I was so excited when we were offered the chance to work with Puddle Ducks South Lancashire; I had heard of them already but was keen learn more and experience their swimming lessons for ourselves. To my shame, swimming skills have been low on our list of priorities in the last year or so. Lucas is not a natural in the water: even as a baby he would cry through every bath time and when we braved the swimming pool he would just cling on to us. It definitely left me feeling less confident to the point when I wasn’t even sure where to start with swimming lessons for him. I knew he would be a challenge to teach but I also knew the longer I left it the worse it would be.
After speaking to Puddle Ducks I felt totally reassured that these would be the classes for him. Their whole philosophy is to make babies, toddlers and children confident in the water, not just with swimming skills but also with water safety and survival skills. The Puddle Ducks swimming lessons are taught in a warm pool with a highly-trained teacher and each class has a maximum of ten children. They want it to be a positive experience for your child, whatever their age, and make it as fun as possible with songs and games. The classes start from birth and whatever stage your child may be with swimming there will be something for you. Lucas started in the Kickers class, for children 18 months plus, as he isn’t confident in water. I go into the pool with him for the half hour session and there is one teacher and a poolside assistant. We have only had a couple of classes and I will do a full review at the end of our lessons but I wanted to write about our first impressions. I’m sure there are other parents like us out there, dreading the thought of swimming lessons and you are not alone!
One of the things I love the most is that right from the start they put me at ease. I’m sure they could tell that I was worried about how Lucas would be in the water but they reassured me straight away. He went into the pool area quite eagerly but as soon as he hit the water panic set in and he started to get upset, clinging onto me. They were happy to let him settle in his own time while still encouraging him to take part. Our teacher engaged him in all the activities and had something ready for him to try on a lower level if he wasn’t ready to keep up with the other children. She reassured me that this was normal and not to worry and gradually he started to calm down. By the end of the lesson we had a few smiles and he was trying to join in – already he was happier in the water. Even better, on the way home he told me he had had fun and was looking forward to next week and ‘riding seahorses.’
There are still a few tears in the water but each week I see him try something new and do things I wasn’t sure we would ever see. It has also left me feeling more confident in handling him in the water; I am certain that the more relaxed I am the better it is for Lucas. The people at Puddle Ducks are always there for me to talk to if I have any concerns and I feel like they really will get the very best out of Lucas in the pool. This week is our pyjama party, designed to teach water survival skills, so we are really looking forward to it – every week brings something new to try! Look out for more on our Puddle Ducks lessons and I’m excited to share how far Lucas has come on his swimming journey. You can follow all the news from Puddle Ducks South Lancashire on Twitter and Facebook, they are very friendly and helpful and happy to answer any questions.
I had to share this photo taken of Lucas after his first lesson, so happy and I felt so proud of what he had achieved!
Disclosure – We have received a series of Puddle Ducks swimming lessons for free but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.