Given Arjun hasn’t been for a swimming lesson since he was a tiny tot, I was quite excited. He absolutely loves being in the pool when on holiday and his confidence has definitely grown. I have never taken Arjun in to a swimming pool alone without Preetam before – another one of my many fears! When we were invited to review the toddler swimming lesson at Hanworth Leisure Centre, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to face another fear. It was also a great opportunity to meet with our friends Sam and Josie.
Here is my review:
Parking: there is a really big car park and despite the lesson we attended being during school holidays, we found parking easily with plenty more available. It was an added bonus that parking was free.
Friendliness of reception: The reception staff were really friendly and helpful and showed us as around the changing rooms and swimming pool.
Changing rooms: I was super excited when we entered the changing rooms as I’ve not been to a pool where I’ve noticed family changing facilities before. Perfect way to ease the burden I was carrying around on my shoulders about how on earth I’d get myself and Arjun dressed! There are 5 of these family changing rooms which include a bench to place your items while you get dressed, a change table, a nappy bin and a small little play pen – the play pen came in particularly useful when I was getting dressed after the lesson when Arjun thought it would be fun to unlock the door! We managed to get a room each both on getting ready for the pool and when coming out.
A big point to note is that the changing rooms are mixed – I’m presuming this would need to be the case so that the family change rooms also welcome fathers. The showers and toilets are however split. The swimming pool changing showers are shared showers with no partition or individual cubicles and you have to keep your swim wear on which means you can’t have a “proper” shower post swimming. I’d have preferred to have had a full shower straight after the lesson and also be able to wash down Arjun properly. However there are separate cubicle showers in the dry changing rooms available.
There are plenty of lockers located in the changing rooms which require a refundable £1.
The changing rooms were clean and spacious.
The class: The pool itself and the surrounding area was very clean. The temperature was warm and the pool was large. Double the size of the pools I was used to seeing with previous high priced swimming lessons! The equipment was also clean. The class lasted 30 minutes which was the perfect amount of time before the babies got tired from splish splashing.
The class consisted of about 8 other kids plus a parent. It wasn’t overcrowded and the pool was more than big enough for everyone to have their personal space – even with the babies going in all directions!
The teacher was really friendly and had a bubbly personality which helped get the children engaged. She was really encouraging and gave lots of 1 on 1 attention if the parents were unsure of anything for example advising us to stand behind our babies when trying to get them to lie on their backs so they could rest their heads on our shoulder.
I loved that she sung familiar nursery rhymes such as “the wheels on the bus” “zoom zoom zoom we’re going to the moon” and “humpty dumpty” during the lesson which definitely got Arjun in to the swing of things! For example she used “the wheels on the bus” to get the toddlers to circle their arms in the water. The teacher also used animals to describe to the children the way in which to move, for example a frog and how it jumps to move their legs. By the end of the lesson, Arjun was able to understand to move his legs and arms at the same time with a floating age. He was so confident and even jumped in to my arms standing from the side of the pool at the end – he’s never done that before!
I had assumed that being a leisure centre, there would be a small section of a main pool sectioned off for the toddler lesson, however I was pleasantly surprised that there was a totally separate pool that is totally separate from the main pools.
Would we go again? We would definitely return back. Arjun and Josie both really enjoyed the lesson!
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post either in the form of remuneration or a free product being sent to us for review however all thoughts and opinions are our own.