Teaching our kids to swim
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We have paid out A LOT of money over the last four years to get our kids to learn to swim. The figure is definitely in excess of £1,000.
I started taking Emily to lessons when she was just 7 weeks old. As much as I loved our swimming lessons, there wasn’t a lot of swimming going on.
Once I went back to work, the lessons trailed off and we started taking her as and when we had the opportunity. It was great to be able to swim together as a family.
When Alice arrived on the scene, I didn’t have enough hands to take them both swimming so I would wait until Dan was off and we would all go together.
It was only when Emily started nursery, I went back to work and we suddenly had a bit more of a routine that we started up swimming lessons again.
Over the last year, our girls have had a swimming lesson once a week and random family trips to a public pool. Both have always been confident in the water and their lessons really helped them to develop that.
A month of gym membership
In the month that we spent staying with my parents, before setting off on our travels, we paid for a four-week gym membership. During this time, we took the kids swimming every day bar a handful of times.
The impact on her water confidence and swimming ability was huge. Suddenly, the girls went from being average swimmers for their age to outstanding.
Emily went from needing armbands to stay up and a lot of encouragement to be able to swim short distances on her own.
On top of this her ability to swim underwater improved too. She was now able to swim with her head in the water for good distances.
Plus, she started practising diving underwater. She would push herself off from the side and swim down to the bottom. Sometimes she would need a little help, but she was starting to figure it out on her own.
Alice gained massively in confidence too. Usually nervous to jump in from the side at her lesson, now she thought it was the best game ever.
In addition, she was learning to swim short distances with her head underwater and no armbands. She was like a fish!
Swimming in Florida
We always knew that our time in Florida would do wonders for developing the kids’ swimming. We weren’t wrong about that.
Access to a private pool
We were so fortunate to have access to a private pool during our three weeks in Orlando, Florida. When we first arrived, it was a fight to make Emily put her swimming costume on before jumping in.
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Again, we had the chance to swim every day and this time for hours every day. Emily absolutely loved it, and we had to bribe her most days to get her to come indoors and put some clothes on.
During our time there, Emily went from confident to super confident and super competent. We almost became a bit complacent, because she is now so good at swimming that we forget that she is actually only four years old.
Emily also perfected her surface diving. After sporadic attempts at this back in the UK, she now loves diving down to the bottom of the pool. We have a selection of dive toys for her to practise with.
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When we arrived in Florida, Alice seemed to have lost all her water confidence. She was reluctant to go in the water at all. She preferred sitting on the edge and didn’t even want to put her swimming costume on sometimes.
However, over the three weeks, she gradually warmed to it again, and now super confident and genius little swimmer Alice is back.
With a swift push to the bottom, she will grab a dive toy and then swim her way back up to the surface. She will jump off the side and swim over to you without fear. She’s a complete liability though, so we must watch her constantly.
As part of our Disney tickets, we had access to the water park Typhoon Lagoon. I love water parks so was super excited to go, but apprehensive about how the kids would respond.
Well, I can say that Disney does water parks just as well as they do theme parks. It was perfectly set up for families with differing levels of ability.
Emily thought it was the best place in the WORLD! She loved it so much that she made us go three times in the two weeks.
She loved the slides, the huge wave machine that would knock her off her feet, the kids’ section Ketchakiddee creak with its little kids’ rapid ride and the huge family rapid rides too.
This brave little girl wanted to do it all. She even got upset when she was too short to go on some of the more exhilarating flumes.
I am going to write an entirely separate post about our day at Cocoa Beach because we had so much fun. It was fantastic to see Emily using her water skills in the sea.
I’m a huge lover of swimming in the ocean and it is exciting for me that the girls are enjoying it too. We are trying to swim in as many different seas and oceans as we can over the next year.
Jumping in the waves and running along the sand is one of life’s joys, so I’m glad that our first beach visit of this trip was a success.
Kids and swimming
Will I get my kids lessons when we get home? Of course! Their technique is terrible. Ha! But I really do think that the best thing you can do for your children to improve their swimming is to take them on holiday.
The regular and consistent exposure to water has done absolute wonders for our two. It is a skill that they will have for the rest of their lives. I hope that they will always find immense joy in the water!
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