On Learning to Swim at 2 and 4 Years Old – Our Experience at Goldfish Swim School PLUS a ONE WEEK Jump Start Clinic GIVEAWAY

Learning to swim – Such a great life skill that I think the earlier you can learn – the better!

Last year we had a little bit of swim drama. Brooks REFUSED to get into the water without his puddle jumper. Absolutely refused. So much in fact that he would throw a fit out of fear of being in the water without it. He was so dependent on that thing, it was not good. I didn’t want him to be afraid of the water or of swimming – whether it be in a pool or in the ocean – but I didn’t want him to be fearless about it either. So mid-summer last year I tried to get him some swim lessons because I figured it would all be better coming from an instructor, rather than me – but it was so late in the season, it didn’t really work out. We powered through the rest of last summer, but I knew I’d have to change things up again before this summer season.

And that’s exactly what I did!

// Boys Goggles { we LOVE them!}

Around January, I started remembering our summer water drama and started researching swim lessons for the littles. I had a few requirements:

  1. Heated pool. Because a 90* pool sounds way more inviting to learn to swim.
  2. I didn’t want to get in the water with the kids. Because, I think they will learn best from someone who has a specific plan of attack for my kids and their needs. Plus, I’m 100% certain they will listen better to a teacher! Ha!

Goldfish Swim School in Fort Washington was the perfect place for us. I have friends who have their kids enrolled in various locations and were absolutely loving it – so I was excited to try it out. Since I live in the city, the Ft. Washington location is the closest to us – about 35 minutes away – which isn’t close, but we usually do a ‘Out of the City’ day when we have swim – errands, lunch, a playground or we stay after class for family swim {more on that later}, so it works well for us.

We started in February of this year and haven’t looked back. Graham + Brooks go once a week for a 30 minute class. Depending on the week, sometimes we double up with a class back to back or we stay after class for Family Swim – everyday during the week, Friday nights and specific times on the weekends, members can come in and swim as a family, included in the membership. The boys and I love the activity, extra swim time and I don’t mind the 90* water myself one bit!

It’s a great perk – especially if you live close!

Ok, now about the actual swim class – Brooks + Graham started out in the same class – Junior 1.

I have to say it was a little tough getting the boys in a class at the same time, especially when school was still in session {before the summer started!} The classes are small – MAX 4:1 Student to Teacher ratio – which is great for the lessons, but rough when I have 2 kids taking up 50% of the class. But Goldfish Ft. Washington totally worked with us and we got into a class that makes sense for us with a teacher the boys LOVE!

Here is what the requirements are for a Junior 1 Level {3-4 Years Old}at Goldfish Swim School:

  • Happy Participation in 3 Consecutive Classes ✓
  • Flutter Kicking with Barbell 1/2 Pool Length, unassisted ✓
  • Breath Control in Underwater Dip, 10 seconds, assisted ✓
  • Superman Glide, 5 feet, unassisted ✓
  • Sea Otter Back Float, 5 seconds, assisted ✓
  • Octopus Front Float, 5 seconds, assisted ✓
  • Pulling Paddle, Face In, 5 feet, unassisted ✓
  • Swim, Rollover, Front-to-Back-to-Front swim, assisted ✓
  • Crab Walk, unassisted ✓
  • Climb Out, “Fin, Fin, Belly, Flipper,” assisted ✓
  • Underwater Jump, Swim, Turn, Swim to Wall, assisted ✓

For 3-4 year old little ones, I think the curriculum is smart, challenging and an incredible base for anyone learning to swim. They work on each of these skills every class, until they have mastered it all and are ready to move up to the next level  – with new challenges!

The boys went from being puddle jumper dependent, afraid of getting their faces wet – to being absolute little water loving fish! Graham is fearless in the water, completely loves it – can’t get enough. Graham is a master of the back float and just got a ribbon for easily holding it for 10 seconds, unassisted. It’s so cute to see him floating his little body, so confidently in the water!  He’s also got the Crab Walk + Superman Glide down – He is working on his pulling padding and getting some more power in his kicks – but I know he will be a strong swimmer!

Brooks has spent the past 3 months working hard on what he calls – “Leveling Up” – like Mario, ha! He’s been so excited to move up in swim school class to Junior 2 and right before we left for Summer Vacation – He did it! Along with all the other swim skills he has learned, Brooks can now swim half the length of the pool, with his head underwater, all by himself.


I don’t know who was more proud with Brooks moving up in class – Brooks, Graham or me! I might have had a few tears in my eye when he swam – it was amazing to see, and from that point his confidence and love for the water has grown so much. Which is fantastic for Graham to watch and see as Little man looks up to his big bro like crazy.

And the day he moved up in class, was the day we passed along his precious Puddle Jumper to our neighbors, since he’s now a swimmer and doesn’t need it!

We are going to continue with our classes as my boys are loving it and learning so much. And since this month we have taken a few weeks off while we are at the beach, I’ve just signed the boys up for a Jump Start Clinic when we get back in July!

At Goldfish Swim School at Jump Start Clinic is 5 consecutive days of 30 minute classes, same time, same teacher for one week. They are effectively consistent and guarantee results – so I’m excited for the boys to be able to jump right back into their lessons without missing a beat.

And here’s a little treat, I’ve got a gift certificate for ONE LUCKY AND HER LITTLE DOG TOO READER to win a ONE WEEK JUMPSTART CLINIC at ANY Goldfish Swim School location! 

Want to win? Here’s how to enter:

Leave a Blog Post Comment letting me know how old your little is & what GoldFish Swim School location you want to go to!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter your information, but you MUST follow these 3 social channels to be entered to win {I’ll be checking!}

YouTube And Her Little Dog Too / Instagram  / Facebook 

**Tag a friend or Share the Posts on FB/IG for extra entries!**

The giveaway will be open through Friday, June 22nd!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+.

Winner must reply to my confirmation email within 48 hours to claim the prize.

Tickets will be mailed to the winner.



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  • Reply Valerie June 18, 2018 at 9:27 am

    My son is 3, we’d love to try their Mundelein, IL location!

  • Reply Denise Wilson June 18, 2018 at 9:44 am

    We love Goldfish in Fort Washington!

  • Reply Michelle Frick June 18, 2018 at 9:56 am

    My LO is 2.5 – also Ft. Washington location!!

  • Reply Cynthia R June 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Love Goldfish in Fort Washington!

  • Reply Kate Keshgegian June 18, 2018 at 10:10 am

    we JUST started this past weekend at Ft. Washington 🙂

  • Reply Lauren M June 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

    My little man is 2 years old. We actually just bought him the puddle jumper this weekend. Swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School sound amazing. My son loves being in the water but has no fear of jumping right in- regardless of safety (typical toddler). We would love to try out lessons at Fort Washington. The family swim time sounds pretty awesome too. Being preggo, I take every opportunity of being in the water.

  • Reply Sarah Jamieson June 18, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    My guys are 1.5 and 3 and are very comfortable (perhaps too comfortable) with their puddle jumpers. I would love to get them out of the puddle jumpers and safe in the water. Roscoe Village, Chicago location is close by and I’ve been wanting to try!

  • Reply Stephanie Judge June 18, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    My guys are 3 and 2 months! I would LOVE to try this out for our 3 year old at the newly opened Malvern location! We are moving back to the area from Central America and now is the perfect time to give my older guy a jump start so that we can enjoy our first summer back in PA!

  • Reply Patty McDermott June 19, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Gaga is so proud of Brooks and Graham for what they have accomplished at Gold Fish! Mom you certainly found a great fit for the boys too! Kudos and keep up the great swimming!

  • Reply Tapaswi Shrestha June 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Great story! Our children 2 yr and 3.5 yr love Goldfish Ft. Washington! It’s incredible how they progress and how much fun they have.

  • Reply Kristin June 19, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    My son is almost 3 and I would check out Fort Washington or Oaks!

  • Reply jamie June 20, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    I would love this!!! My daughter is 4 and could use a jump start!!!

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