When summer ended, I had a hard time explaining to my kids why we couldn’t spend any more time at the pool — especially my two-year-old! She fell in love with the “big pool” this summer and she proved it with her fearlessness near the water. So needless to say, my mommy nerves were so grateful when I learned of Bear Paddle Swim School (website) and their year-round, indoor swim lessons!
When I told my daughter we were going swimming, she ran into her room and dug out her swimsuit. We showed up to the Oakley Station location a few minutes before her lesson, since I really had no idea what to expect. We were warmly greeted as we walked in, filled out a quick form and were given a tour.
Bear Paddle is set up to make the swim lesson experience easy and fun! There is a family changing area with individual changing rooms (two have changing stations!), shower rooms and plenty of lockers. There are swimsuit dryers and a “kid wash,” that’s just like a car wash! The pool is divided into sections, and when you arrive, you’re told which section you’ll have your lesson.
The 30-minute lesson was filled with individualized, level appropriate activities. Because my daughter is only two, I got to hop in the warm, salt-water pool with her and we had a blast. Coach Jake was wonderful with the little ones — he used their individual names many times, and was silly, encouraging and patient. My daughter was nervous at first and did not like putting her face in the water, but he didn’t skip a beat and handled it very well.
Water safety is so important to me, as our family loves to swim. I taught myself how to swim as a child and became a lifeguard as a teenager, so I always knew I wanted my kids to properly learn how to swim and be safe in the water. Bear Paddle is a welcoming environment, with trained instructors and small class sizes, so each child is comfortable, yet challenged, during each lesson. I was so impressed with the level of engagement and love that children can advance at their own pace!
Bear Paddle Swim School (website) has locations conveniently in Oakley and Mason, and you can begin lessons at any time. Call to schedule a free swim assessment, and suit up for some swimming fun!
A native Cincinnatian, Andrea has experienced life in all four corners of this city. After growing up on the west side, she headed north to attend Miami University, then moved east to Hyde Park and now lives in Northern Kentucky with her family.
When she’s not playing trains and doing the “hot dog dance” as a stay-at-home mom to her two toddlers, Andrea is busy writing for Cincinnati publications and sites. With a newfound passion for fitness and overall health, she spends a lot of time at her family gym and loves to play outside.
Andrea worked in education for several years and has a special love for children’s literature. She loves showing her children all our city has to offer and enjoys sharing her finds with other parents. Her favorite spots include the Cincinnati Zoo (although she steers clear of the bird house), her local library and any playground.