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Speedo event day feedback: non attendees: all your comment about swimming to win a Speedo goodie bag! NOW CLOSED

(109 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Oct-13 16:18:23

This thread is for the Mumsnetters who attended the Speedo 'Underwater World' VIP event on Tuesday 29thOctober.

Here's what Speedo have to say, "After new research revealed that 81% of kids wished they could go swimming more often and that a third would rather get a new badge for swimming than be able to ride a bike without stabilisers, Speedo wanted to celebrate this by hosting a unique Underwater World event for kids and parents."

Non-attendees: Is swimming something you do with the whole family? Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming? Everyone who adds their comments or tips about getting kids in the water will be entered into a prize draw to win a Speedo goodie bag.

Attendees: Below are a few questions for you to answer but please feel free to add any other comments you may have.

- What was your and your DCs overall experience of the Speedo VIP day? Could you describe the day to non attenders?

- Did you find the swimming lessons and Q&A with the Speedo ambassador helpful and informative, or not? If so, why? If not, why not? What questions did you ask and what response did you get?

- What did you think about the Speedo products shown to you on the day? Did you like them, or not? Do you think you'd be likely to purchase any in the future? If so, why? If not, why not?

- What was your DCs highlight of the day?

- Do you think the day overall helped encourage your children, and yourself perhaps, to go swimming more often and / or to learn to swim?

If you took any pictures on the day feel free to upload them onto this thread. Remember, however, only to take and upload pictures of your own children.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!


DwellsUndertheSink Tue 29-Oct-13 17:23:30

What was your and your DCs overall experience of the Speedo VIP day? Could you describe the day to non attenders?

We arrived at the lovely venue in London, got changed and into the pool are, which had been decorated beautifully with bunting and balloons. The pool was full of balls, inflatables and various toys, so it looked great fun from the outset. Saw 4 little ones parade in their Speedo finery with various swim toys and aids, and then down to the business of the day.

The kids were all shepherded in for a stretching session, and then allocated to groups with swim teachers - our group had about 1:3 ratio.

The kids abilities were mixed, and so each was given a swimming lesson which involved a lot of the play equipment - I saw babies playing with their mums, chasing little toys, tots jumping in the water and using floats, our group got down to the more serious side of swimming, although their were some relays using beach balls and even lilos in the shapes of sharks and ? frogs?

AFter half an hour or so we were given the option of getting out for lunch, or having an hour or so play before lunch. We chose the latter. This was the only downside as, by the time we got to the lunch, it had been stripped as though locusts had been through! There was also nowhere to sit.

We were given some goodie bags - a cute rucksack containing a pair of goggles and some armbands. We also received a set of throwing sharks to use to encourage diving.

One of the kids got a swimsuit, but they didnt have others in the older kids sizes.

Did you find the swimming lessons and Q&A with the Speedo ambassador helpful and informative, or not? If so, why? If not, why not? What questions did you ask and what response did you get?

Didnt really get chance to chat to the ambassador, although he was a lovely chap, especially with the kids.

* What did you think about the Speedo products shown to you on the day? Did you like them, or not? Do you think you'd be likely to purchase any in the future? If so, why? If not, why not?* Great products for younger kids, mine are a bit older, so not really suitable. That said, they argued all the way home about the throwing sharks.

What was your DCs highlight of the day?
DS1 was pleased to meet the ambassador, DS2 loved playing on the inflatables and DS3 just loved the 1:1 attention and the new goggles!

Do you think the day overall helped encourage your children, and yourself perhaps, to go swimming more often and / or to learn to swim?
The day helped us to play in the water, rather than train. The older 2 kids swim competitively, so having a day of swim fun was great.

neolara Tue 29-Oct-13 17:32:20

Is swimming something you do with the whole family? Sort of. My dh takes the kids to the pool for a "play swim" once a week. I don't go because I'd have to shave my legs. Also, I'm not that keen on hanging out in swimming pools watching the kids muck about. I find it boring.

Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming? Start early. Make it fun. Play. Splash about. Don't show them you are alarmed by water going in their eyes or on their heads. If they are worried, don't make a big deal of it. If kids are confident about putting their heads in water they will probably pick up swimming quickly. Get good teachers who know how to manage a class - don't put up with your kid having to spend large parts of the lesson waiting around for their turn. Buy a shark fin float.

moldingsunbeams Tue 29-Oct-13 17:44:40

I was absolutely gutted not to go as we have some horrid bug and hope the person who went instead had a wonderful time.

When we go swimming we go as a family, I have a child with additional needs who has found swimming hard but we have learned to push her slightly while making it fun and lots of lots of patience.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 29-Oct-13 18:13:36

ttendees: Below are a few questions for you to answer but please feel free to add any other comments you may have.

Attendee here...we were late to the party (in terms of being a waiting list family) so thank you for choosing us and sorry to whichever family was unable to attend.... (Hope you are feeling better moldingsunbeams?)sad. It was a lovely, unexpected surprise and caused great excitement with both DCs.

- What was your and your DCs overall experience of the Speedo VIP day? Could you describe the day to non attenders?

We arrived so early that we seemed to totally by-pass the signing in! Michelle-Mumsnet thought we'd not gone (we have better manner than that!). The pool was well-signposted and there were plenty of Speedo VIP Day signs and balloons. It looked as if we were going to be in for a fun day and we were!

It was a bit difficult to tell who was in charge at the poolside and there were many swimming teachers there together with Steve Parry (who I didn't recognise for my sins!). A very affable guy! The teachers all seemed really lovely and good with the children regardless of age or ability.

It was a whacky day of swimming fun with some good tips for the less confident swimmers and the beginners. I thought the swim teachers were excellent at juggling at needs of the different ability children in their groups. Free swim time at the end was fun for family time too!

Only negative was that the quality family time meant that we were late to go up to eat. As DwellsUndertheSink has already commented, the lunch table had been stripped bare so the nutritious and wholesome choice that I'm sure was there for those early to the trough, wasn't by the end (although more food did arrive just as most people were leaving) and again nowhere to sit...

- Did you find the swimming lessons and Q&A with the Speedo ambassador helpful and informative, or not? If so, why? If not, why not? What questions did you ask and what response did you get?

I'm not sure that there was a Q&A session as we stayed down at the poolside straight after the official swimming session had finished. There was no mention that there was going to be one and if so it certainly didn't happen in the swimming pool area - maybe upstairs where lunch took place? It would have been informative to have the opportunity to attend and I had several questions to ask....

- What did you think about the Speedo products shown to you on the day? Did you like them, or not? Do you think you'd be likely to purchase any in the future? If so, why? If not, why not?

We really liked all of them - except they were very gender-stereotypical in terms of colour-ways! I loved the poncho towels and the strap on shark fins in particular! The swimming wear was good too! The children liked the swimming pool games and the blow-up sharks to have fun with!

- What was your DCs highlight of the day?

Meeting an Olympic swimming star and just having fun in the pool. Oh and the goodies bags went down very well to - so thank you!

- Do you think the day overall helped encourage your children, and yourself perhaps, to go swimming more often and / or to learn to swim?

Yes, indeed. DD starts her official school swimming lessons next week so this was a good way to kick-start it. We will be endeavouring to make it part of our weekend routine because it's a cheap and healthy way to have fun family time.

If you took any pictures on the day feel free to upload them onto this thread. Remember, however, only to take and upload pictures of your own children.

Sorry DS had locked his camera in the locker so I didn't take any!

dahville Tue 29-Oct-13 18:22:16

Is swimming something you do with the whole family?
We didn't/aren't doing waterbabies as it was too expensive whilst I was/am on mat leave but we plan to start Saturday swims with our 2 year old starting in March (he'll be 2.5). It's likely that I'll take him as he goes to football training with his dad on Sundays.

Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?
My 2 yo used to be afraid of paddling, he was very afraid of running water. We had him stand of our feet at the waves rolled in to get him used to water running over his feet. I think patience was key for our success.

jackandbethsmum Tue 29-Oct-13 18:52:14

My kids (12 and 9) had a great day. They got lots of attention in the pool, as they were in very small groups. One activity involved balancing a Speedo toy on their forehead whilst on their backs, to encourage them to put their heads back in the water. We got to see some of the new toys that Speedo have launched, like spinning diving toys which were fun. The kids really enjoyed meeting Steve Parry, the Olympic champion, who was so friendly and down to earth. They received great backpacks with goggles, swimsuits and toys, which they were very happy about! A yummy lunch was also provided. It was a really fun day (no formal Q and A session, but not something I needed, so not a problem).
Photos uploaded under my name and Speedo (think you have to click on my name).

CMOTDibbler Tue 29-Oct-13 19:04:09

Non attender (but it sounds like a fabulous day).
Ds(7) and I go swimming most weeks, twice if he gets his way, and he swims weekly at school. We've been going together since he was a baby, just having fun in the water together. Now I have to work hard to keep up with him smile.

EauRouge Tue 29-Oct-13 19:05:22

Non-attendees: Is swimming something you do with the whole family?

Yes, we find it easier if we all go because then we can look after one DD each. We'd go more often but there's only one children's pool within 30 miles of us and it's always booked for lessons. We have to travel further afield to one of those pools with a beach bit.

Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming? Start them off in shallow water so they can build their confidence gradually, and make it fun! Splashing around in the shallows isn't a waste of time, it's getting them used to moving in water.

Lionessnurturingcubs Tue 29-Oct-13 19:23:20

Dwells has given a super synopsis. We arrived late (due to running around the massive Imperial College!) but my two kids still thoroughly enjoyed the event. The decor was very well done - enjoyed the fish made out of paper plates at lunch - very clever and easy to do for kids parties! All staff were extremely helpful and friendly. My DS11 particularly enjoyed having a one-to-one chat with Steve Parry, whilst the 8 year old enjoyed the fun time in the pool after - lots of fab toys to enjoy.
My DS11, recently diagnosed diabetic, was asking Steve about swimming and diabetes and he was very encouraging, reminding us that Steve Redgrave, one of the greatest British Olympians is diabetic. I think my son feels more motivated to get back into the water again - which is great.
I thought the Ambassador throwing the toy up in the air whilst the 8 year old jumped in to get it was a fab way to encourage youngsters to swim. We love Speedo stuff and would definitely buy it. Thank you to everyone at Speedo and Mumsnet for a fun trip out!

I think the best thing I did to give my children confidence in the water is to take them in the shower with me from when they were tiny babies. I didn't do it with my first two dc (didn't have a shower) but I did with my last 2 dc and they have been so confident in the water from an early age, jumping in etc.

I reckon being splashed in the shower gets them used to having water in their face. And it is also a lovely snuggly bonding experience smile

sharond101 Tue 29-Oct-13 21:22:23

I am a keen swimmer and have taken my DS swimming since he was 4 months old. We go weekly now and take some toys with us, a ball and a bath book normally. We kick and splash and chase after the ball. He loves to jump in too.

Nittyb Tue 29-Oct-13 21:37:24

What was your and your DCs overall experience of the Speedo VIP day? Could you describe the day to non attenders?

We arrived just in time, the pool was lovely, and Steve Parry was very engaging with kids. The many swimming teachers were all very enthusiatic and there was a real buzz in the pool while the lessons were going on and Steve moved around the groups talking to the children.

Did you find the swimming lessons and Q&A with the Speedo ambassador helpful and informative, or not? If so, why? If not, why not? What questions did you ask and what response did you get?

There was no question and answer session, which we were quite disapointed about, after the swimming lesson it was all a bit vague as to what to do with no real direction, we went up to lunch first, lovely pastries and fruit, but as we went back down to the pool the sandwiches arrived ! We had a great time playing in the pool, on our own mostly, where did everyone go ! I understood we could stay til 4 if we wanted, but another session was starting at 2, by which time we really had had long enough though.

What did you think about the Speedo products shown to you on the day? Did you like them, or not? Do you think you'd be likely to purchase any in the future? If so, why? If not, why not?

There were lots of speedo products around but they weren't shown to us, might have been helpful if they were !

What was your DCs highlight of the day?

The swimming lesson and meeting an Olympian ! ( & getting the goodie bag :-) )

Do you think the day overall helped encourage your children, and yourself perhaps, to go swimming more often and / or to learn to swim?

My DC's are already keen swimmers, but it reminded me to have fun swim sessions with them more often.

The day was great fun , all the organisers I spoke to were lovely although I had no idea who they were ! A question and answer session would have helped and a bit more information at the beginning as to how the day would go as it differed somewhat from the information given in advance.

Merrylegs Tue 29-Oct-13 23:15:55

We enjoyed our day - thank you (we were there, even though you thought we weren't!

There was no one signing anyone in even though I spoke to several charming young women on the way in.)

The timetable for the day we had been given didn't seem to match the timetable the organisers there had, (we were told free swim 1-4 but it seemed there was another session booked for the afternoon). In any case it didn't matter as we couldn't stay too long, but I am sure the expectation of many was that it was an all day event..

Having said that it was a very friendly atmosphere, enthusiastic and approachable swiiming instructors and Olympian. There was no formal Q and A but I'm sure you could have asked Steve Parry a question anytime.

Dd was in the oldest age group and found the lesson quite intense - lots of action, racing and different strokes but no real coaching. Lunch was good - very healthy, lots of fruit, and the goodie bag was excellent - really nice swimming costume, hat goggles and whizzy toys which are good for diving practice. We enjoyed the session.

A little too chaotic to feel like real VIPs but a fun time. Thank you!

Hopezibah Tue 29-Oct-13 23:20:50

non-attender: We think swimming is a fab family activity. In fact, it is one of the few sports that we all manage to do as a family because of various ages and health conditions.

having 3 (none of which are yet competent to swim alone) makes it hard to take the kids swimming as we have to leave it til weekends when hubby is around too otherwise our local pool rules state you can't take 3 unless one can pass their competent to swim test.

It is frustrating (as he is very able in the water - just not coordinated enough to do a recognised stroke) - but at the same time I understand that safety has to come first.

We all enjoy swimming. It is great to find pools that are clean and family friendly as that helps make it an enjoyable experience too.

mistlethrush Tue 29-Oct-13 23:30:11

Non attender.

DH doesn't 'do' swimming in a 'normal' pool as the chlorine sets his asthma off - so its down to me! I took DS to swimming lessons from 10mo - he really enjoyed them, has never had armbands (only possible as he's an only so has had my undivided attention).

He's 8 now - the best option for improving his swimming is racing to objects such as a ball.

We go swimming most weeks and he also swims at school, so he gets a good amount overall.


We don't swim as a family. Dh and me both had school swimming lessons in the early eighties in grim municipal pools, learnt little and have barely swum since. Our kids have all had lessons. The eldest is a cracking swimmer and swims competitively when not hampered by her asthma sad. Ds1 is really coming on with a mix of one-to-one tuition and swimming with a club and ds2 is slowly gaining his confidence. They all love it and I am quite envy and blush that I am so crap!

As a result of the above I have few tips for introducing kids to swimming. They seem to be getting on OK despite me!

Faithless12 Wed 30-Oct-13 07:07:33

Non Attendee Is swimming something you do with the whole family? Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?

We don't generally swim as a whole family unless on holiday, DS & I try to go swimming regularly. DS 2 has been swimming since he was a few weeks old and really enjoys it. He's ridiculously confident around water but then I've never shown fear with water, I think the early swim lessons taught me how much ability a little person can have.

Merrylegs Wed 30-Oct-13 07:19:07

I meant to add a comment about the products - I tend to think of speedo as doing budgie smugglers or regulation school swimming costumes but the stuff we saw yesterday was really eye catching. The whizzy diving toys were good fun and dds new swimming costume is v funky. The goody bag is def worth winning!

Bagpussss Wed 30-Oct-13 12:46:30

Re-registered as couldn't remember my other username, I took my daughter to the event in the morning and it looked lovely with with bunting around the pool area, there were a couple of speedo characters there, and inflatables. The swimming instructors were friendly and made the children feel at ease, and Steve Parry seems a lovely chap. Was a bit confused about the time table as I thought the pool was available until 4pm, so when it came to lunch time we ate then went back downstairs and my daughter went back in the pool, I then had to get her out again as they were setting up for another session. Was given a lovely pink rucksack with goggles, cap, costume and diving toys which I thought was fab. I would like to go swimming more often now, and might even take the diving toys and give them a go myself. Thanks Mumsnet smile

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 30-Oct-13 14:34:44


I really should take the kids swimming more but it's quite expensive locally. They are both good swimmers, having had lessons from a young age, privately and with the school. We swim more on our annual summer holiday than the rest of the year combined.

For younger children, splashing and blowing bubbles in the safety of the bath is a really good way to get over the fear of water in the eyes/face that can put them off swimming.

moldingsunbeams Wed 30-Oct-13 14:39:38

DD loves swimming and we just do not go enough rubbish mum

NaturalBaby Wed 30-Oct-13 14:56:27


I've been taking all my dc's swimming regularly since they were a few weeks old, but I had 3 under 3's so it's got very difficult (and expensive) to manage. The local leisure centre only allows 1:1 until they are 8, and although it's free to take little ones it gets expensive when they are old enough to actually need to learn how to swim on their own and this is where we've really fallen behind. Apart from that, they all thoroughly enjoy swimming and don't mind getting properly dunked so I'm sure they'll all be confident swimmers in no time when they start lessons at school.

I've taken them all to fun teacher led drop in sessions at the local leisure centre which has been great value for money - they focus on water safety and having fun for less than £5 a session. If I take my 5yr old on my own then it's £7 and he ends up just going up and down the slide for 40mins!

hermancakedestroyer Wed 30-Oct-13 17:54:41

Non attendee:
I used to take my children to the mother and baby sessions where they had little toys and watering cans in the water to get your child(ren) used to the water. Now they are older we have invested in a swimming membership and basically pop in for a swim as often as we can. We talk enthusiastically about all things swimming and encourage our kids to have fun in the water.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Thu 31-Oct-13 19:22:31

We don't swim anywhere near as often as I'd like. I used to take DD1 to the pool and she enjoys messing around in the water. Since having DD2 (4 months), we've only been to the pool twice because I need someone else to come with me.
I don't really enjoy messing around in the pool. It's too cold for a start. I don't mind doing lengths, but I don't ever get the chance these days.

cluttered Thu 31-Oct-13 21:54:54

Non Attendee
Yes we used to swim as a whole family when the DC were younger but DS1 wouldn't be seen dead in a pool with us now he's a teenager, except on holiday where no one knows us.
I don't know if this is applicable to most people but because we had quite a big gap between the DC and only had one non-swimmer at a time we never used arm bands as our friends had found it really difficult weaning their DC off their dependence on them. With DS1 we used noodles to gain water confidence. DS2 for some reason never had any fear of water and threw himself into the deep end of the pool and started dog paddling one holiday when he was only 2 1/2 so we made sure to take him swimming regularly after that and he never lost his water confidence. He still loves swimming and swims for a club now (he's 9).

idleweiss Thu 31-Oct-13 22:01:28

What was your and your DCs overall experience of the Speedo VIP day? Could you describe the day to non attenders?

We had a great day! It was both my DDs first time in a swimming pool so it was all very exciting. They loved the pool, decorated with the balloons and full of fun water toys. There were lots of products to look at and try out in the water, a chance to pick up some great swimming tips, talk to other mums and have a lovely lunch too!

Did you find the swimming lessons and Q&A with the Speedo ambassador helpful and informative, or not? If so, why? If not, why not? What questions did you ask and what response did you get?

I found the swimming lesson and tips I received very useful and will be using the swimming exercises I learnt with my little ones everytime we go swimming now to strengthen the skills they need to swim. Most of my questions were answered before I could answer them, which was great! I took a lot on board and feel more confident about going swimming with my DDs.

What did you think about the Speedo products shown to you on the day? Did you like them, or not? Do you think you'd be likely to purchase any in the future? If so, why? If not, why not?

A lot of the products were great, some of the prints were a bit garish for me though! I loved the swim vest for little ones, it had great buoyancy and was a good fit. I liked that it could be worn as a float costume or you could just unpopper the bottoms and wear as a vest, great for swimming outdoors. I also liked the poncho towels and the swimming aids/toys as did my DDs, they wear fun and useful! I really want to get some of those long tube floats we used in the pool, they were great! smile

* What was your DCs highlight of the day?*

My 3yr old loved getting to go swimming in the pool as well as here awesome sea squad pack, the yummy lunch and the balloons! My 15 month old particularly loved one of the swimming exercises when we pretended to ride a horse (the tube float!) around the pool whilst singing Horsey Horsey as well as the little octopus/fish floating toys and the lunch, she ate so much! smile

you think the day overall helped encourage your children, and yourself perhaps, to go swimming more often and / or to learn to swim?

Yes!! My little ones have caught the swimming bug now and have asked several times since if we can go swimming and I am also looking into local lessons. I myself usually hate going to public swimming pools and have not been for years, but seeing my little ones so happy and having fun has made me want to go for their sake and put my anxieties aside.

idleweiss Thu 31-Oct-13 22:04:48

Hi, where can I post pics. I can't seen to do it on this thread! Thanks smile

mummyofcutetwo Thu 31-Oct-13 22:05:35


Both my boys go to swimming lessons. My 5yo started lessons just after he turned five, but had been swimming every now and then since six weeks old. My 19mo started lessons (with me in with him) when he was just 1yo, but had been going to the pool since he was a few weeks old. We don't go swimming as a family as often as we'd like, but we do love it and if it wasn't for the cost and my husband's work schedule we'd definitely go much more frequently. I sometimes put the little one in nursery so I can take the bigger one swimming as I can't take them both on my own due to their ages.

I think the best things to do include taking them from a young age, pouring water over their heads and most of all making trips to the pool fun, and giving them praise for the things they do right.

I was a non-attendee although would've loved to be there.
Any chance for a similar even in Scotland?? grin

Is swimming something you do with the whole family?
As a rule, yes. I am by far the keener swimmer than DH, but as we have 4 children with the youngest under 4 we are still not allowed to go swimming with all kids and only 1 adult at the local (council) pool. Which is a nonsense IMO - my 2 older sons swim well on their own and I am more than capable to look after the younger 2 in the kids' pool where I can stand. So, poor DH gets dragged along, but not half as often as I would like to go with them.

Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?
Start early and keep going smile. Enjoy the water - it's not a competition about whose child learns to swim the youngest. I think some kids get formal swimming lessons too young. Splash about, get them to not be scared of water, play 'dead man'. Teach them to properly swim when they ask to be taught. 'Fun pools' with slides and waterfalls etc can be a great way to make it fun.

Gawd, I love swimming and wish I did more of it!

Non-attendees: Is swimming something you do with the whole family? Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?

We have no choice but to swim as a family due to having 3 kids and the council not permitting more than 2 under 9s per adult swimmer. So it's another 3 years before I can take all of them on my own... As a result we swim rarely at home, the big 2 have weekly term-time swimming lessons. When we go away in the summer we swim every day - we stay with family abroad who have their own pool, I wish the British weather and my finances were more conducive to that option grin

Re introducing children to swimming, just make it fun. Don't push them to start with, and wait for the right time to try getting them swimming without aids. Teach them how to keep themselves safe. Give them an inflatable jet ski with attached water pistol and tell them to shoot granddad on sight.

babyowl Fri 01-Nov-13 00:02:46

Sounds like a fab day, would have loved to have been there.

Have done mainly family swim sessions on & off since dd was around 4 months of so. Found swimming before dd could properly walk more trouble than it was worth most of the time due to her not doing much & then getting cold within 30mins. You might as well just fill a very large bath for you both at that stage then you can regulate your own temperature controls.
Once dd could walk I could finally get changed & have a shower without the worry of watching where she was & having to do things one-handed.
Still dd was always keen to go swimming & loved being there.

So, tried doing some lessons when she was 4 but she didn't like the temperature of the pool (27/28C too cold), being asked to try doing "scary" stuff like jump in the pool, the regularity of going once a week after school & not seeing Mummy/feeling Mummy was too far away (parents were forbidden to be poolside, only in viewing gallery). So after the first 3 happy lessons, the next 5 were full of tears & anxiety. "Mummy, don't want to go swimming. Don't like swimming!" were the first words she would wake up with on swimming days. Didn't bother returning for the last 2 lessons as she was so unhappy & nothing the centre staff had suggested was helping.

Anyway after a de-swim-schooling period, where we had to try to get her to slowly remember the fun side of swimming again, we've gone back to doing family swims. She herself has tried out doing most of the things that her ex-teacher had tried to get her to do & regained confidence. We now try to do family swims a couple of times a month around the same time that lessons are going on at one side of a shallow pool so that she can see what the other kids are asked to do in an informal way & also try things out if she wants the challenge.

I learnt to swim when I was a teenager, so I do remember what learning to swim was like. I think the main thing is just learning to get used to the water, using the floats or whatever to help develop your arm & leg movements before you put it all together & trying things out in your own time & on terms you are comfortable with.

kateandme Fri 01-Nov-13 02:29:42

dont tell the kids about the dangers first.getting them excited to be in the water is the main thing to do.children are for better for worst more sensitvive and scared of things these days.we have to accomodate that now.
lessons with other children if an option are great,they are boring for us parents yes but getting in with the piers can be really helpful.
let them jump in,let them play dont be all about the leanring to swim,craw,backstroke.they then see others doing 'really cool' strokes and diving under and wnat to learn.
treading water is a great one to learn.make sure they are aware of dangers but let them love the water too.then once out once they can have fun sit them down and try and lety them know a few things.
about the pool,sea and lake swimming.the dangers.the things to to get help.
if a child is scared,let them hold onto a they can hold out in front of them is great for learning how to kick the legs properly.

half the time they just want to play,catch.or mess around any ways.

arfishy Fri 01-Nov-13 03:50:41

Is swimming something you do with the whole family?

As a baby I took DD to baby swimming classes and prior to two years old regularly to leisure pools in the UK. Usually just the two of us but sometimes with DH too. We used to take the two elder boys to leisure pools regularly for flumes/wave pools. There was never really any question of them not wanting to go or needing to introduce them to a pool. We got them into the water really young (I originally started the baby classes in a very warm hydrotherapy pool).

We moved to Australia when she was 2 and the approach to swimming is different there. She was enrolled in one to one lessons at a local pool (sport pool, not leisure, they don't really exist) and she had weekly lessons (some years three times per week). They teach them pool safety first at a very young age and going swimming is non-negotiable.

Following that she moved to squad training, which she does three times per week, which is stroke technique (butterfly at 5!!) and stamina.

She also does surf life saving squad, which is ocean swimming. They can do that from the age of 5.

They don't do the badges here which is a bit sad - they expect a lot and the capability of swimming long distances are sort of automatically assumed. We also swam less as a family because pools are not seen as leisure activities, you go to the ocean for that (or ocean pools, which we used to go to as a family).

BeCoolFucker Fri 01-Nov-13 12:00:36


Is swimming something you do with the whole family?
I never could get my P to come - but now we are separated he takes the DC swimming most weekends he has them, as do I.

Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?
The first thing is to build confidence in the water rather than focusing on "swimming lessons". DD1 was very timid at first, but we were very patient. By the time DD2 was ready to swim we discovered a pool which had a graduated entry so she could run around in the water at a dept that suited her. She had LOTS more confidence than DD! and I'm sure the pool style helped here.
Once they have some confidence then get them used to splashing water on face and then getting head in water. Both mine had different times for this. We used toys and balls etc to play and get them going under water to pick up the toys.
The best thing for confidence though is swimming regularly. My 2DC (5&2) haven't had any 'formal' lessons, but going every week means DD1 now swims very well underwater and is improving on top and DD2 is well on her way - both are very confident in the water now.

Lent1l Fri 01-Nov-13 12:04:16


Our local Childrens Centre has a Sing and Splash session once a week which is free. We've been taking our little girl since she was about 8 weeks, just getting her used to the water. Now she's 20 months and jumps in off the side, kicks herself around the pool and splashes and has a great time. Soon we will look for swimming lessons so she can start to learn to move herself more efficiently but for now she just enjoys being in the water.

The staff provide toys and then part of the session they play nursery rhyme songs where you join in the actions.

We think that by starting early, getting it to be a regular event and showing that being in teh water is fun has helped her to enjoy water and hopefully this will continue as she grows up.

Jinty64 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:06:37

Dh doesn't do swimming but it is my "thing" and I have taken the boys since ds1 (18) was a baby. Ds's 1&2 had lessons and are good swimmers. I am teaching ds3 myself and he is doing really well. We would have loved to go to the Speedo VIP day but it would have been too far to travel. I swim most days and take ds3 twice or three times a week.

nerysw Fri 01-Nov-13 13:49:12

Non attendee we sometimes swim altogether but more often than not it's a daddy and kids thing on a Sunday. Luckily both my kids love it and are (scarily at time) fearless about the water and jumping in. They've been swimming (for fun not lessons) since they were small babies so love it. Just can't work out why my daughter will splash about happily in the pool but moans about having her hair washed in the bath!

lunar1 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:56:23

Non attendee here. My boys, 5&2 love swimming. They have a lesson each a week and we swim together once a week too. They would go every day if they could. I love the fact that's its so much fun for them while keeping them really fit and is also low impact on young growing joints. Ds1 loves getting a new badge to take into school for assembly.

Can I ask a question to speedo? Why can't I get any shorts to fit my son. He is skinny none if them for his age have a proper pull cord to tie.


Difficult to do with the whole family because ds1 is severely autistic & a non-swimmer & ds2 and ds3 were non swimmers. They all still need a lot of attention in the water & there are a lot of pools we cannot use now my autistic son is a teenager (nowhere for me to get him changed if changing rooms are separated according to make/female)

I eventually got ds2 1:1 swimming lessons because he was so scared & ds3 small group (2-3 in a group) lessons. Those have worked.

We all love swimming, but for us separate sessions work better.

ForFawkesSakeNoGuyForSolo Fri 01-Nov-13 15:39:45

Ds had swimming lessons from age 4 to 8 but had to stop due to finances and Dd's arrival. He loved swimming, but was easily distracted and talked too much! but I know that he can swim to safety if he needs to. He recently had the opportunity to have two swim sessions with his school, but would not agree to go.

Dd (6.10) has swimming lessons. She has been going for 2.3 years and loves it and swims very well.
I've never had a problem with her getting her head or face wet and I attribute that to showering her from newborn instead of having baths.
Dd has learned to dive recently too. I'm really proud of her!

I have not been swimming for many years. The last time was Dd's first time in 2010 on a family holiday, Ds was happy to just do his own thing.
I do not enjoy the getting out and changing/drying etc in usually nasty changing areas and that puts me off even more than the extortionate cost! so we do not swim as a family.

telsa Fri 01-Nov-13 15:40:27

we had a great personal swimming teacher for my DD who never picked it up in a year of school swimming. Unfortunately she has ear problems and we have had to stop as she cannot afford to get an infection in the ears. DS took to it like the proverbial duck in water.....but what really induces him is flotation aids which he loves.

starlight36 Fri 01-Nov-13 15:56:25

Non attendee

Both of our children have attended group swimming lesson since a very young age. We also go swimming as a family and they both enjoy it as an activity that we can all do together.

We've always bought bright fun swimming costumes and our DD loves her swimming goggles which often get worn around the house.

Bubbles85 Fri 01-Nov-13 16:48:43


Swimming is definately an activity that the whole family can enjoy together. With little ones my advice is to get them into the water as soon as possible as they love it and swimming comes naturally to them at an early age.

Non-tester here.

We do enjoy swimming as a family but find it nigh on impossible to go as one adult and one or two kids.
I never find the family change facilities particularly welcoming and find it difficult to get all of us in and out of the pool safely.

Coupled with the fact that our local pool is now mostly lanes it leaves very little space for toddlers to splash around and the noise levels are horrendous.

As a result- we don't go to the public swimming often. We are lucky enough to have access to a private pool and it is so much more peaceful, great for babies.

lilyloo Fri 01-Nov-13 17:04:20

We don't swim as a family very often. Dd2 has her swimming lesson after school and ds and dd1 can go in by themselves so they usually go then. I get half an hour to have a coffee and read.
All 3 have had swimming lessons until they could swim confidently.

aristocat Fri 01-Nov-13 17:21:08


Is swimming something you do with the whole family?
Yes, we are a swimming family. I personally swim 4 times a week and my DCs (DS 11y/DD 9y) swim once or twice. Both DCs have recently stopped their swimming lessons which they had been learning since they were 5yo. We all swim together and they will happily swim 20-30 lengths with me in the lanes.

Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?
Do not give up - swimming is such an important life-skill. Sometimes progress in swimming lessons is dreadfully slow; however swimming is all about confidence. It is such a boost when children get a certificate/badge - we all like a reward smile

BlackberrySeason Fri 01-Nov-13 17:33:15

Non attendee here!

Started DS swimming at 9 weeks. That has helped smile

LLW Fri 01-Nov-13 17:34:59

Non- attendee: Swimming is one of the activities our family loves doing best. I started both kids in lessons from about 3-4 mos old and haven't stopped since - so they have grown up in the water and feel really comfortable with it. I was a competitive swimmer myself and wish it was easier to find teams for them to join - in London it's really hard

firawla Fri 01-Nov-13 17:43:55

non attendee: swimming is something i would love to do more with the whole family, i do find it hard to think of taking my 3 all 5 and under when none of them have great confidence in the water, so hoping to start some swimming classes for the oldest soon then i think we could go more

Glitterfairys Fri 01-Nov-13 17:44:00

Non - attendee
We go swimming quite regularly as a family and have done since my eldest was a few months olds and sometimes we go to leisure pools where there are flumes or wave machines too which my children really enjoy. I think the earlier you get children confident in the water is the best thing really and I have found they have all enjoyed swimming from a young age.

DifferentNow Fri 01-Nov-13 17:56:23


We don't take the DC swimming as often as we should because DH can't swim and is a bit phobic about pools and I can't take them alone as we have 5 of the buggers. We really ought to though because the DC love it, it's a cheap activity, good for them and it tires them out! I think that swimming lessons should be free and part of the school curriculum.

Meglet Fri 01-Nov-13 18:40:00

Is swimming something you do with the whole family? No. I'm a LP so it's easier to swim individually. The DC's are 6 and 5 and have group lessons, plus private lessons (which are expensive but worth it for a life saving skill) and I do lengths when I get time and have my legs waxed. Once they're older and strong swimmers I'll rope them into lengths with me.

Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming? I took them every other month as babies / young toddlers. Just to get them used to the pool and atmosphere. I'm probably a bit mean on them actually, I see swimming as such an essential skill that I have no time for whinging about it blush. In my defence my sister nearly drowned twice so I'm pushing for them to be strong swimmers (in pool and sea) and do the life saving courses when they're teenagers.

I've also bribed them with ice creams to go knee height in the sea. DS is tall and almost 7 so I'm aiming for him to be able to swim in the sea next summer.

DoItTooJulia Fri 01-Nov-13 19:44:20

Non attendee here.

We love swimming here! I take my older son for a swim every week. He has a lesson while I swim and then we muck about for half an hour.

My younger ds I used to take once a week in the daytime, but not sure how we will do that now I'm back at work sad.

Then we go as a whole family, DH too, every other Sunday <ish> to a pool with diving boards.

Zombieminx Fri 01-Nov-13 19:58:26

I've been taking DD swimming since she was 6m old - the earlier they start, the quicker they get confident in the water!

My top tip is to always take a good few snacks (yoghurt tube, banana etc) as she's always peckish after all that hard work in the water!

ChaffinchOfDoom Fri 01-Nov-13 20:11:19

my 2 dc started swimming lessons about a year ago, they love it and my dd in particular spends more time underwater than above it. I'm stuck for taking them swimming at the moment as I don't have a maternity cozzie.. but it is great fun to go as a family. The UK could do with more waterpark type places <indoors due to climate..> and turn up the heat in the normal pools I loathe being cold brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

0x0x0mum2bubs0x0x0 Fri 01-Nov-13 20:12:01

Is swimming something you do with the whole family? Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?

Both of mine have swimming lessons every week but we try to go most weekends too. DH and I get so much pleasure from seeing them progress and grow in confidence and it's brilliant exercise through the winter months when they can't spend as much time outdoors.

My best tip is to stay calm and smile lots. If you are jolly and brisk then they are less likely to panic. If your DC goes under and freaks out stay smiley and cheerful and try not to fuss them too much. It's amazing how they look anxious or worried but then smile when hey are reassured by your calm behaviour.

Both of mine are now more confident in the water than I am smile

asuwere Fri 01-Nov-13 20:25:52

Non attendee.
My DC love swimming and I wish I could take them more often but it's very difficult to fit in. We have 4 DC and DH and I work alternative days to each other to avoid childcare so we don't often have a day off together and due to the ages of our DC, we can't take them swimming alone. The main time they get to go swimming is when we're on holiday where they go every day and love it!

I've encourage the children to just play in the water rather than concentrating on learning to swim - I always want to make sure they feel confident enough to play and float then it seems easier to introduce proper swimming. We started taking them all as very young babies so although they haven't been regularly, it's never been a completely alien concept.

BornToFolk Fri 01-Nov-13 20:27:23

Non-attendee (which I'm a bit gutted about as DS would have loved to have gone!)

Anyway, we don't often go swimming "as a whole family" ie. just the two of us. This is mostly because DS has a weekly swimming lesson anyway and also because our local pool is really quite grotty and basic. Fine for lessons but not really the kind of pool that you want to spend any length of time in. We love swimming on holiday though and it's amazing how much he improves after a week or so of being in the pool everyday.

I've been taking him swimming since he was tiny, about 4 months I think. TBH there probably wasn't a lot of point in the early days, other than giving us something to do but as he got older he began to really enjoy his lessons and they've given him great confidence. I do think that confidence in the water is absolutely essential. We used to play lots of games to get him used to having his face splashed! Now he just leaps into the water but again, thanks to his lessons he knows how to do this safely.

Flapdoodles Fri 01-Nov-13 20:43:35


Is swimming something you do with the whole family? A mixture of going as a family and myself with the 2 DCs. DD5 and DS7 have both had swimming lessons and are much better swimmers at their age than I was. We recently had a holiday with a villa and a pool and it was great to see how confident they both were in the water.

Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming? Start early, I started with DS at 13 weeks and DD was about 5 months. I took DS to a swim baby type class which I really liked as otherwise I would have just been holding him in the water. DD benefited from what I had learnt. I think you also need to make it fun, DD went through a bit of a stage of not being keen and so we took a plastic doll with us and various water toys. Our local pool does mother and baby sessions where they have lots of toys for the little ones to play with.

Everyone who adds their comments or tips about getting kids in the water will be entered into a prize draw to win a Speedo goodie bag

octopusinastringbag Fri 01-Nov-13 20:46:58

We always went often as a family as my ds loved swimming but dd was scared. we went to a pool with a trainer pool so she could paddle and made it fun, we took toys for her and eventually she wanted to go in the main pool with ds and then never looked back.

woodchuck Fri 01-Nov-13 21:29:17


Swimming is the one exercise based activity we all enjoy as a family (execpt for yomping, but that is seasonal in my view) and both dcs are confident swimmetrs. we have a family gym membership which includes unlimited pool tiime so tend to go at least a couple of times a week. saying that, i am not an especially elegant swimmer myself and find it hard to advise the dcs on how to improve their swimming stroke. I think tthe gym membership was the best thing we did as swimming has become 'normal' for us as a family. Prior to that the kids loved going to the pool in the next town which has a water slide and wave machine and is much more like being on holiday.

They like to practice diving and retriving objects abnnd we have a set of rings and sticks they play with at the pool

fourmonthstogo Fri 01-Nov-13 22:00:39

Non attendee

We love swimming, but perhaps don't go as often as we should - sometimes it feels like such a mission to get everything together to go, and the learner pool near us has pretty limited hours on my days off due to lessons. My DD finds the main pool too cold.

I echo the earlier posters thoughts, snacks for afterwards, not least because it keeps her occupied whilst I get dressed!

michelleblane Fri 01-Nov-13 22:51:37

We have always swum as a family. DH is still a regular swimmer and used to swim competitively. We were happy to take the children from a very early age. All 4 were swimming by the time they started school. We used to go to family sessions on a Sunday at a local leisure pool and played to build up confidence. Husband and I took it in turns to go off and do a few lengths. Two sons now have their own children and they are also regular swimmers.

skyeskyeskye Sat 02-Nov-13 00:20:08

Non attendee. DD 5yo loves swimming. We first took her when on holiday when she was 6 months old, then at various times but always when on holiday.

She started swimming lessons in September and on holiday this week actually swam half the width of the pool, after only 6 lessons. She was very pleased with herself.

Her school don't take them swimming which I find a great shame. By the time I left primary school I could swim 2000 metres and had done my Bronze life saving award.

It should be compulsory for all schools to include swimming lessons.

Willemdefoeismine Sat 02-Nov-13 08:05:03

I think it is now compulsory for primary schools to include swimming lessons - one of the KS2 targets is for the DCs to be able to swim 25 metres (at least). I think this is a fairly new addition to targets though as
DS only did 7 timetabled sessions of swimming in his entire primary school career. DD, on the other hand, at the same school, will be getting the equivalent of a whole year's worth of sessions over Yrs 3 and 4.

nicename Sat 02-Nov-13 08:38:59

Non attendee. My tip is to get children in the water as early as you can. Make sure you have a soft towel and nice snacks for after!

SirChenjin Sat 02-Nov-13 10:35:00

Non-attendees: Is swimming something you do with the whole family? Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming? Everyone who adds their comments or tips about getting kids in the water will be entered into a prize draw to win a Speedo goodie bag.

No, I don't swim with my family. The DCs have all attended/are attending swimming lessons, but I loathe swimming. Every LA pool I've ever attended always seems dirty, overcrowded and absolutely freezing - and I'm always aware that I'm swimming in other people's pee. Yuk.

There is nothing on this earth that would make me want to go swimming.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sat 02-Nov-13 13:49:40


Swimming is something dd and I do together every Sunday morning come hail or shine. In the week she has a swimming lesson, and goes also with my Mum when I am at work. Dp can sometimes be persuaded to come but whinges about the cold grin I think we do it because a) she loves it and always has and b) it's just something I was brought up with, even now the smell of chlorine in the changing rooms and the noise from the echoes at poolside itself just make me feel 5 again. My Mum used to take me, and my Gran took me and my cousins to an outdoor lido in the summer.

BadlyWrittenPoem Sat 02-Nov-13 14:05:05

- What was your and your DCs overall experience of the Speedo VIP day? Could you describe the day to non attenders?

Overall I think DD1&2 both enjoyed it though DD1 was very disappointed at the lack of the one to one Q&A with an olympic swimmer. I felt the day was a bit disorganised as after the lesson in the morning we were just told that food was upstairs and then there was no direction really from then on. Speedo had also massively undercatered for lunch - we did get food albeit a rather small lunch but some people who got upstairs after us had to buy things from the small concession as the food had run out. The goody bags seemed to be very disorganised/haphazard too as they were just giving bags out randomly at random times and then giving people additional things at random. We got bags with a couple of items in whereas we saw other people being given much more and some people didn;t appear to be given anything. Also, when we went back for the play session after lunch, I felt a bit like we weren't really supposed to be there as there seemed to be a new group of people who had come for an afternoon event and there were only a handful of children there from the morning and when we came into the pool there seemed to be a bit of confusion about why we had come back in.

- Did you find the swimming lessons and Q&A with the Speedo ambassador helpful and informative, or not? If so, why? If not, why not? What questions did you ask and what response did you get?

I was with DD2 (15 months) for the swimming lesson part so can't comment od DD1's lesson other than that she said it was good but I found the one with DD2 useful as it gave me more ideas for activities to do with her when I take her swimming. Although the programme we were given suggested that there was a one to one Q&A session with an olympic swimmer, this did not materialise so I did not ask any questions. This was a big disappointment as DD1 had especially been looking forward to that bit.

- What did you think about the Speedo products shown to you on the day? Did you like them, or not? Do you think you'd be likely to purchase any in the future? If so, why? If not, why not?

DD2 was very taken by one of the little toys which was similar to the ducks you would play with in the bath. The woggles seemed a bit pointless to me - it seemed like we were using them just for the sake of it and I found them rather unwieldy to manouvre especially when holding a small child at the same time. We also used a bouyancy vest thing which was offered to use instead of armbands. I actually expected it to be pretty good but I found it disappointing. One flaw was that the float bits being all around the torso meant that I couldn't really give DD2 proper reassuring cuddles when she felt a bit unsure in the water and the other was that when she was tipped to the horizontal position I felt that it was very easy for her to be tipped upside down which is something that wouldn't happen with armbands.

- What was your DCs highlight of the day?

DD1 liked the swimming and getting a balloon at the end the best.

- Do you think the day overall helped encourage your children, and yourself perhaps, to go swimming more often and / or to learn to swim?

I am very pro swimming myself anyway and have only been prevented recently by ill health but if I was less keen then I think it would have encouraged me to go more.

BadlyWrittenPoem Sat 02-Nov-13 14:12:02

Also, I agree with the comment someone else has made about the gender specificity of the products - I now have loads of OTT pink stuff because I took two girls which will be no use for the child on the way if they turn out to be a boy.

domesticslattern Sat 02-Nov-13 16:00:17

We go swimming occasionally as a family but it tends to be much more just splashing about than teaching the kids to swim. My tip would be to have a look at the Council website as our Council has very heavily subsidised crash courses in swimming in the school holidays: £15 for five lessons this summer. DD1 went on this, I watched from the poolside and took note of what she did and then practised it with her afterwards. I would also suggest trying different pools if you have the option: living in London, there are three or four pools near us and we like to try them in turn as they each have different benefits eg. wave machine, beach, clean changing rooms, outside pool, woggles in the water, steps for pretending to be a crocodile on (none have all of these!).

Nigglenaggle Sat 02-Nov-13 19:44:14

Non-attendee: We try to make swimming a family thing. We make a point of taking DC weekly - most of the time one of us takes him but when we can we go as a family. Its something we all enjoy - seeing him enjoy the water is great fun. I think the thing is to start early and make it fun. We dont do lessons but just splash around - he's still developing important water skills - ultimately we just want him to be safe if he falls in. We've been going weekly since he could walk and he's really confident with face splashes etc.

QOD Sat 02-Nov-13 19:45:47

Non attendee

My dh and dd will not go swimming.
Dd did up to boobpuberty age and had lessons from 4 onward and was a water confident from about a year old

Dh hates it and won't strip off for anyone

I honestly don't think it's an option, it's a necessity! Children must be able to swim and or self support in water as soon as.

BellaVida Sat 02-Nov-13 21:16:48

Non-attendee here. I struggle with 4 young children as according to all our local pools I cannot accompany them on my own. The only way I can get around this is by them having lessons.

My main tip for getting the younger ones started is to choose a shallow pool so they can touch the bottom and feel safer and more confident in the water. Even my 3 year old could touch in the shallow end of a hydrotherapy pool they have recently had lessons in and it made a huge difference.

The other tip for a young nervous child, is to sign them up to a crash course going daily to quickly build up water confidence. The fact that it was a teacher and not mummy made all the difference to my youngest. Sometimes kids find it harder to let go if it is a parent taking them or they pick up on our nervousness. Peer pressure can also be a wonderful thing in swimming!

Pistillate Sat 02-Nov-13 22:10:39

Non-attendees: Is swimming something you do with the whole family
When my partner and I were together it was rare for us to go swimming together. It is mostly me that takes them. Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming? I remember planning to take my 1st child regularly, and took her to the splash and swing course when she was 4 months. This was great and helped me to feel confident about taking her to the pool. However, I did not keep it up( tip: keep going regularly to avoid toddler meltdown!) and when she was only 14 months old, I tried taking her to the pool and she utterly hated it and cried her eyes out. Fast forward to them starting swimming lessons 2 years ago... Skipping a mere handful of swims between times older child was not enjoying it, and we did a few weeks of it before going on holidy and swimming daily in a river for 10 days. After that she LOVED it! (tip: playing in the water daily can give kids a chance to get over their dislike of geting water in their ears etc.) and i think they have progressed steadily over the last 2 years, and their teacher has suggested a competitive club they could join. One reason they have done well is because eventually i realised that you have to take them swimming at least once a week other than their lesson to give them a chance topractise what they have learned. I am an awful swimmer, but that's no reason for my dc to be the same. They love going to the pool despite one of them HATING getting changed afterwards because drying off and putting clothes on with damp skin makes her eczema feel awful. They get to play, they get to swim lenghts, and they feel great.

Our nearest council pool is fantastic. I don't mean to brag, but there have been a few negative comments about council pools, so I just want to say that is not my experience. We have friendly helpful staff, clean facilities, sensible temperatures and it's fairly cheap.

hench Sun 03-Nov-13 00:30:02

Non-attendees: Is swimming something you do with the whole family? Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming? Everyone who adds their comments or tips about getting kids in the water will be entered into a prize draw to win a Speedo goodie bag.

We usually go swimming over christmas as a family either on xmas eve or between xmas and NY which seems to have become a nice family tradition. Apart from that we dont usually swim together as a family although most of us enjoy water sports of one sort or another. I think having swum together fairly often when the dc were quite small in a relaxed environment (fun pool, rather than competition pool) was probably key to our continued enjoyment of water.

IceNoSlice Sun 03-Nov-13 06:53:09

(Non attendee)

My DS loves swimming and it is now something we plan our holidays around as we know he'll be happy so long as he has a good splash every day. We also take him to the local pool weekly.

My tips for taking a baby swimming is to take a change mat as you don't know if the family room or change tables will be busy and this way you can get the baby sorted anywhere. Also take a snack and drink for them for afterwards as they are tired and hungry when they get out.

wonkylegs Sun 03-Nov-13 11:43:13

(Non Attendee)
DS loves swimming. We do occasionally do it as a family but more-often DH takes DS nowadays as I find most pools too cold (I have joint problems & stiffen up)
I took DS as a baby every week so that he got used to being in the water. We also try to have holidays with access to a pool either on site or a nearby leisure centre.
DS(5) now has swimming lessons which he adores. We did try teaching him ourselves but actually stuff he refused to do for us (lie on his back) he will do for a teacher & to show off in front of his swim class.
DS loves to just be in the water, mucking about his cousins we love those things that you chuck in the water and dive down & retrieve from the bottom.
Goggles have really helped DS come on leaps & bounds in confidence as he hates water in his eyes.

thingsgonnachange Sun 03-Nov-13 12:21:01


I love swimming and have made it a priority for my dcs to learn from an early age. One tip is to try to include fun swimming sessions as well as their weekly lessons so that swimming doesn't just have to be about swimming lengths. It's great to be able to see them benefit from their lessons when they can confidently play and dive into the pool safely. And bringing toys is worthwhile when they are starting to learn to swim, looking for a toy underwater is a great way to distract while they are learning to hold their breath underwater and submerge their faces at the same time.

SweepTheHalls Sun 03-Nov-13 13:36:08

Is swimming something you do with the whole family?
We try to swim as a family ever weekend
Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?
We have taken the children swimming since they were 3 months old, trying to make it fun, as well as introducing lessons at about age 3 - with 'fun' sessions at the leisure center on weekends as a family so they can see the point of the lessons.

sealight123 Sun 03-Nov-13 17:30:29

My daughter absolutely adddooooores swimming, so much so that sometimes we catch her putting on her swim vest and armbands to go to the park lol

We tend to do swimming as a family thing, but , unfortunately don't go as often as we'd like sad

When we go on holiday we spend the entire time in the pool smile

One tip I would say is don't rush them..let them dip their feet in the pool first and go at their pace. Truthfully, I didn't have this issue with Livvy as she has always loved the water smile

littlestressy Sun 03-Nov-13 21:30:28

Non attendee:
I enjoy swimming and go regularly, I take DS swimming for lessons at our pool every week and enjoy taking him for extra sessions in addition to these lessons.
DS has always loved the water and swimming and I think going to structured classes has a lot to do with this. When he was 4 months we tool him to water babies which I found excellent, we stopped this when he was 1 year as it was too expensive and went for lessons at the pool instead.

GetKnitted Sun 03-Nov-13 21:57:00

non-tester. my family all went swimming together for the first time recently, my only advice for swimming with a baby is to be sure that your costume is not likely to malfunction in a janet jackson superbowl kind of way smile

mydaftlass Sun 03-Nov-13 22:18:56

We love swimming as a family. We've taken both girls almost weekly sice they were 6 weeks old. They are totally confident around water and absolutely love our family swims. I let them dunk me, ride me, splash me and jump off me. Swimming is the most fun we ever have together as a family.

Nora2012 Mon 04-Nov-13 09:00:02

DD (10 months) attends waterbabies every week, with either me or my DM, depending who's with her on that day, we've been going since she was 6 weeks old and she loves it. DH and I then take her again every Sunday so he can see how she's progressing and keep her confidence up. It's the highlight of our week and we love splashing around, she's already able to float with armbands and do doggy paddle (or at least a version of). My advice would be to start young and as someone else has said, don't show your worried if the water goes in their mouth/eyes etc. DD loves to dunk her head under or jump in.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 04-Nov-13 10:04:25

We go as a family most Sunday mornings and have a mess around for an hour or so, and the children have a swimming lesson with school and another that we pay for at the local secondary school. They enjoy the messing around on a Sunday morning more now they have some solid swimming skills from the lessons.

I don't really see swimming as an essential skill, but it's a great way for children who aren't sporty to exercise, so we encourage our kids as much as we can. Clumsiness doesn't show in the water smile

SpookedMackerel Mon 04-Nov-13 10:24:42

Non attendee.

My children love swimming, but it isn't something we do that often, as I don't like going on my own with two young non-swimmers, even if they wear armbands, I don't like being responsible for both of them. And our local pool doubles its prices at weekends and school holidays, grrr, so it is expensive to go when dh can come too.

So swimming tends to be something we do only when we're away on holiday, which is a real shame.

activekidsyoubet Mon 04-Nov-13 12:19:28

- What was your and your DCs overall experience of the Speedo VIP day? Could you describe the day to non attenders?

My children and I had a really positive fun day. My older children already swim a lot. Due to financial reasons we had to give up our membership at a local health club. I'd take the children many times in the holidays and also during the week. They love the water but I'd not got in with them for a while. My little one commented on how much he enjoyed having mummy in the pool which was nice.

Unfortunately due to trains we were a little late arriving but we quickly joined in a swimming lesson whilst the older children went to the other end of the pool. Ratios were excellent. There were lots of pool toys to play with and this certainly had just all enjoying the activities more. The children were engaged smile

- Did you find the swimming lessons and Q&A with the Speedo ambassador helpful and informative, or not? If so, why? If not, why not? What questions did you ask and what response did you get?

As a previous posted said we weren't so sure there really was a Q/A but the two older children met Steve who was very pleasant and encouraging. I think they would have enjoyed seeing him swim.

- What did you think about the Speedo products shown to you on the day? Did you like them, or not? Do you think you'd be likely to purchase any in the future? If so, why? If not, why not? The products were good. My children certainly enjoyed playing with them and we are likely to purchase more toys in the future.

- What was your DCs highlight of the day?

DC1 Meeting Steve Parry, having a fun pool to play in and remembering what play time in the pool felt like (competitive swimmer)
DC2 Asking Steve to watch his fly and playing with the toys
DC3 Having mummy back in the pool with him,

- Do you think the day overall helped encourage your children, and yourself perhaps, to go swimming more often and / or to learn to swim?

It definitely reminded us about how much fun we have as a family in the water and I'd say we will try and go more often as a result. I think we had simply forgotten.

Thank you to Mumsnet for the opportunity and thank you to Speedo for creating a fun experience in the water.

NettleTea Mon 04-Nov-13 16:33:06

Non Atendee
My little boy was always anxious in group lessons and frightened when he had to swim at school. I think the best thing I did was to find him a place where the water was nice and warm and found an instructor who specialised in SEN and was very calm. He also shared the lessons with his best friend who was also nervous.
its great to see how his confidence has improved. He isnt learning particularly fast, but he is getting happier and happier, so to me thats a huge step forward and I am confident he will carry on.

runnervt Mon 04-Nov-13 20:01:58

Non attendee
I have three kids and since moving the two eldest's lessons from midweek to a Saturday morning swimming has become a real family activity. We now all go swimming every week and the youngest is really confident in the water. When the lessons were midweek after school only the kids went in and then we would try and fit in a family swim at the weekend which often didn't happen.

stephgr Mon 04-Nov-13 20:05:31

Non-attendee. My children love swimming and I have been taking them to our local pool once every couple of weeks since they were babies. They have always loved the water but my daughter has been really resisting learning to swim without armbands so she is now having proper swimming lessons. I think swimming lessons would be the best tip for getting children into swimming.

MrsSpa Mon 04-Nov-13 21:01:17

I think the key is to get them in the habit of swimming regularly and finding a fun session. We took DD every week to a baby class then to a toddler class from age 4 months. They were really fun, lots of singing and splashing as well as practising arm and leg movements and floating. Once she could walk she had one of the costumes with floats in and the floats were taken out by the teachers gradually. She could swim unaided at 2.5 years! We are about to start regular swimming with DS (4 months tomorrow).

manfalou Wed 06-Nov-13 11:24:49


Myself and OH met because of swimming... he was my scuba diving teacher so we both want our kids to love the water too. Ds1 loves the pool but we don't go half as often as we would like. I use to take Ds1 during the week when it was quiet but since having ds2 I can't take 2 kids by myself and at the weekend its too busy to take a baby in the pool.

We use the bath as fun water time...yes not quite as fun as the pool but until a time comes when swimming is made more accessible for us this will hopefully keep the fun of water alive

IncaAztec Wed 06-Nov-13 13:08:01

Non-attendees: Is swimming something you do with the whole family? Have you got any tips to share on how to introduce your children to swimming?

I love swimming and we do this as a family due to adult:child ratios at the pool. My main tip is to introduce swimming from as early as possible. Even if you just go once a week, it improves water confidence and is an easy to do exercise in bad weather!. I would also suggest choosing a pool that is reasonably warm for little ones, otherwise you can't stay in very long as they start to shiver!

Not attendee

I introduced ds at 5 weeks. Hopefully he will grow up to have no fear of water. I'm not very confident in the water so i hope he will be. I chose puddleducks to begin with to help my confidence and the pool is 32degrees!!
I hope to start going as a family too.

BigGapMum Thu 07-Nov-13 10:45:42

I'm not a massive fan of swimming, but I understand it's importance and I can swim myself, but not brilliantly well.

I took DS to swimming lessons from 5 months, until he started preschool at 3. It gave him confidence in the water and taught him the basics of how to swim. The lessons we had were also quite focused on safety and helping him to preserve his life in water, by teaching him to turn around in the water and find the side of the pool and hold onto it. Later this advanced into jumping in first before finding and holding the side. Before I took DS to the lessons I hadn't considered things like that, but it really is an important skill for him.

We have a fantastic photo on the wall showing DS swimming underwater at 11 months, just like the Nirvana cover. Everyone comments on it.

After DS started preschool we stopped taking him to regular lessons, partly because he was too tired, and partly because there weren't any suitable lesson times available. After taking him weekly I stepped back, and let DH take him to swimming fun sessions when it fits in around the other things we do. They go about once every 2-3 weeks.

Also DS's school has an outside pool attached to it and they go swimming twice a week in the summer term.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 08-Nov-13 16:56:48

Non attendee.

We rarely swim as a whole family but swim mainly on a weekly basis as 'part-family' (always including DC's).

I see swimming as a non-negotiable essential skill.To make the learning process as smooth as possible and make the introduction to water as easy as possible the DC's have been swimming regularly from babies. The main focus has been fun.
Teaching came after they had got the swimming 'bug'.

BikeRunSki Fri 08-Nov-13 17:50:32

Non attendee

I love swimming, always have and can't remember not being able to swim. Apparently I taught my sister to swim when I was 8 and she was 4.

When I was expecting my first child was really looking forward to baby swimming classes, and took him to our local baths "Little Nippers" when he was 7 weeks old. There is am absolutely fabulous children's instructor there, and ds went until he started school in September this year. Unfortunately amazing instructor only teaches during school hours, so ds has changed pools to fit in better with school. 2 year old DD goes to amazing instructor's classes now though! I didn't ever really get her going regularly before because I always had DS too, and I wasn't allowed to take both of them in the pool at once.

DS's new lessons are at a private gym, with a fairly large teaching pool. They let me take both children by myself, which is brilliant because DH can't swim and us uncomfortable in a pool. Since we've joined the private pool the children and I pop in quite a lot, or spend hours on a week end afternoon. DS would like DH to come too, but DH is adamant that he has no desire to be in a swimming pool.

Basically, I love swimming and do do both children. I take my children to a lesson each and a fun swim at least once a week. I'd love DH to join us, but no one has been able to persuade him in 40 years !

Swimming is the only thing I am vaguely pushy about. It is a life saving skill, but also an accessible sport for life. I do, or have done, many sports, but swimming is the one I always come back to. I swam a mile the day before DS was born and was back in the water the day I had my 6 week check. I love that swimming can be as gentle or vigorous as you want, so can always fit in with your fitness.

Spirael Fri 08-Nov-13 20:39:38

Non-attendee here. We try and go swimming every week with DD and have done since she was about a year old. As a result she now absolutely adores the water and seemingly has no fear of jumping in or going under the water.

We make it a really fun family and friends activity, inviting various people to come along with us. It's good fitness too, as while someone stays in the shallow end with DD, the other adults usually end up swimming a few lengths.

They don't start swimming lessons around here until children are 4 years old, which is a bit of a shame because she'd love to start them already! She's 3 at the moment. She can already do most of what is required for the early stages.

So, my suggestions would be to start early and swim regularly!

sharond101 Fri 08-Nov-13 21:17:08

non-attendee. My 18mo DS wasn't keen on the water until a few months ago when I took him to a Mother and Toddler swim class. They showed me things to do with him in the water I would never have thought of. I now take him weekly when it is quiet and we take a ball from his ballpit with us as it's light enough to float he throws it and jumps in with me to go and fetch it. He loves this and also has learned in the few weeks we have been going to kick his legs which I am most proud of. We time it so lunch is eaten as I get dried and dressed then straight home for a well earned nap.

I won a prize on the last survey they did - it took ages for the voucher code to come through and when I went to use it it was expired so, stuff Speedo!

SparklyFucker Fri 08-Nov-13 22:22:56

I'm a non-attender. The only reason we don't go swimming is because it's so expensive. To take myself and two children it costs £10.50 in our local pool - that's a seventh of my food budget for a week. So perhaps my husband and I shouldn't eat for a day each?...

Notcontent Sat 09-Nov-13 22:30:07

My dd, 7, has been going to the pool since she was a toddler so she was very confident in the water before starting formal lessons at 5.
I think there is a need for more pools in the UK. Also, they are often too cold in the winter.

Helspopje Sat 09-Nov-13 22:43:44

non-attendee: we swim a lot - 2-3 time a week and have done since both babies were tiny. My 3 yr old now has her rainbow 10m badge and is very water confident - to the point that one of the lifeguards once suggested to me that perhaps my then 18-mth old toddler hauling themselves up onto a big float, running across it then diving in off the edge was not something to be encouraged.
Swimming is a big part of our world and they don't remember being introduced to it as they came along with us from v early on.

BonzoDooDah Sat 09-Nov-13 23:18:50

We love swimming as a family. Makes a lovely family time boo we take turns with who plays with each bike and they love the attention.

I started going to the pool when mine were young (a few months old) so they have always been used to water. We used to take a favouritefloating bath toy with usand just splashed around with it, chasing it and dunking it. Made the pool friendlier with a 'known toy' there. Another big favourite was a plastic watering can - both children loved just pouring all the water. Then came mermaid Barbie (spit) but DD loved swimming with her in the pool.

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Nov-13 10:59:33

Thank you everyone for your feedback and comments. Congratulations to SweepTheHalls who has won the prize draw for a Speedo goodie bag! We'll be in touch shortly.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 12-Nov-13 11:06:33

Hi Michelle, could you just say thank you to Lucy from Speedo for sending on a towel to DS - the trunks in his goodie bag weren't big enough and she'd promised to send something else instead. He was very happy!

ninjathegersh Wed 13-Nov-13 22:07:48

Myself and my 2 daughters were very excited to be invited along to the Speedo VIP day and had a great time in our half term holidays swimming & having fun in a beautifully decorated pool in London's South Kensington.
Once we'd got changed (and locked and unlocked, then locked and unlocked again the pin number lockers - a novelty for us not to have to use a locker key & token..!) we got to the poolside to be greeted by the Olympic swimmer who then led a warm up session and talk on how important swimming was.
After a little fashion show and demo of Speedo products (we liked the look of the pool toys that flew through the air!), the girls were then shown their swim lesson groups and got in the water. My 5 year old really benefitted from the teacher being in the water with her and having to share him with only 1 other child, as he was able to give her some great pointers on how to improve her swimming technique.
My 3 year old however was a bit shy, so just clung to me in the water and didn't want to interact with the teacher unfortunately. She did however perk up slightly when the Speedo toys were used, and delighted in being given a little bucket with some of the toys in it at the end of the session (easily won round with some free stuff..!)
Once the lessons were over, we enjoyed some 'fun time' in the pool, jumping around on the big inflatables. The water was so deep that I also had to make use of the Speedo floats & woggles to keep afloat while trying to get the girls onto the inflatables.
We were reaching the end of the session as most people had already got out and gone for their lunch, so I took some photos and out we got.
Once dressed we went back upstairs to the cafe area for our lunch - unfortunately as we were probably one of the last ones up, there was not much lunch left, or whatever was leftover was not particularly 'child friendly' (wraps with spinach & egg, along with some vegetable crisps). With 2 grumpy hungry children, I was being hassled about where their 'goodie bags' were, so I went to ask one of the ladies where I could find them. She was very amenable and delivered 2 goodie bags to us, and very kindly even changed the swimsuit for us as one of them was too small. The girls were thrilled with their new bags, goggles, swimsuits and floats, they made do with a packet of nuts I bought them and after being interviewed by someone, we strolled off in the general direction of the Science museum having had a great time in the pool.
To answer the other questions:
The swimming lessons were fantastic, and my daughter definately learnt alot more with the instructor in the water with her, watching her and giving her feedback on what she could do better. I asked the other instructor a question about how to cope with my daughter that (due to shyness) just clings to me in the water when we have our usual swim lessons - he recommended swimming in a pool that is nice and shallow to give them confidence.

The Speedo products seemed fine - I would consider buying them in the future, but it really depends on the availability of them....most products at our local pool are Zoggs. The only time I would search out a Speedo product would be when buying a new swimsuit for my children, as they really do last alot longer than the cheap one you get at the supermarket.
Highlight of the day for the girls was going swimming in a lovely pool and getting to play with all the inflatables, and (of course) getting the goodie bag..!

We do already go swimming alot (my husband's default mechanism is to take them swimming or to the park!), and they also have lessons once a week.

I have emailed the photos to Mumsnet...hoping you see them....the girls are holding up their ages in numbers, and then I got them to find the ages they'll be soon...we may use those photos for cards..!
Thanks again for a great day.

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