Our first half term with Puddle Ducks – Review

Amy has been swimming with Puddle Ducks for half a term now so I think it’s about time I shared an update on her progress!

You may remember from our first post that Amy was nervous, clingy and generally unsure of the situation.  She spent much of that first lesson holding tightly to me and saying “Don’t like it!”  I had expected this would be the case as she had been much the same on holiday in France however I was confident she would settle reasonably quickly.  The team at Puddle Ducks had forewarned me that Amy might well take a few weeks to settle and explained that it’s quite normal for children of Amy’s age to develop a crisis of confidence even if they’ve been swimming for quite a while.

Around lesson 4 we encouraged Amy under the water for the first time.  She coped well however both Sarah and I knew we had pushed her hard and found her boundaries.  Amy reminded me several times over the following week that she didn’t want to go under the water and in her lessons since, she has been given the opportunity to go for a dip should she wish but she has steadfastly kept her head above water.

One of the things I’ve really loved about our Puddle Ducks lessons over the last half term is the lessons are structured in such a way as to provide routine and familiarity to allow for little ones to feel secure and confident in what’s going on but always with a slight twist or something new to keep pushing them and developing their skills further.  (This is a bonus as a parent too as it never feels repetitive)

The structure of the lessons always allows for each activity to be tailored to your child’s current comfort zone.  As I have mentioned already, Amy isn’t too keen on going under the water at the moment and we don’t want to knock her hard won confidence so everything is done at her own pace and modified to suit her developmental stage building steadily to taking the next step to move her on.  Just this last week we did some splashing where her teacher, Sarah, threw her to me to make a big splash – which she absolutely loved!  She got a wet face and it was a clear step towards being more confident with jumping in or swimming under the water.

Puddle Ducks Kickers - reach for the wall

I mentioned in my first post that we had felt a bit lost as we didn’t know the songs, holds or routines that went along with a Puddle Ducks swimming lesson.  As predicted we soon settled into this, quickly learned the songs that are sung during various parts of our Puddle Ducks lessons and Amy can be heard performing snippets of these throughout the week.  (I must admit they rather get stuck in my head too!)

Each term the children take part in a special Pyjama Party to raise money for charity and also to teach the children (and parents) vital life saving skills.  I’ve never been in the water in my clothes before so it was a strange experience for me never mind Amy who clearly thought we were all potty!  The lesson was really good fun and focused on encouraging the children to realise they could still swim with their clothes on and things like reaching for the side so that if they had fallen in unexpectedly it wouldn’t feel quite so alien and they would know what to do.

We were also lucky that Amy was able to have a bonus swimming lesson recently as one of her teacher’s was having an assessment (which she passed with flying colours – well done Jenna!).  This was lovely for us as it meant that Daddy was able to take her in the water while I watched from the sidelines.  Aside from being the perfect opportunity to take some photos for this blog post it was a real treat to get a different perspective on her lesson and see how relaxed she has become in the water.

Puddle Ducks

We love our Fridays together, our swimming lesson gives us some real focused quality time together and it’s such a joy.  Just half a term in and she’s like a completely different child in the water.  I can’t wait too see how she progresses over the coming half term.

*Disclaimer – 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*

*Read more reviews here*

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37 Comments

  1. November 3, 2015 / 8:30 am

    I have never heard of puddle ducks before. I want my kids to start their swimming lessons soon, so will have to try and find out about this #TriedTested

    • November 3, 2015 / 7:31 pm

      Definitely do! We really are loving our lessons x

  2. Odd Socks and Lollipops
    November 3, 2015 / 8:31 am

    Oh this sounds great, I am really keen to get Boo swimming more often – I think that lessons might help us go a bit more often!

    • November 3, 2015 / 7:31 pm

      It makes such a difference – I would never get round to taking Amy if we didn't have a prebooked focussed session to attend.

  3. November 3, 2015 / 8:48 am

    This looks great, well done to Amy for gaining confidence! I think swimming and being safe in water is such an important skill. The Pyjama Party sounds an excellent idea. We take our twins to Water Babies classes, it's a lovely bonding time too! #TriedTested

  4. November 3, 2015 / 9:06 am

    Well done to Amy, anything that encourages water confidence and safely and peace of mind for parents is good in my mind.

    • November 3, 2015 / 7:32 pm

      Absolutely Fiona. My only regret is that I wasn't able to do it for the other two when they were the same age.

  5. Janine Dolan
    November 3, 2015 / 9:23 am

    We started swimming lessons with water babies when Chloe was 3 months but we were not too impressed so stopped as it was too expensive too. She looks like she is having a lot of fun #triedtested

  6. November 3, 2015 / 9:25 am

    Looks like she's doing really well. It must be overwhelming at times! I am never sure when the best time to start swimming is. I was really late in learning so I want lexie in the water sooner rather than later! #triedandtested

    • November 3, 2015 / 7:33 pm

      I think the sooner the better to be honest. My big two were three ish when they started their local lessons. Ben was fine but Chloe took a long time to become confident and enjoy herself.

  7. November 3, 2015 / 9:28 am

    We did Puddle Ducks when Little B was newborn for six months but can sadly no longer afford it. It was great while it lasted though… #TriedTested

  8. November 3, 2015 / 9:29 am

    Looks like she is enjoying it – i have done Puddle Ducks or equivalent with all of mine 🙂 #triedtested

  9. Laura Pilkington
    November 3, 2015 / 9:43 am

    We started swimming lessons with Rowan (with Water Babies) when he was five months old and he absolutely loves it to this day. It does take them awhile to get used to the water but it really does get better with time. I think it's really important for children to learn to swim, I think it's quite an important life goal to achieve as water safety is hugely important. Well done Amy 😀 x #TriedTested

  10. November 3, 2015 / 9:45 am

    They haven't got Puddle Ducks round where I live which is a shame. My son is starting lessons after Christmas as he has to wait until he is five to start.

  11. November 3, 2015 / 9:50 am

    Oh bless her, Amy looks like she's really enjoying herself. We've just signed the boys up to lessons through the Star Swim School, but wish i'd heard of Puddle Ducks beforehand as it sounds great. #triedtested

  12. November 3, 2015 / 10:23 am

    Ahh well done Amy – she sounds like she is doing great and looks very confident in the water! #TriedTested

  13. November 3, 2015 / 10:27 am

    aaa well done Amy. I'd love for my kids to have swimming lessons but I just can't afford the cost for all 4 of them #triedtested

  14. November 3, 2015 / 11:54 am

    That's great, well done Amy. Swimming is such an important life skill as well as great fun and exercise. My kids have all had lessons because I now have the peace of mind that they are safe and confident in the water. They love going, too! #TriedTested

  15. November 3, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    She looks absolutely wonderful. What a special bonding time for you, as well as being so great for a confidence. It's amazing how quickly they gain in confidence. #triedtested

  16. Mummy Melton
    November 3, 2015 / 1:10 pm

    We're joining Puddleducks this weekend, Mini M loved swimming with Waterbabies so I'm hoping he will love Puddleducks

  17. November 3, 2015 / 1:32 pm

    These lessons sound brilliant and really tailored to your little one. My four all go to swimming classes and I love the fact they're not scared in the water.

  18. November 3, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    Oh bless her, it sounds like she is doing really well. It looks like a great glass to attend x

  19. November 3, 2015 / 2:51 pm

    We recently tried out a swimming lesson group too – I did feel a little out of it at first, like you, in that you didn't know the songs etc but soon settled #triedtested

  20. Caroline Robinson
    November 3, 2015 / 4:23 pm

    Sounds brilliant, swimming is something none of mine are very confident at, we are actually having a break from lessons at the minute, because even though Harry had lessons for 2 years he still can't swim so we think he needs a break from it all. x

  21. November 3, 2015 / 8:01 pm

    Sounds like they've really thought these lessons through. Swimming is a very important skill for life. #triedtested

  22. November 3, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    It's really great to hear how much progress Amy has made, it sounds like a great course 🙂

    #triedtested

  23. November 3, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    Great that you managed to get an extra lesson! Monkey didn't like putting his head under the water for a while but then it suddenly clicked for no reason, and now he even wishes his own hair in the bath!! Such an important life skill! x #TriedTested

  24. November 3, 2015 / 8:39 pm

    Those sound like great lessons! Our lack of swimming lessons always makes me feel guilty – it's such an important life skill. I did chuckle at 'modified to suit her developmental stage.' You can take the teacher out of the classroom…

  25. November 3, 2015 / 8:53 pm

    That looks great, Izzy has been going to swimming lessons since she was 2 and I can't wait for Clara to start next year. #triedtested

  26. November 3, 2015 / 9:31 pm

    They sound like great lessons:) I love the idea of the PJ sessions too. It is so important that kids learn to swim early on before they develop fears of the water #triedtested

  27. becca farrelly
    November 3, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    This has brought back memories as we went to Puddle Ducks when Mia was about 4 months old until she was nearly 1. We loved it, they really are great sessions and like you say the songs do get stuck in your head! I'm glad Amy is enjoying her lessons too 🙂

    #TriedTested

  28. November 3, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    These sound like great classes to help encourage children to become more confident in the water and sounds like Amy is really enjoying them and doing very well 🙂

  29. November 4, 2015 / 3:07 am

    Looks like she is having a great time. And swimming is an excellent skill to learn

  30. November 4, 2015 / 9:14 am

    Sounds a brilliant way of building kiddies confidence levels.
    And well done Amy! Sounds like she is doing really well 🙂

  31. katefever
    November 4, 2015 / 9:51 am

    Swimming is such an important skill, we have taken all of ours from an early age. I love her face in these photos, you can see she is more confident and enjoying the water.

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