Swimming in The School Holidays with Multiple Toddlers

Swimming is an activity that everyone enjoys – right? It was the activity of choice this week when we wanted to get out of the house for a few hours. We had a 10 year old, 2 toddlers and a 4 month old. What could possibly go wrong?

Here are my top tips for swimming, in the school holidays, with multiple toddlers:

  1. Complete a fully child-wide nappy check before you leave this house. Inevitably one child will have done a poo. The parent of this child may feel frustrated at the change and delay, however they have in fact won the nappy lottery as there is now little risk of their little darling performing in the pool.
  2. Have at least one toddler announce as you pull into the carpark that he “doesn’t want to go swimming now”, despite being excited all morning the run up to it. It really adds some excitement to the day. This works best as they get older and their level of stubbornness increases.
  3. Arrive when the swimming pool opens under the assumption it will be quiet. Realise upon arrival that this is the time that the kids clubs hit the pool. Find yourself surrounded by hundreds of small people only being supervised by a handful of adults.
  4. Discover the Happy Nappy of the smallest child does not fit as he has rudely had a growth spurt. It is VERY IMPORTANT that this is not the same child who delivered during item one, otherwise the game of poo roulette is ruined. Decide to risk just a plain swim nappy and cross your fingers.
  5. To really mix things up continue to panic that the same child’s swimming costume might not fit now either. The one you are banking on being an additional potential poo barrier. Breathe sigh of relief when it is fine.
  6. Try to buy flume tickets for the lone 10 year old in an effort to keep her amused. Discover you didn’t read the info online properly (or at all) and that the flumes don’t open until midday.
  7. Make sure the adult to toddler ratio is even, and then realise all toddlers want to just hang on to Granny leaving at least one parent redundant and wishing they were at home having a nap.
  8. Have at least one toddler who doesn’t like having his face wet. Splash him a bit to show him its ok. Pass him to Granny who doesn’t know about the wet face issue and will dunk him under the water. Ear plugs for the crying are optional.
  9. In an ideal world all children will want to leave the pool at separate times, ensuring no one gets to shower in peace.
  10. Time leaving the pool with the change over of kids club groups. This way you get the fun of battling through out of control children while carrying a slippery and potentially wriggly child.
  11. Once dressed, retreat to a cafe or seating area with one or two children. Provide snacks to keep them still – have no shame in buying an ice cream when your crisps are finished just to make life easier (plus you wanted one).After Swimming Snack
  12. Have someone – a Grandparent is ideal – hang around in the pool with any straggler kids way past the agreed time. Make sure they don’t come out before it is past lunch time and everyone is a bit stroppy. Rush home and eat left over pancakes for lunch because you can’t be bothered to think of anything else.

I hope these tips help you with your foray into school holiday swimming. If you have any additional advice to offer please add it in the comments.

32 thoughts on “Swimming in The School Holidays with Multiple Toddlers”

  1. Haha love it, sounds like quite the experience! Brining Granny along to take the flak is definitely tip of the day.

  2. Mindful Mummy Mission

    Ha ha – yes this is a puzzle that it’s not easy to solve – I have 18 month old twins and a 5 year old that is okay in the pool but not really competent by himself… #thelist

  3. This sounds like quite an eventful trip to the pool! I can imagine it must have been a bit fraught when the kids club arrived. I find swimming a bit overwhelming with the noise and heat etc. The last time we went my daughters happy nappy was too small, I was worried her legs would turn blue. Plus her wetsuit didn’t really fit her, but we made do. Drinks and snacks after a must, why does swimming bring on hunger, and dont worry about the ice cream. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    1. It really is an ordeal to go at times, but the kids love it and that makes it worth it! We’re all off on holiday in a few months and we want all the kids to be confident in the pool so regular swimming in the run up is a must! I’m not sure if the ice cream was for the kids or for me….. I definitely ate the most in the end haha

    1. It is pretty manic but the kids love it – I find it much easier to laugh about it than to get wound up! It also means they are shattered that afternoon and are liable to take naps and/or sit quietly. Winner!

  4. This is brilliant laughed all the way though this fantastic post Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky please come back next week

    1. It rude when the sprigs grow isn’t it? it would be much more convenient if they just stayed the same size!

  5. Very funny!!!
    Wow I struggle taking just one stroppy 3 year old sometimes! Rather than not coordinating with kids clubs, might I recommend scheduling a swim just before the OAP lunchtime swim. This works really well as they are usually so old they can’t remember how stubborn the little darlings can be. They tut a lot at how much space you need and if your child is crying they just look horrified as they desperately try to pull on their modest swimwear!


    1. Before the OAP session would be perfect! But this is a big pool with flumes, rapids and a wave machine so not many OAPs go haha Not that we use those bits with the little ones either though!

  6. Oh god we did this trip yesterday and it’s like you where there. I had The Hub with we though and i wish now i stayed at home and just let him get on with it. From The Baby pointing toward the exit and shouting “out” every two minutes to The Kid jumping in right next to her which sets her off all over again. Joke! This post should be pinned to every summer holiday planning now! #chucklemums

  7. Nappy Roulette oh boy yes!!! I remember the Twins when tiny and our attempts to get to the pool, get in the pool, freeze after 15 mins, leave the pool and try to dress wriggling damp skinned kids! What fun!! At least I have just one this time around and the Twins now 10 ate always eager to help out! #chucklemums

    1. Oh man I couldn’t imagine it with twins! I definitely had the easy option as Piglet is the youngest at least!

  8. This sounds like so much fun! My husband has just booked us in to toddler swim over the summer. I can’t wait. And yes, the sh!t in the pool roulette is always a fun game to play… thanks for playing with #chucklemums!

    1. It was a lot of fun – the kids loved it anyway! I’m booked in to start swimming lessons with Piglet after summer so I get the joys of the pool every week haha

  9. Oh no! This sounds horrendous! Very funny when you write it down though. I must admit that I really hate going swimming, it’s one of my least favourite activities for all the reasons you’ve listed! Thanks for joining us at the #bigpinklink

  10. Those little b*****d squirty things are always popular with my son…sitting in a puddle being squirted at directly in the eyeball is always a winner.

  11. Oh god swimming! I have two toddlers & I dread it & therefore do not do it as often as I should! I actually love swimming as an activity, but then swimming with small children does not involve any swimming! I hate swimming pools & especially changing rooms, though, & the changing rooms are so much more hellish with toddlers & babies!

    Thanks so much for linking up with #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time!

  12. Do you know…. every so often I get a bit broody…. thanks for the reminder of the multi tasking ‘fun’ of having teeny people, before my rose tinted mother of a 10 and 12 year old glasses got me in to trouble erm literally ha 😉

    Thanks for linking up to #Picknmix

    Stevie x

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