5 Tips To Make Swimming Lessons Go Swimmingly


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I’ve always loved swimming and am keen for my girls to learn too. Back when I was learning, I didn’t know anyone who had their own float – it was just something we used in our swimming lessons. But now they’re readily available from places like Simply Swim so kids can practise whenever they like!

Plus there are loads of new swimming aids on the market these days too (things I could only dream of when I was a little girl!).

So if you’ve got a little one who is keen to start swimming lessons, let me share some tips with you to get them off to a swimmingly good start!

get the most out of your swimming lessons child splashing in water

Wear a swimming cap

I hated wearing a swimming cap as a child, but our local pool insists that all children wear one for their swimming lessons. Luckily, there are lots of brilliant designs available these days – Simply Swim stock everything from Mickey Mouse to StarWars, superheroes to sparkles.

Jenny and I like the polyester caps best as they don’t snag as much, and they can be easily put on and taken off.

Woggles are the answer to everything!

Woggles (or pool noodles) are the new thing. We never had them when I was a kid but I think Jenny has used one every lesson so far – they’re so versatile.

Swimming on your back? Wear a woggle round your shoulders. Swimming on your front? Tuck a woggle under your arms. Jumping in the pool? Hold a woggle round your middle.

Woggles are great for younger kids too. We have been taking Charis swimming since she was 6 weeks old and, by the time she was 2, she didn’t want to be held for the whole swim. So we looped a woggle round her chest (like reins) and let her hold on, while we held the “reins” at the back. She felt independent because we weren’t physically touching her, and we felt safe knowing that we were within arms reach at all times.

Plus Simply Swim sell a Speedo woggle for just £9!

swimming lesson advice for parents of young children

Have a dedicated swim bag

When we first started swimming lessons, I got fed up of the last-minute panic of trying to locate everything we needed. So I bought Jenny a backpack that was set aside for swimming only.

Now, as soon as we get home from swimming lessons, I give her swimsuit a quick hand wash and leave it to dry. Once it’s dry, it goes straight back in her bag, ready for the next week.

Here’s a quick list of everything we have in the swimming bag:

  • Swimsuit
  • Swimming Cap
  • Towel
  • Spare plastic bag (for wet things)
  • Goggles
  • Hairbrush
  • £1 coin (for the locker)

swimming equipment to make swimming lessons go swimmingly

Tankinis are a great compromise

At 8 years old, Jenny is desperate to have a bikini! I remember being the same when I was that age – it just seemed so grown up and I wanted to be grown up… But this is exactly the same reason why I don’t want her to have one (!) – she’s still so young.

However, Simply Swim do a couple of really nice tankinis – they’re still two-pieces (so Jenny will be happy), but the top is long so it keeps her covered (meaning I’ll be happy too!). I’ve bought one for Jenny for when her current swimming costume gets too small, and I know she’ll be so excited!

Onesies get you home quicker

I find the most stressful part of swimming lesson night, is getting Jenny dried and changed afterwards. She’s physically exhausted, shivering, and usually a bit hangry! Trying to battle her back into a pair of tights is just not worth the hassle.

So lots of parents simply dry their little ones and then pop them in a onesie. They just step in, zip up, and you’re good to go.

tips for children's swimming lessons young girl swimming with rubber ring

I hope you found this article helpful. For more great ideas to help your kids learn to swim, check out the Simply Swim website.

Disclosure: This post is an advertisement feature for Simply Swim. I was asked to point you to some of the products of my choosing on their website for the purposes of this post, but all tips and opinions are my own. For more information, please check out my disclosure policy.

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