Puddle Ducks Kickers – Review

You may have read my recent post about why we’re learning to swim with Puddle Ducks, or seen mention of our swimming lessons on social media.  Today Amy had her third Kickers lesson and I thought it was time I shared our initial thoughts with you!

Amy has minimal swimming experience so I expected she was going to find her first lesson hard going.  She had become increasingly confident on holiday in France though so I was quite sure that once she’d had a few lessons she would get a bit braver and warm up to the idea.

The Kickers session starts out by teaching your child how to get into the water safely, and as with everything at Puddle Ducks, this has a little song to go with it.  Amy really wasn’t sure the first time we did this and was keen to get in as quickly as possible to she could wrap her arms around me limpet style however today she was much happier to sit and listen to the instructions telling her to turn onto her tummy and wriggle in, holding tightly to the side.

I must admit that in Amy’s first lesson I felt a little lost as I obviously didn’t know any of the songs or “holds” for Amy, and in fairness she wasn’t going to let me do anything but hold on tightly!  Although it was the first lesson of the term the other “Kickers” had been swimming with  Puddle Ducks for a while.  Sarah, our teacher, is lovely though and she made sure we knew what to do and kept talking to us both.  I was keen to get Amy to join in as much as possible but Sarah said that it was quite common, especially for children of Amy’s age, for them to just watch and take it all in for the first few sessions.  With the help of Sarah and a special Puddle Ducks rubber ducky we were able to convince Amy to release her strangle hold on me and just hold on with one arm instead.  Her confidence increased throughout the session though she refused to turn around and face away from me and she spent lots of time informing me “Don’t like it, don’t like it!”.  The half hour lesson went so quickly though and it was soon time to get out.

Puddle ducks kickers sessions with mum

Despite the fact that Amy had spent much of her lesson claiming “Don’t like it” she then spent the rest of the afternoon telling me “kick my legs, I swimming, kick my legs” – so I knew she was going to be happy to go back and have another go!

Amy’s second lesson fell whilst I was away in London for the MAD Blog Awards so Daddy was able to take her.  I was excited for them to have some special time together!  I know Dave was a little conscious of being the only dad in the class but he needn’t have worried.  He said there were other dads in the class before and I believe there are often lots of dads in the weekend classes.  Dave told me that Amy had done really well in her class and that Sarah was pleased with her.  Of course neither of us could compare having not seen the other’s lesson but I was happy that things had gone smoothly!  When I got home from London she announced “I swimming yesterday”!

Today was Amy’s third lesson and I was really keen to see how she would take to it.  As I have already said she was much happier getting into the pool and I was thrilled that my little limpet baby was already turning into a water baby – enjoying splashing around and even trying to put her face in the water to blow bubbles.  She was confident enough to move away from me on her woggles (long floaty pool noodle things) to practise kicking her legs and trying to get that infamous Puddle Ducks rubber duck.  She was was happy to ride on my back whilst I swam around the pool and loved jumping off the float into the pool.  The whole experience was completely different.

If she can come this far in just three lessons I can’t wait to see what she’s like by the end of her term in December!

Top tips before your first Puddle Ducks Kickers lesson: 

1. Remember that you need two nappies – a normal swim nappy and a second neoprene layer with tight legged cuffs (The guys at Puddle Ducks are usually able to lend you one for your first session if you let them know beforehand)

2. Remember that you need a nappy for after class!  Yes I was the Mum who had a million swim nappies but no proper nappy so had to take Amy home in a clean swimming nappy (I soon found out they really aren’t very absorbent!)

3. Don’t forget your own stuff – I nearly set off to class without my own swimming costume today!  Luckily I realised before we left otherwise that would have left us in a bit of a pickle!

4. Easy clothes are a must – after battling to get Amy into her leggings after swimming the first week I’ve bought her a zip up onesie – nice and easy and also super cosy when the weather starts to go downhill

5. Don’t forget money for the locker

6. Just have fun, who cares if you don’t know the words, you soon will! Besides you need to be confident to instil that confidence in your nervous little one!

Amy is taking part in a term of Kickers sessions with Puddle Ducks Greater Manchester free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own

*Read more reviews here*


  1. September 25, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    It looks like Amy has settled in well. Such a cutie! I can't wait for Little man to start lessons too x

    • September 25, 2015 / 8:41 pm

      Aw I'll look forward to hearing about it!

  2. September 29, 2015 / 7:20 am

    Wow sounds like she's come really far in just a few sessions! I would love to get Indiana into swimming more, I used to love it as a kid xx

  3. September 29, 2015 / 7:33 am

    This sounds great! Little F had swimming lessons since he was 4 months, but we stopped when I (briefly) went back to work at 12 months. We are looking for new classes now, so I'll look into Puddle Ducks.

  4. September 29, 2015 / 7:34 am

    We're doing baby swim lessons with a local instructor & it's been great for helping my son get use to the water. #triedtested

  5. Faye
    September 29, 2015 / 9:11 am

    Good tip on remembering the nappy for after the swim session – I would be that mum! We are yet to take Twink swimming but so excited to go…I was umming and ahhing about lessons but think you may have convinced me that they may be worth it.

    Faye @talesandtea

  6. Baby Isabella
    September 29, 2015 / 9:26 am

    We're in the same boat *sorry for the pun* I'm not particularly fond of the water. I need to start swimming lessons soon or my fear of the water is only going to get worse. Thanks for sharing your experience #TriedTested

  7. September 29, 2015 / 8:33 am

    Sounds like she's had fun! My eldest started swimming when he was 3 and he's 5 now. We're keen to get my youngest started soon too but I don't particularly want to go in the pool with him as I think he'd do much better without me being there! #TriedTested

  8. September 29, 2015 / 8:33 am

    Ah I am glad she settled in well through her lessons, I love seeing kids happy in the water.

  9. Karen Bell
    September 29, 2015 / 9:52 am

    They sound like fab fun swimming sessions and are obviously very confidence boosting. Well done to Amy!

  10. September 29, 2015 / 9:04 am

    Ah big fans of Puddle Ducks here – done it with all my four #TriedTested

  11. September 29, 2015 / 9:10 am

    We did Puddle Ducks with Little B for two terms from when he was 11 weeks old – he LOVED it! Unfortunately we can't afford it at the moment but I'd so love to take him again. It's a shame they're so expensive, but I understand why… #TriedTested

  12. September 29, 2015 / 9:18 am

    Love the idea of putting a onesie on after swimming . thanks for the tip 🙂

  13. September 29, 2015 / 10:06 am

    Aww! Well done Amy! It sounds like the lessons are going so well!

  14. Kerri-Ann Hargreaves
    September 29, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    Well done Amy. We've never swam with Puddle ducks but with did swim with Water Babies for nearly 4 years which is very similar. Such great skills #triedtested

  15. September 29, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    Ahhh amazing review Colette so cute. We absolutely love our PuddleDucks swimming lessons been doing them for four years with B and two years with MM and they are really learning loads and confidence in the water too. Sounds like Amy is going fantastic too. Well done. Thanks for hosting my darling. #triedtested

  16. September 29, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    A great way to build water confidence #triedtested

  17. September 29, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    When Reimer had his first swimming lesson early this year, he really had good fun too like Amy does. Need to enroll him again though for the next level. Thanks for sharing this great tips! #TriedTested

  18. September 29, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    We didn't do swimming lessons when Miss A was small and I really wish we had now.

  19. September 29, 2015 / 6:05 pm

    aw this looks fun. I'd love to take my dughter swimming more but most places near us require you to be a member 🙁 #triedtested

  20. AK Templer
    September 29, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    i am yet to take MM swimming but loving the tips you listed! looks like Amy settled in well into her class!

  21. September 29, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    I'm so glad that it is going well and Amy is enjoying it. I still haven't taken Aria swimming, we always said we would start her young but we never make it.
    I know what you mean about not knowing the songs and the moves, I feel like that at every new baby group that I go to!

  22. September 29, 2015 / 7:47 pm

    Sounds like she is loving it now. We kind of missed out at that stage but the boys are doing swimming lessons now #TriedTested

  23. Rebecca Farrelly
    September 29, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    We used to go to Puddle Ducks, Mia was only a new-born and I lost a bit of confidence (in myself) after we had been going for around 6 months so stopped going. Your post has reminded me of all the great things Puddle Ducks is about and how much we used to enjoy it! 🙂


  24. September 29, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    I've heard a number of parents talk about swimming lessons with their babies recently and this does look great. My daughter hates bath time though so I imagine this would look like torture to her. #TriedTested

  25. September 30, 2015 / 10:32 am

    This sounds great! We have been really lucky that our son just seems to love the water but if not I would definitely consider a class like this! Thanks for hosting #triedtested

  26. September 30, 2015 / 9:44 pm

    It sounds very much like Water Babies that we did.

    Sounds like Amy's getting stuck in…yes in our Saturday classes, I was often the only mum. All the rest of the children were brought by their dads.

  27. katefever
    October 3, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    Oh it does look like she's had fun – amazing to hear how far she's come in just 3 sessions! #TriedTested

  28. October 3, 2015 / 8:18 pm

    Looks like she had a lovely time. Monkey has been going to swimming classes since he was 10 weeks old and loves the water. Such a valuable skill to teach little ones. Thanks for hosting #TriedTested

  29. Victoria MyLittleLBlog
    October 5, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    my sister insists that I would take L swimming, but I'm not sure that she cares at the age of 15 months or maybe im missing something, but these classes look great!

  30. Odd Socks and Lollipops
    October 6, 2015 / 10:51 am

    This sounds great. I really love taking Boo swimming but we don't get to go as often as I would like. I am hoping to start regular lessons once I learn how to drive

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