All Hail The Family Swim. 5 Reasons To Give It a Try.
Read this to find out why swimming as a family is beneficial:
Kids might love the latest toys, gadgets and Nike trainers but all they really want is attention from the people they love the most; their parents.
Life is very busy and we always encourage families to spend as much time together when they are not looking after the home, working outside of the home or attending nursery or school.
Trips out can be expensive but one of the most accessible, affordable and fun ways to spend some time together as a family (out of the house) is by going swimming.
Yes, you heard it, the good old family swim!
We have many fond childhood memories of weekend swimming trips with our dads, mums, adult friends and extended family members. Who could forget the fun of the changing rooms (ok, it was cold, wet, sometimes slimy and there would always be missing clothes after you’d stack your belongings in those rubbish, stackable plastic boxes – how on earth did we live without lockers?!), the disgusting 'machine' hot chocolate in the café afterwards (that always smelled of sausages and cheese-on-toast; well, nothing’s really changed that much), the forever out-of-order vending machines and the friends we’d make in the pool (oh how people look different when their hair is dry and they have clothes on!), but really, family swimming sessions are epic adventure from which memories are made.
Find these, hopefully in full working order, at your local leisure centre
In 2016 leisure centres are much improved from those in the 70s and 80s and many have different sessions on offer for babies, toddlers; OAPs; accessible swimming; wave pool sessions and other fun stuff like water flumes, giant waterslides and even Disney Finding Dory sessions. Nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find a local leisure centre within five miles that doesn’t offer anything more than a mere swimming pool.
Nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find a local leisure centre within five miles that doesn’t offer anything more than a mere swimming pool and the sheer choice of swimming aids and equipment including baby and child wetsuits, water toys and floats that we have available to us is amazing.
Fun and memories aside, swimming as a family is highly beneficial for these key reasons:
Setting a good example to your kids
Taking your babies, toddlers and older children swimming really does set a good example. They will be more water (and body) confident and not as likely to develop a fear or dislike of the water at future lessons or swimming outings.
Provides an exercise opportunity
As well as your little tadpoles being able to get active in the pool, if mum and dad both get in the pool or at least two over 18s swim with your group (depending on the age and ratio of children and babies), you might even be able to take it in turns to have a swim. Alone. That's without a wet child sitting on your hip or jumping onto you. Fancy that?!
Provides a fun opportunity
Even on wet weekends (which we have many of in the UK thanks to our dreadful weather), we’ve killed a couple of hours in our local pool many-a-time playing on floats with our kids, chucking a (soft) ball around and watching them jump in (safely)! Have a go; you might just enjoy it.
Teaching your kids to swim and be around water
When you take your babies to the pool you have the opportunity to simply describe what is going on around them, give them a little splash and get them to experience the different sensations (beware for post-shower tears!), for toddlers, you can play games like kicking (mum, dad and water), blowing bubbles (from their mouths) and underwater humming (hum out, not in) and for older children you can encourage them to do handstands, try some basic diving (pool rules permitting), attempt different swimming strokes and pick up rubber bricks to improve their more advanced skills.
Improves your own water confidence
You might not have visited a leisure centre swimming pool for years so use an opportunity to take your children swimming to get used to the pool environment once more. If you enjoy swimming with the kids, you might want to do it on your own sometime (babysitters depending)! Swimming pools can be daunting, especially if you are body confident, so try short pool sessions to ease yourself back in. Failing that find a leisure centre with passable coffee, wifi and watch your (older) kids from the gallery or behind glass!