I love swimming. In a pool, in the sea, in lochs and once or twice even a river. I rarely go swimming now without the kids, but when I do I always wonder why I don’t go more often because I just love it. I can swim, stay afloat and tread water, but I’m not a particularly fast or strong swimmer. I can really only properly swim the breast stroke because that’s the only one I’ve ever learned. But I love being in water. I love the feeling of being under water; how muffled the world around you becomes. And when you go snorkelling or scuba diving it’s like you’re in a different world altogether. Some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen have been under the sea.
So I always knew I wanted my kids to be comfortable in water, to be able to swim and most importantly to be safe in and around water. And I wanted to be comfortable and confident taking them into the water too. Which is why I took them both to Turtle Tots swimming classes from such a young age.
The little lady went to Turtle Tots classes from about 12 weeks old until she turned 3. At classes she never ever loved putting her head under the water but she was so confident jumping in, turning around and holding onto the wall, and then climbing back out again. By the time we finished our turtle tots classes she could also happily swim around the pool with a woggle under her arms, and she could do a star float lying on her back in the water.
She started swimming lessons without me in the pool beside her when she turned 4. They’re Glasgow Life classes in our local leisure centre and she has absolutely thrived in them. In a year she has moved up two class levels and she can now swim more than 10 metres on her front and on her back. She confidently swims the breaststroke and she even does a little bit of the dolphin – the precursor to the butterfly! Her confidence in the pool is absolutely incredible. On holiday this summer she was jumping into the pool off the diving board and swimming to the edge and we didn’t have to worry about her. (Don’t stress, someone was always in the pool beside her).
The little man has now been going to Turtle Tots classes for about 18 months. We have had a few points where he hasn’t wanted to be in the pool. But his confidence in the water is gradually growing. He loved being in the pool on holiday too, though he preferred just to splash around rather than jump in.
Recently, during our Turtle Tots lessons he has been climbing out of the pool, he can walk his hands along the pool wall to move himself along it while he’s in the water, and he is almost at the point of allowing me to let go when he’s holding the woggle float under his chest and arms. He has allowed me to let go of him completely once or twice (I don’t think he realised he was doing it himself!) while he was kicking through the water which means he can almost move through the water by himself now! He still isn’t incredibly keen on getting his face wet, but he jumps into the water almost by himself (he still needs one finger to hold while he jumps and the encouragement of a cannonball chant beforehand) so he’s definitely getting more confident with that too.
I’m so excited to see how they’re both going to progress as we continue our lessons!
Turtle Tots baby and toddler swimming lessons take place at various venues throughout Glasgow. Find out more by visiting the Turtle Tots Glasgow webpage. Glasgow Life swimming lessons take place at 12 pools over Glasgow. You can find out about Glasgow Life swimming lessons at your local pool or online at www.glasgowlife.org.uk.