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.
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.
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*