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5 New Year’s Resolutions for your Entire Family

It’s that time of year again: Time to make New Year’s resolutions! But this year, skip the boring resolutions and instead make ones you’ll keep AND that will increase family bonding! Check out our five suggestions:

1. Spend more quality family time together

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day things that keep us busy: The errands, the school drop-offs, the taxi service (with mom and dad as the driver) to and from after-school activities and a million other things that pop up every week. That’s why it’s so important to make a conscious effort to spend some quality family time together. Schedule a regular movie night, have a monthly game night, enjoy family dinners, take walks after those dinners or go to Family Swim at Goldfish Swim School (you don’t even have to be a member!). Regardless of what you choose, involve the whole family in deciding what you’ll do to spend more time together (maybe some of these 10 Things to do with Your Family?)

2. Exercise (for fun AND health benefits!)

Children learn by example, so why not show them how to lead a healthy lifestyle? Exercising may or may not already be part of your daily routine and it may or may not seem like a chore to you, but it’s important to show your kids that exercise is important. It doesn’t have to be a chore and it can be easily incorporated into your routine — and exercising can be FUN! Whether you sign up for a family bowling league, take runs together in the morning or each have your own individual activity, make it a priority to have the whole family start (or keep) exercising! The kids can even take swimming lessons!

3. Explore a new hobby

Bird watching and collecting stamps are definitely hobbies the entire family can enjoy, but if those aren’t interesting, keep looking. Scrapbooking? Putting together puzzles? Gardening? Let the sky be the limit when choosing an activity that will bring the entire family together. Oh, and did we mention there’s a high likelihood that it will also help curb all those “I’m bored” whines that happen during summer, or school breaks, or Sundays? Yep, a hobby will do that for you. Enjoy!

4. Learn a new skill

Have you always wanted to learn how to knit — even if only to make yourself a unique hat and scarf set? Now’s the time! Have each family member think of something they’d like to learn how to do (like speak a new language, build furniture, land a consistent free throw, swim – whatever anyone can think of) and get started! Check in monthly to make sure everyone is still on track. But you won’t need to do that, because you’ll all be so excited to share those new triumphs that you’ll have no problem keeping that resolution.

5. Help others

There are many ways to help others. You can volunteer your time for a cause close to your heart — such as a homeless shelter, domestic violence center or animal shelter (they always need dog walkers). In addition, you can also contribute money or items in need, like canned goods to a food pantry or baby items to a single mom program. You can donate your talents, too: Lend a hand building a house for someone in need, provide plumbing services for an elderly neighbor, or anything else your family members can provide. Think outside the box and you’ll find that you have plenty to offer. Bonus: It’ll make you feel good while bringing your family closer!

Goldfish Swim School

These 5 New Year’s Resolutions for your Entire Family are sure to help you have an adventurous year! But don’t stop there: Sign the kids up for swim lessons at one of our continually-growing Goldfish Swim School locations and have fun while you’re at it! Curious? Check out our Top 5 Reasons Why Goldfish Swim School is Worth the Money (hello, 90-degree water temperature!).

 

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Beat the Winter Blahs with These 10 Indoor Activities for Kids

Baby, it’s cold outside! Moms know this isn’t just a famous song; it’s pretty much a mantra during those lovely winter months. Which means the kids (and you) don’t always want to bundle up to do anything outside. So, what’s a mom (or dad) to do to keep the kids from being underfoot constantly with their “I’m bored” faces? Beat the Winter Blahs with these 10 Indoor Activities for Kids:

1. Swimming

It’s always warm at Goldfish Swim School, even in the water! Winter is no excuse to take a break from swim lessons and it’s even a great time to get the whole family in the water for a golden experience during one of our family swims! Pssst…You don’t have to be a member at Goldfish Swim School to get your feet wet during family swim! (That’s some WOW customer service there!)

2. Build a Fort

The great thing about kids is that they really don’t need those fancy toys all the time. They’ll be content playing around with their imaginations — and you. Need proof? Grab some sheets, blankets and pillows and create the biggest and coolest fort around.

Bonus Tip: Use those leftover big boxes you have laying around and design a hard-wall fort — which can even be covered in paper, drawn on, painted on or anything else!

3. Obstacle Course

Let the kids get those wiggles out by building an obstacle course for them to run through! Pillows make great hills to climb over, with draped sheets to crawl under and painter’s tape on the floor to do hopscotch or creating circles for their feet to jump on. Include the kids in the design and watch them up the ante on the difficulty. Celebrate each time they complete the course!

4. Scavenger Hunt

You’ve got quite a few options for this: Either you can create a list of things for the kids to find or use clues to describe the objects; you can hide specific objects; or if you have multiple kids stuck inside, they can come up with their own clues for each other! Pick a theme — things related to books or movies, summer fun items, things that start with the letter “L” or anything else you can dream up!

5. Write letters

When’s the last time your kids (or you) wrote a letter? There doesn’t have to be any special occasion to write a letter! Pick a grandma or aunt to send a thoughtful note to, or write to the White House, an admired author or sports celebrity! It’s on the must-do list for families anyway, so go ahead and spend some time together accomplishing something nice!

6. Bake-Off

Need an all-morning activity? Take some time to include your kids in a baking day! Have them pick out a recipe they’d like to make and run to the grocery store for the ingredients. Let them be in charge of looking at the list and locating where the items are in the store. Then, when you come home, it’s time to turn over the reins!

Bonus Tip: The kids will learn math and how to follow a recipe while honing their cooking skills and bonding during family time.

7. Beach Party

Sure, it’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be warm inside! Crank up that thermostat and throw on those swimsuits for an indoor beach party! Scour Pinterest for some homemade sand recipes (or use Play-Doh if you’re not quite so…adventurous). Fire up the barbecue grill for some summer burgers and hot dogs and play some Caribbean music in the background.

8. Indoor Picnic

Even if you’re not into the whole beach theme, you can still plan a pretty fun indoor picnic to pretend it’s at least springtime. Use a pretty picnic blanket (or any blanket, really) and include a picnic lunch packed in lunch bags. Allow the kids to set everything up and enjoy your time at the “park.”

9. Drive-In Movie Day

Turn a dreary day into a fun time at the movies! Have the kids pick out some of their favorites or rent a new movie to watch together. Break out all the blankets and set up the floor for a comfy area to spread out to watch movies on. Stay in your pajamas or not; we won’t tell!

Bonus Tip: Make a create-your-own popcorn bar and fill it with popcorn toppings like cheese, caramel, chocolate chips, candy-coated chocolates and anything else the kids may try!

10. Create-a-City

Do your kids like to play with cars and dolls? Give them some painter’s tape and tell them to make an entire town, complete with roads, throughout the house! Put the tape down to mimic streets for the cars to drive down or for the dolls to walk down, and pull out any crafts or toys to make houses, a school, stores and restaurants throughout the pretend city.

Goldfish Swim School

Interested in a more routine way to beat those winter blahs? Sign the kids up for swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School! Little ones ages 4 months and older can start swimming every week from instructors who display integrity, compassion and trust — while using up that energy and learning the 5 Top Benefits of Knowing How to Swim. 

 

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4 “It’s Winter” Excuses for Stopping Swim Lessons, Busted

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…but that isn’t a good enough excuse to take a break from swimming lessons for your kids! Believe us when we say that Goldfish Swim School is the perfect activity to keep the kids in all winter long. What better place than a warm, tropical pool is there when it’s freezing outside?

We know it’s tempting, but here are 4 “It’s Winter” Excuses for Stopping Swim Lessons, Busted:

1. It is too cold out.

It’s never cold inside at Goldfish Swim School! If you have a toddler or preschooler, you know the great feat that is bundling them up to go somewhere in the winter. It’s a lot of effort sometimes, but when they’re piling on the layers to head to swimming lessons, the struggle is well worth the reward! Why? Well, not only does swimming provide great health benefits and use up energy, but they’ll have a golden experience in a 90-degree pool environment — year-round! Swim lessons aren’t seasonal; neither is our thermostat. That means the water is always set at 90 degrees and the air temperature around the pool is also 90 degrees.

2. They’ll catch a cold.

Do you equate venturing out into the cold in the winter with catching a cold? Well, pulling the kids from swim lessons when the temperature drops isn’t actually helping. What helps keep kids healthy? Eating right and exercising! That’s right, bringing the kids to Goldfish Swim School every week for swimming lessons helps keep the colds away! Physical activity builds the immune system. Colds are from germs; when kids exercise and eat right, they’ll stay healthier. Oh, and Goldfish Swim School also has a few hair dryers for the kids to use after lessons — so there goes the thinking that going out with wet hair immediately brings on illness.

Wet hair and catching a cold are NOT reasons to let your kid quit swim lessons (neither are these).

3. I need to save money around the holidays.

Money is often tight around the holidays, which is understandable. You’re out buying loved ones some pretty fantastic gifts while looking for deals along the way — and you don’t want to just throw your money out the window, right? Well, taking a couple months off from swimming is pretty much just like tossing out your hard-earned dollars. All that time and money you’ve invested in swim lessons is gone when your kids take a “break” because they can lose progress. Invest in their lessons over the winter and watch them continue to get better and better, without having to repeat any lessons, which is always a good investment. (There are scientific benefits to swimming all year, too!)

4. They’ll pick up where they left off.

Think about it: When you’re learning a new skill and you take a break, it takes a little while when you start up again to regain your pre-break level. The same thing happens with kids if they take a break from swimming lessons. Eagerly anticipating extraordinary results? No one is going to come back from a winter of no swimming and suddenly celebrate and be a better swimmer than they were before — and they likely won’t even be at the same level they were before the break. The whole start, stop, start, stop routine is pretty inefficient, whether you’re dealing with swimming lessons, piano, tying shoes, etc. Why stop something that can save your child’s life?

Goldfish Swim School

Find a Goldfish Swim School location near you and enroll your kids for a fun-filled winter (and spring, summer and fall, too!). We have programs for kids ages 4 months and older, so sign up the whole family!

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The Importance of Repetition in Swimming

So you are watching your little one at swim class, week after week, and it looks like she’s doing the same thing without really learning anything. You may be getting a tad frustrated and rethinking this whole swimming lessons thing, since she’s not making progress. Let’s set the record straight: She’s learning the building blocks of swimming and increasing her strength, skill and stamina, little by little.

If you have kids, you know they tend to do the same things over and over again — especially when learning. First it’s drawing a straight line repeatedly; then a curved line; and then — magically — they’re writing definite letters. But actually, there’s nothing magical about it. They worked hard at mastering the little skills that all need to melt into place to write letters; things like holding a pencil and focusing on the task at hand. The exact same concept is seen when a kid is learning how to swim (or any other skill)!

I mean, you wouldn’t expect your kids to be writing full sentences on the second or third week of preschool, right? It takes a lot of work to master a new skill, whether it is writing, swimming or tying a shoelace.

Practice, practice, practice

When your little goldfish first starts swim lessons, you may be giddy over how quickly she becomes adept at acquiring new skills — such as putting her head in the water or kicking her feet (some of the 5 Skills Every Kid Should Know in the Water). But then it seems like she’s hit a plateau and she’s not making any progress, when in fact she really is.

Take it from Chris McCuiston, co-founder and CEO of Goldfish Swim School. Practicing the same skill over and over is key. “Doing the same movements each week, even though they may not display immense progress, is like tying a shoe – where one day it will click and they’ll be off!”

Why repetition is crucial

It’s common for infants to grow in leaps and bounds in their swim skills, but then appear to peter out around 3 or 4 years old (or even 5 or 6). However, that’s not really the case — they’re just being introduced to skills that are much more difficult and they’re working harder to attain them.

For instance, your preschooler may now be working on breath control. While it may look like she’s doing the exact same thing every week, she’s really making slight improvements and strengthening her core swimming fundamentals — which will help her greatly in the long run. You only see her gliding in the water, but last week she was gliding a length of three feet, while this week she’s gliding four feet…and next week she’ll be working on gliding along five feet. Celebrate those extraordinary results!

But there’s something even more important at play when it comes to repetition in swimming lessons, something that you may not be able to see: Confidence. Your little one is gaining confidence — in her abilities, in her instructor and in knowing what’s coming next. That’s WOW customer service at play: keeping your kids confident and continuing to grow!

Year-round swimming is important

Kids shouldn’t take a break from swim lessons in winter (or summer). Why? Because you want them to retain that confidence and continually build upon those skills they’re learning every week. The repetitiveness helps it become second nature — plus it’s important for muscle memory and all the physical aspects involved developmentally.

In addition, the Goldfish Swim School instructors use integrity, compassion and trust to make sure your kids are doing the right swim strokes every single time. They’re right there in the pool with your kids, refining those skills and giving those swimmers the most during that half-hour of physical activity. (Read about the Top 7 Benefits of Year-Round Swimming, Scientifically Speaking)

Sign up for lessons at Goldfish Swim School

Goldfish Swim School has plenty of locations, so find one near you and sign up your little one (age 4 months old and older!) for the golden experience of learning how to swim. Investing in a weekly 30-minute class is well worth it, all year long!

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Holiday Gift-Giving Guide: 5 Non-Toy Gifts for Kids

Buying toys for the kids can be a little overwhelming! There are so many options out there, and you may not know which ones they already have, which ones are “cool” and which ones are age-appropriate. And let’s be honest: The kids are already up to their shoulders with enough battery-operated doohickeys and hand-held devices to last them a lifetime (if they last that long, that is).

So, do something different this year! Choose something from our Holiday Gift-Giving Guide: 5 Non-Toy Gifts for Kids and everybody (including the kids AND you) will be happy!

1. Swim lessons

Buying a package of swim lessons (and other enriching experiences) is definitely a gift kids AND parents appreciate! Not only is swimming FUN, but it teaches a lifelong skill – along with these Top 5 Benefits of Knowing How to Swim (for Kids). We have special packages that include two months of lessons plus some fun goodies and family swim passes. Give us a call or stop by one of our many locations to give the gift of swimming to all the kids in the family!

2. The gift of reading

Reading is another lifelong skill that opens up a world of opportunities. Giving the gift of reading is great for ANY age, from birth to adulthood! Think about what interests the kids in your life have and then give them a book on the topic — maybe for the sports lover you can choose something about a great player, or a fiction story about baseball. But don’t focus only on books: A magazine subscription, comic books or even a newspaper subscription fits the bill, too. That may be just what the professed non-book reader needs to jump start a love of reading! Plus, reading is on our list of 10 Things Your Family Must Do Before Holiday Break!

3. Games

When’s the last time you played some games with the kids? Many times, a favorite memory is sitting around and playing board games with loved ones — so why not give a game night gift? (Another item from our 10 Things Your Family Must Do list!) Do a quick inventory if you can of games they have, then head to the toy aisle and take your pick. There’s something there for every age range — and if you need help, don’t hesitate to look for recommendations online.

4. Time together

The one thing that ALWAYS tops the charts is the gift of time. Sure, it may not come in a huge box with fancy packaging, but it’s definitely a golden experience that lasts a long time in memories. Stuck on what to do together? How about swimming?! We have family swim programs where everyone can spend time together splashing in our Goldfish Swim School pool (did we mention that it’s always kept at a balmy 90 degrees — and so is the air temperature?!). We’re here all year long, so it’s also a great excuse for something to do when winter has kept you inside and bored!

5. Dual-purpose learning activities

Things like puzzles, a chemistry set, craft kits, a telescope and other educational “toys” go a long way in teaching kids while still being fun! Plus, you will appreciate the brain-building activity to occupy the kids during times when they may whine about watching TV or playing on the computer instead. Celebrate those learning toys!

Goldfish Swim School

Our Holiday Gift-Giving Guide: 5 Non-Toy Gifts for Kids is another way to help in Raising Grateful Goldfish — because they’ll appreciate the gifts that give them so much more than just five minutes of plastic playtime. Find out more about Goldfish Swim School and how we provide WOW customer service through integrity, compassion and trust.

 

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