Your youngster may be just two and a half years old and have been with Puddle Ducks for several terms, or this may be your first term with Puddle Ducks and your child may be three or four. It doesn't matter how old your child is in this class, or what experience he or she comes with: your teacher will tailor each swim and activity to your child.
In Little Dippers your child learns to swim, completely unaided, for several meters! The classes are balanced with overwater and underwater swimming, essential water safety skills, songs and games, and are always lots of fun!
What happens during a Little Dippers class?
- Your teacher will help your child realise that he/she can demonstrate many important water safety skills on their own and to begin to enjoy the water with some new found independence.
- Your child will be encouraged to respond directly to the teacher, developing responsibility and self-confidence.
- Your teacher will focus on helping your child to establish the basics of swimming on the front, balance and jumping, taking time to fully understand your child's capabilities and earning his or her trust.
- Little Dippers will be taught how to swim with their head down in the water, which in turn leads to excellent alignment and therefore little independent swims
What is the parent/guardian involvement in the class?
- If you are new to Puddle Ducks, then just relax and let your child dictate their pace. Gradually, as your child becomes familiar with the format of the classes and gets to know your teacher, he or she will become more confident. You and your child will be developing a level of trust that has probably not been needed before, and this experience alone can be very rewarding.
- If you have come through the Puddle Ducks programme, it is still important that your child dictates the pace. Your child may love this new style of class, which is a little more structured, and a little more technically demanding than they are used to. Or your child may take a while to get used to it.
- Whether you have been to Puddle Ducks classes before or not, be very encouraging and give praise with lots of smiles!
Practical information and advice
- If your child is not yet fully toilet trained, please make sure you use the double-nappy method for your child - a disposable swim nappy or one of our great value (and environmentally friendly) NappyWraps & Liners, covered with a well-fitting Puddle Ducks neoprene swim nappy. These are available to buy from our online shop.
- If your youngster is now fully potty-trained, we recommend cropped lycra shorts for boys (as Bermuda style shorts cause drag) and one-piece swim suits for girls.
- We often have parents who have a fear of water, but we never force any parent into doing any activity they are not comfortable with. It is up to us to make you feel comfortable in the water so that you can pass positive feelings onto your baby - let your teacher know and they will advise you.
- We know that many parents like a record of their youngster's activities and achievements. Badges and certificates can be ordered from our online shop.
Many parents ask us what they can do between classes to reinforce the activities. At home, making bath-time a regular, fun activity is key. Give your child as much freedom as possible with plenty of water-pouring, floating and sinking toys. Encourage bubble-blowing, sing the Puddle Ducks' songs together and play games (the goodbye song can even help to signal the end if your youngster likes to stay in for a long time!). Use a jug of water to pour over your child's head at hair wash time, remembering to signal first.
Your teacher will let you know when your child is ready to move up to our next stage which is Dippers!