March 12, 2013

Goldfish Swim School and a Giveaway!

So recently I was asked to write about the brand new to Cleveland Goldfish Swim School.  I was super excited about this opportunity.  I think that the ability to swim is something that we should teach our kids just from a safety standpoint.  However finding time and availability of actual swim lessons is a different story.  I had my daughter in lessons when she was very young but it just hasn't happened since then.  Until now:

Goldfish Swim Week 1
Goldfish Swim Week 1
I have to say I was thrilled with the Goldfish Swim experience.  First of all the facility is great.  The water is 90 degrees.  So my freeze baby girl didn't spend the entire time shivering with blue lips.  Also the way the changing areas are laid out makes SO much sense for families!  There are no locker rooms - just a big bank of large changing stations, separate single bathrooms, and a large hair drying station:

Goldfish Swim Week 1
Which works perfectly b/c you never have to be in that awkward shared changing space situation.  I would even feel comfortable taking both kids by myself with this setup - something not really possible with a huge locker room situation.
Waiting for their first swim lessons @goldfishswimschool !
They even have turtles!
The way our lessons were scheduled our son's lesson was first and our daughter had to wait.  There was enough to do in the facility - books! turtles! fish! - that this was never a big deal.

Goldfish Swim Week 4
But I think the big difference between Goldfish Swim and other situations is the lessons themselves.  The classes are kept to a 4 to 1 ratio.  So the kids really get individual attention.  Also they teach actual survival skills - like how to move along the wall and then climb out of a pool - which is exactly the reason I think swim lessons are so important in the first place:

Goldfish Swim Week 4
Learning how to climb out of the pool.
The coolest thing of all, though, was seeing how my kids progressed and learned from week to week.  The first week my poor dude was pretty freaked out.  He clung to daddy and then just wanted me:

Goldfish Swim Week 1
Trying to get out of the pool to get to MOMMY.
By the 4th week he was not clingy at all:

Look at the dude go!  @goldfishswim #goldfishswim #swim #happyincle
Instead of climbing out to get to me he kept looking up and smiling all proud.  KICK! POOL!
He was so, so excited about his lessons:

Goldfish Swim Week 4
He even was fine with being dunked completely.

Goldfish Swim Week 4
Daddy was a lot more aggressive with the dunking than I was.  Which is why he got to take him into the lessons and I sat on the sidelines being the nervous mom.
And he started to do things like pay attention to the teacher and follow along with the rest of the class.  Skills that will serve him well in the future!

My girl was totally nervous the first week, too.  I told her I would come into the lesson with her if she wanted.  But once it was time she said "I think maybe you can stay over there."

Only our second week of lessons @GoldfishSwim and already the girl is dunking her whole head under and the dude is kicking his legs!
The next week she was scared of putting her face in the water.  Which is something she's never really been a fan of.  So I told her she could do that in her own time and there was no pressure.  She thought about it and when it came time not only put her face in but dunked her whole head under the water!  SHE WAS SO PROUD!  Confidence building situations like that are so important for kids.

Goldfish Swim Week 4
So yeah.  I would highly recommend the Goldfish Swim school.  We intend on continuing with lessons for both of our kids.  I should also mention that it was NOT far away at all.  Living on the west side there is that whole the east side is the other side of the world mentality.  It's just not the case.  Even on the snowiest of days it took us less than 30 min to get there.  Totally a doable drive!

Goldfish Swim Week 1
Eating a snack after his lesson.  Swimming makes them HUNGRY and TIRED!
Oh and did I mention they do family swims?  And birthday parties? So many fun possibilities with this place!  And what's super fun is that I get to offer you guys a giveaway!  I am thrilled to offer one lucky reader a Goldfish Swim PartyA $450 value!  It's perfect for a kid's birthday party.  I honestly wish I could win it myself. To enter just use the Rafflecopter Giveaway Below (if you already follow me in various places you're basically already entered.  Just need to click on the form.)  I will leave the giveaway open for 1 week and pick a winner next Wed, 3/20/13.

Edited to add:  A winner has been picked and emailed.  Thank you to everyone who entered! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure:  My kids received 1 month of free swim lessons as compensation for this post and hosting this giveaway.  As always I only blog about products that I believe in and all opinions, photographs, and crazy children are my own.
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