Dear My Toy Garden friends,
The women were lounging inside. The men were lounging outside. How nice to have visiting family all together connecting and enjoying the start of another beautiful day. Her mom came downstairs and slowly a puzzled look crossed her face. "Where is she?" Then, "Where is she!!" Mom thought the toddler was downstairs. The women thought she was upstairs. Now, no one knew where she was. And there was a pool and a canal right outside the door. The women searched the house. The mom raced to the water as the tentacles wrapped around her stomach. No. No. Please no. Her eyes scanned the water up and down searching for any sign of struggle. Please no. Agonizing minutes later, one of the women calls that she has been found. Upstairs. In a closed room. Happily playing. Relief washes over the Mom as she realizes her little daughter is safe.
Can you relate to this real life experience of my nephew's wife on their recent trip to Michigan? Have you felt that knot of fear as you search for your child knowing there is water near by? You don't have to any more thanks to a new business that just opened in [Carmel called Goldfish Swim School.]Not only is this a super cool place that parents and children will want to hang out in but teaching children safety in the water is their main focus. The manager, Tom, told me a tale of one of their students who fell into a lake unnoticed by his family. When they finally discovered him, he was contentedly floating on his back waiting for them. Wouldn't it be great to know your child knew how to do that? Oh yeah!
Their facility located in the Merchant Square shopping center just west of the Marsh near Keystone and 116th is beautiful! Tiki huts, surfboard benches, private dressing rooms, a mural full of ocean friends and more await your discovery! The water and air in the pool room is kept at a tropical 90 degrees so there is no shivers in or out of the water. They offer perpetual classes for 4 mos to 12 yrs old as well as open swim times and birthday parties. Such a fun place! I'm delighted to welcome them to the neighborhood! Here are some swimming tips I learned from my visit there. Summer is coming and soon it'll be time to be water wise.
1. Go slow - Some children need time to get used to the water. Goldfish Swim School offers perpetual lessons so the child is in the water 30 mins a week every week until they (not a calendar or teacher) show they are ready to move on. All children learn at different rates so I love this approach!
2. Experiment with ways to get their face wet. Do not just dunk a child under water in a trial by fire experience. Explore ways to get their face wet using scoops to pour over their head, strainers, squirters and goggles.
3. Distract them. When encouraging them to float on their back, distract them by looking at things on the ceiling, sing a favorite song, invite them to look in a mirror.
4. When teaching them to swim unassisted, do not be the goal to swim to. Teach them to swim to a solid object like a wall a short distance away instead. They know you can come rescue them if they need it. If it's an inanimate object, they'll work harder to get from one side to the other. Goldfish Swim School uses "islands" made of platforms to teach this important skill. Brilliant! [Their blog has other helpful information on swimming as well.]
Knowing your child is safe in the water anytime, anywhere is peace of mind that is priceless and I'm so glad Goldfish is now around the corner from My Toy Garden to help families! Welcome guys!