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.
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