My twin girls are almost nine now, so you’d think swimming lessons might be a thing of the past, turns out not. We’re still rocking up week in- week out. Whilst I’ve been serving my time pool-side I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way from other Mamas which I now use to help smooth the whole experience just a little. I thought I’d share them with you!
My girls swim straight from school so are in their school uniform when they arrive, which isn’t the easiest for changing so we came up with some ways around the problem.
There’s nothing more of a faff than struggling to pull socks on to damp feet whilst trying to avoid a wet floor. The best footwear solution to avoid this that I have found is Crocs. They go in to the changing room in their tights and school shoes and come out in their crocs (even when it’s raining outside!)
You’ll note the addition of the Peppa Pig sticker book – to keep the Small Boy happy, I’m old school like that. It can even cause great entertainment whilst you sweat by the pool, as last week’s sticker selection proved…
2.) Large Supermarket Bag
Rather than trying to squeeze everything into a swim bag each or holdall with a zip I take one large supermarket – style shopping bag (the canvas style ones) and throw everything into that. It stays packed from week to week (after washing obvs) and is piled with the towels, swimmies, goggles, crocs, PJs and sticker book for the small boy. When we get to swimming I empty it all out on to benches and then they fill it with all their school shoes and uniform. After their swim the towels and cossies squash on top and when I get home the whole lot goes in the washing machine (making sure I remember to remove the shoes first of course!)
3.) Before and after swimming snacks
Since the girls swim straight from school I always pack a snack for them to have before they swim (usually a Babybel/squeezy yoghurt/piece of fruit etc) and then another one, and a drink, for after their lesson (something more fun like a packet of mini cookies or a couple of Jaffa Cakes with a fruit shoot etc). This, I find keeps everyone happy – even the small boy, and we have a quieter journey home.
4.) No showers or hair washing
Controversial this but I never make the girls shower post swim or wash their hair. I know for a lot of people it’s an easy win as they’re already wet. But I find my stress levels can’t cope with the ‘your head’s not under properly, you’ve not got enough shampoo on, keep pressing the button, you’ve still got some in your hair’ angst that accompany it. I don’t notice a downside to it, their hair seems to still be quite shiny the next day as if it had been washed and I don’t think they smell of chlorine either. What I do know is that it makes getting out of there a whole lot quicker – which is after all the biggest aim post swim!
We’ve had swimming lessons starting from times anywhere after 3pm and even at that time I think it’s acceptable for them to put their Pyjamas on after a swim. It’s much easier to pull on a pair of loose fitting trousers and a top (or onesie) than it is to re-dress in your school uniform for practical reasons. The added bonus is they’re obvs all ready for bed so saves time later too! Even in winter they do this, I must admit it’s not the most stylish look, PJs, Crocs and your school coat. But sometimes practicality wins out over style (especially when you’re only eight).
6.) Pre prepared tea
On Tuesdays when the girls have their lessons I spend part of the day prepping their tea before I pick them up for their lesson. It’s such a drag to do at the time but I thank myself ten times over for doing it when we all crawl in from a long day at school and a tiring swimming lesson. I usually make a vegetable soup (sweet potato) (a good one for the five a day) as they’re still so hungry they’d eat anything and are not keen to wait for long.
*This photo is here just in case you thought I was all practicality over style 😉😬
How do you survive swimming lessons with your little ones? Any other top tips to share? I’d love to hear them!