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.

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