I’m a six month old Splasher! You see, I’ve always loved my bath and so when I got big enough, Mummy decided to take me to my first Splasher class at Puddle Ducks in Northwich. 

I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never been to a swimming pool before – I’m six months old after all – but their state-of-the-art lovely warm pool at Baron’s Quay is really impressive. They even sell lovely bathing suits with built-in nappies to spare my blushes (if you get my drift). 

Anyway, the teachers are all lovely, and they help me and Mummy get used to the water; we do things like sing songs and play with toys, and there are loads of little ducks…I feel like I might be a duck! 

Over the next few months, I’ll learn splashing, kicking my legs, and jumping in with Mummy’s help (she is a good egg); I’ll probably even get enough confidence up to put my face in the water, and the teacher said it’s helping me with something called fine motor skills. I feel like I was way better at picking toys up out of the water than the other kids in the playgroup were last week! I love Splashers, Mummy says I can stay here until I’m 15 months old, and then I can join…

My Big Cousin

I’m a Kicker! Mummy says that I’m a big girl now, so I was really proud to leave those little kids behind when I graduated into the Kickers class. 

We do big cousin stuff like counting and listening and we use these really cool short woggles to help us swim around the pool without Mummy’s support (although it’s nice to know she’s always close at hand). 

I love it when we swim around the pool with me holding on to her back, and I’ve even learned to jump into the pool holding a big float or Mummy’s hands. I love my teachers too, they’re lots of fun, and they let us do funny things like swim in the pool with our PJs on, it gives me a new meaning to the phrase ‘pyjama day’. I noticed there were a couple of kids who were a bit nervous when they moved up, which I didn’t expect because they’d been a Splasher with me, but the teachers are great with them; they help them and encourage them, and it’s been great to watch them grow in confidence….whatever that means…I heard Mummy say it.

I was two last week, and I can stay in this class until I’m two and a half, but my teacher said I’m doing so well that I might be able to move up early, maybe even next month, and that means I’ll be able to join my big cousin in…

Meet Kirsty, one of the beloved Puddle Ducks teachers! As a mother of two little girls, Kirsty knows firsthand the importance of teaching children how to swim. That’s why she joined our team six years ago after seeing the incredible work we do. Kirsty loves her job so much that it doesn’t even feel like work! She gets pure joy from watching her students progress and achieve under her guidance. In Kirsty’s own words, she has the “best job in the world!”

Little Dippers

You might know my little sister; she’s the kid in the Splashers class you heard from earlier. She’s only six months old and really cute, and I love her very much, and I love swimming very much, too as it means I get to have some time with Mummy whilst little sis is with my Auntie.

We do all kinds of fun stuff; I’m big enough to jump in now, and I can use the woggle on my own sometimes. We do fun stuff like picking up rings that have been dropped in the water (I’m not being picky, but I think these adults are a bit clumsy sometimes, they dropped them five times last week) and jumping in the water – I love it when we jump in from the big float. 

I got a certificate last week for swimming between Mummy and the teacher, and I don’t think I have ever been so proud in all my three years! When I’m four I want to go for my first swim badge in the…

Dippers and Dabblers

Now as I said before, I’m only three still, but I’ve heard the Dippers class is for when you go in the pool without your Mummy, I mean, WOW! I’ve watched the big kids do all kinds of cool stuff like star floats and riding on seahorses (I think they’re real ones) and jumping in without Mummy or Daddy there. Apparently, I’ll be with kids who are confident Dippers like me, but Mummy says there are two levels, so the kids who aren’t quite as strong at swimming will always feel like they’re progressing at their own pace. 

The Dabblers is for the really big kids, probably the ones that are about to go professional or something, you know the ones who can swim 3 metres or 5 metres, or the kids who can bob up and down in the water and blow bubbles out when they’re underwater. They definitely don’t have their Mummies or Daddies with them, but their teacher is always there to look after them; I think it sounds cool and 100% where I see my future.

Meet Mel, one of the amazing swimming teachers, loves being a part of the Puddle Duck community, and her absolute favourite part of the job is seeing the surprise and happiness on a child’s face when they achieve something they once thought was impossible.

Caveat: these opinions were clearly not written by children, but by a grown up mum of two who took her kids to swim lessons when they were young and believes that getting children in the water in a safe, child-led manner is not only a fantastic life skill for the child, but also a wonderful bonding experience between you both, and might lead to a lifetime of involvement in sport (it certainly did in my house!). We’d actually love to know what goes through the minds of a fictional child aged 6 months, 2 years or 3 years but we think the burbles and shrieks of delight as they learn a new thing, speaks volumes. 

Here are some realife testimonials from Puddle Duck Swimmers. 

“Thank you so much for all your help and starting my journey with swimming and water confidence! I may not like swimming on my back just yet, but I have loved learning to blow bubbles, monkey walking and jumping in off the float” – Charlotte. 

“Both of my little boys have been swimming with Puddle Ducks since they were 1 month old. We absolutely adore our lessons each week and would highly recommend it to anyone” – Amy

“My daughter, Mille, is non verbal, is autistic and has learning disabilities We couldn’t ask for a more supportive, understanding, patient swimming teacher for Mille. She is so kind with her and knows exactly how to talk to her and treat her fairly. Often we find activities quite stressful but with our wonderful swimming teacher – swimming is enjoyable. I honestly can’t praise her enough”. 

You can find information on Mid Cheshire Puddle Ducks’ Northwich classes by clicking here

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