of a dip and getting her face wet as long as I’m there to grab her quickly. I’ve noticed that when we do a throw she’s quite happy for Sarah to launch her through the air to make a big splash but is less keen to swim to me. We’ve been challenging her to get her nose wet over the last couple of weeks and she’s definitely getting better – even if she does still try to tell me she doesn’t like it! In the last couple of weeks she has started to blow bubbles in the water and has learned to “spurt” – which I was thrilled about in the pool, less so when she did it all over herself in the car with her drink!
I think one of the things that I love most about our Puddle Ducks lessons is there is a certain level of routine and repetition which allows for your little one to feel safe and secure in your environment, but at the same time there’s enough variety in the lessons to ensure they are being pushed and that it doesn’t become tedious for the parents!
Standard Friday afternoon… Small one so tired after swimming that she can’t survive the journey home to get into bed so I’m stuck in the car listening to her snore and watching the dark clouds gather again! It’s going to start bouncing down any minute! She did so well at swimming again today – putting her face in the water to blow bubbles for the first time & even managing to let her face dip slightly for a swim!
I’m really excited that we’re going to be doing another term of lessons with Puddle Ducks in the new year. At 26 months Amy will still be a Kicker and as such will repeat the same structure of lessons we have just finished. I’m really looking forward to going back over the same ground and seeing how much more of it she can do. I think the repetition will do wonders for her already growing confidence. To fit in with some other changes in our schedule we have had to move our lessons from a Friday to a Monday and whilst we were able to swim at the same venue this does mean a change of teacher. We are sad not to be swimming with Sarah anymore but I know that Claire is going to be equally as lovely! Keep your eyes peeled for another update towards the end of January!
*Disclsimaer – Amy is currently swimming with Puddle Ducks free of charge for the purposes of writing this review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*