"Just keep swimming" is the well-known catchphrase of one of Disney’s most beloved characters; the blue tang fish named Dory. Dory uses this saying to encourage her friends (and herself) to never give up.
However, due to circumstances beyond our control, a lot of us did give up going swimming for a while, and my son’s school swimming lessons still haven’t restarted. With holidays on the horizon and weekends to fill, swimming is now at the forefront of our minds again, the only problem is that we’re somewhat out of practice. Here are some tips for your family's inevitable trips to the swimming pool this summer.
Preparation Is Key
The first step to having a successful trip to the pool is being organised. Slip your swimsuits and shorts on before you leave the house (but don’t forget to bring your underwear), blow up armbands, and make sure you all have a swim hat if required by the venue. Poncho-style towels are perfect to pack for little kids that will get cold quickly and swim nappies are essential if they’re not potty trained yet.
When it comes to choosing everyone’s outfit, it’s all about practicality. Speed is of the essence when everyone’s shivering so choose clothes and shoes that are quick and easy to put on. Thankfully because the weather is getting warmer, light clothing is ideal, and sandals are perfect because it means there’s no faffing about with socks or laces.
Fun For All The Family
So that’s the practical side of the prep covered, but what about preparing everyone mentally and making sure that you’re making good memories, not bad ones?
Young kids who have little or no experience of swimming will need a little help with getting excited. Involve them with picking out swimwear, read books about their favourite characters' trips to the pool (Peppa Pig is always a good bet when it comes to making new experiences look fun), and pick out some bath toys to bring along for the ride.
Busy Little Bees
Timing is everything. You don’t want the pool to be so packed that it’s overwhelming, but it’s actually helpful to have a few other families present. Kids are little copycats, so if they’re tentative about dipping their toes in, seeing other children being confident in the water can really help.
My son was a little unsure when we went recently, even though we’ve been a few times in the past few months, the different environment and different pool made him apprehensive. However, another little boy came along and waded straight in and immediately began splashing anyone and anything in his path. Well, this obviously looked great fun, so my son followed his lead, and I got a face full of water! Just keep smiling would be more apt on this occasion!