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Swimming Aids for a 3 Year Old

  1. #1
    madaboutCows is offline Registered User
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    Swimming Aids for a 3 Year Old

    Could you tell me what swimming aids you use for your 3 year old please?

    There seems to be so much choice on the market that I'm quite confused as to what to buy. Are float suits/belts any good? What about the little jackets with floats? Someone from the UK has recommended swim pads which are simular to arm bands and also a woggle/noodle.

    Also does anyone know what swim instructors tend to use here to teach swimming as I'd be looking for something that my LO can use both in the pool on holiday and for learning.

    Thanks alot!

  2. #2
    stilli is offline Registered User
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    swim floats

    I am sure you will get varied response to your question. Our 3year old is using the "floaties" arm bands and loves using them to "swim". Up until a few weeks ago she would only "swim" in the deeper water if she had Mommy or Daddy's hand as an extra support. But now she is "swimming" on her own - well assisted by the floaties - kicking and using her arms - and really loves it. I am looking to get her into some swim lessons so she can begin learning to swim without relying on the floaties. I do fear a bit of her becoming too reliant on them if we dont try getting her some practice without them. She is also learning to use a kick board and enjoying that as well.
    Look forward to hearing input from others as well. Good luck and happy swimming!

  3. #3
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    D also wore armbands until he was 3 1/2. That's when he started taking lessons and they only use a noodle and board in class. He's able to swim a bit, but still uses the 2 aids.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  4. #4
    madaboutCows is offline Registered User
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    Thank you Rani and Stilli. I've gone ahead and ordered the Delph Swim Pads and some regular arm bands for him too. Will also buy the noodle, it looks like my son could have great fun with it and I've heard they're great for beginners.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    madaboutCows is offline Registered User
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    Rani, are you happy with the ESF's swimming lessons? Do you mnd me asking if they run them all year round as I'd be interested in signing up for some in September. Does it depend which pools they use ie - indoor or outdoor?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    rani's Avatar
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    Yes, very happy with the classes at ESF. They are all year round, and the pools are indoor. We go to South Island, and its run by ESF teachers. West Island school is run by Harry Wright, which quite a few members have also recommended. There is a price difference between the 2 for some reason. Classes are only for 30mins which is quite short. I take D, and observe the lesson, and then we practise at our pool later in the week.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  7. #7
    madaboutCows is offline Registered User
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    Excellent! Thank you. We're away for the Summer so will definitely sign up for when we come back.

  8. #8
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    We used a swim vest or a sitting floatie until the kids got to be about 2 or 3. Then we used floatie armbands.

    But, I would also sometimes take off the arm bands and play w/ them and teach my kids to float and play without them. I think my kids were able to do w/out them when they got to be about four.

    But, we are lucky to have a very nice pool in our housing estate and I am a confident swimmer and had helped a couple of people learn
    to swim before (not as a professional instructor).

    Stilli,

    What I did was from the time they were very young was to play w/ them in the pool (from ~ 4 months old). I would never play w/ them in a way that made their heads go into or under the water unless they wanted to. That is the most important thing. They need to love the water and feel confident in it and trust that you will never ever ever deliberately do a scary thing with them.

    One game they really liked was "bouncing" where I would walk up and down the pool and bounce them in my arms so that they would go up in the air and then into the water to about their chest.

    I would also play "swishing" in the water, or (in their floaties) play "train" older one in front w/ me supporting her shoulders and little one on my back and play that way.

    Then I worked on teaching them to float on their backs. We called it "sui mo" (jelly-fish). I would show them how I could float and I would have them lie in my arms in the water and and then BRIEFLY remove my hands and see if they could float, replacing my hands the second they began to sink.

    I got them used to putting their faces in the water through the time honored method of blowing loud bubbles. They learned to dunk their heads themselves by watching older kids go under and wave w/ their hands.

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