My almost 2-year-old is quite the water lover. She is also extremely fearless and adventurous. When you put those three things together, it makes for one nervous momma! That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to start her out with swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School – West Chester.
Introductory Tour and First Lesson
When we walked in for the first lesson, we were greeted by a very friendly staff member (especially since it was 9am on a Saturday) who walked us through the whole process. We were given key tags that you scan to check in for lessons and a reusable welcome bag. I was quite surprised by all the goodies inside! Some things included were a free t-shirt for my daughter, 20% off their swim shop apparel, and two passes for a free family swim. There was also a small bag of Goldfish, but those were devoured before we left the parking lot after our first lesson. Toddlers, y’all.
We were given a tour that included individual and family changing rooms, a viewing area for parents to sit and watch lessons behind glass, large bathrooms with changing tables, a grooming station with mirrors and hair dryers, and a diaper station. I was already impressed by the facility alone, and I hadn’t even been in the pool yet!
Class Offerings at Goldfish Swim School
Goldfish Swim School- West Chester offers classes for children 4-months-old through 12-years-old. Mini 1 and Mini 2 classes require adult participation. Because of where my daughter’s age falls, we did a Mini 2 class. I felt like we both benefited from having me in the pool with her for the first time. Since the water is kept at a warm 90 degrees, there was no shock when entering the pool. Our instructor, Ms. Carissa, greeted us and spent some time talking with my daughter. Once the others joined, we started our class.
The term they use to describe their teaching style is SwimPlay®, and that is exactly what we did. Ms. Carissa used a baby doll to demonstrate each new activity before we did them with our toddlers. My daughter got the biggest kick out of seeing a doll with a swim diaper on “swimming” just like her. We also used toy boats, balls, and oversized goldfish as tools to help the kids get used to their heads being wet, reaching, and kicking their feet. Since class sizes are so small, she was able to spend individual time with each student and their parent to answer any questions during our lesson.
Showers and Amenities
When the lesson was over, we used the showers that are in the pool area to rinse off, along with the soap and shampoo provided by Goldfish. I honestly hadn’t thought about bringing any since this was my first swim lesson, so it was a welcome amenity. Another thing that was greatly appreciated was the hair dryers. The morning of our first lesson, it was a balmy two degrees outside, so the fact that my daughter didn’t have to go out with wet hair was fantastic.
The second week went much like the first, which was good because there was plenty of repetition for little minds. We both knew what to expect this time. Ms. Carissa greeted each child by name as we got into the pool. This was really important to me because it showed that she took time to remember them as individuals and not just another student.
The third week we switched things up a bit and I sent my husband in for the lesson while I watched. He was both excited and nervous since this was his first official swim lesson. Ms. Carissa patiently worked with him at each step, and by the time the lesson was over he was a pro! He was also impressed with the Swim Play philosophy and said how much fun it made it for both him and our daughter.
After the fourth lesson, we received a progress report. It listed all of the skills we had been working on over the past few weeks and was marked as to whether or not my daughter had mastered them. The number one thing she had mastered was kicking her feet, which was evidenced by my wet hair and splashed glasses. During this week, my daughter was clearly more confident and comfortable doing the activities asked of her.
Overall, all three of us had an amazing experience at Goldfish Swim School- West Chester. The staff members were warm and polite, and the facility was clean, welcoming, and had everything you could possibly need. The lessons themselves were great for laying a solid foundation for the future. Not only did my daughter learn important skills such as getting out of the pool properly by herself, going underwater, floating, and using her hands and feet together to swim, but I personally learned how to confidently work with her on each of those skills to help develop safe swimming practices. And the best part? We had fun while doing it!
Ready to Swim?
If you’re ready to get your little goldfish in the water, head on over to Goldfish Swim School – West Chester and sign up today!