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Toddler swimming with Puddle Ducks Bristol and Bath

In a rare appearance, Tibbs’ Dad writes today about his recent experiences of his favourite father daughter activity of late, swimming classes!

This Spring, we were invited by Puddle Ducks Bristol and Bath to join six weeks of swimming lessons. I’m the confident swimmer in the household, so every Saturday, me and Tibbs joined a splashing, laughing, fun group of toddlers and their parents at the DW Sports Centre in Hengrove for the Puddle Ducks ‘Little Dippers’ session.

All the Puddle Ducks classes are split into approximate ages and abilities, and with Tibbs being 26 months and having shown confidence and joy at being in the water before, we joined Little Dippers. The staff at Puddle Ducks will help you decide, when you book your class, as to which one is best for you and your children.

Swimming every Saturday with Tibbs has been an absolute pleasure. She gets so excited in the car on the way there! The classes are half an hour of structured learning, with us adults standing around waist deep in water of a perfect temperature for kids. In Little Dippers, we are always in the pool with them, one on one, with a teacher present. There’s songs to sing (I’m still not great at this!).

I’ve been amazed at Tibbs and the other kids’ ability to learn swimming techniques at such a young age. Our classes concentrated on independence and water confidence, so we were learning to hold on to the side of the pool, to enter the water safely, and to blow bubbles in the water. It seems to come so naturally to most of the children, but there’s never any pressure to make your child learn faster or to complete a section which is making them uncomfortable.

My key plus points for Puddle Ducks:

– Facilities at Hengrove are really good, stress free in terms of parking and good changing facility and calm, appropriate pool
– Good sized groups with friendly atmosphere
– Bite size exercises which are good for short attention spans and also all focus on different core skills
– Informative but fun and engaging
– Repeat of exercises week on week allowed for tracking of progress
– Fun songs lightened the mood throughout and kept the light atmosphere
– Little exercises can be replicated in other swimming pools independently

Just six weeks of classes made our recent trip to France and Spain an absolute water-fest. Every pool, seashore and bathtub was splashed in and enjoyed. It felt so much better knowing how to support my daughter properly in the water and how to encourage her to keep practicing her kicking and jumping. I’m so pleased she loves the water, I’m from Devon and consider good swimming to be a proper life skill!

We loved our classes so much we’ve booked to return for the September to December term, but in a different pool. There are a lot of locations and class times to choose from, and the weekend class times are great if you work during the week, like me.

It’s also awesome to have a father/daughter activity that’s something we do regularly together.

**We were given a block of six Puddle Ducks Bristol and Bath Little Dippers classes for the purpose of this review. Many thanks, it’s going to be an activity for life, we hope!**


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