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.



Hersheypark 4-pack of TWO DAY Tickets GIVEAWAY #SweetestMoms

Today is THE DAY! Can you smell the scent of chocolate in the air?

I can!

As a #Sweetestmom for 2018 I’m excited and honored to be able to gift one lucky And Her Little Dog Too reader a 4-pack of TWO DAY tickets to Hersheypark!!

Yes, that’s right – the winner will receive 8 Hersheypark tickets!

I’d suggest one way to use these tickets would be to spend two days in Hershey – that way you can really soak in all the chocolate-covered fun.  Use the first 4 tickets to spend the day at Hersheypark and ZooAmerica {which is included with your Hersheypark ticket!}, then use the second 4 tickets the next day for water fun at the Boardwalk inside Hersheypark!

The winner can use the tickets however + whenever you want {in 2018!}, and I’m here to help answer any questions about planning your trip there if you want!

Enter to Win:

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 next Tuesday, June 12th – my Birthday! As a little birthday treat, I’ll announce the winner then!

 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.




Video: Summer at Hersheypark: Boardwalk Favorites Rides + Slides {for Kids 4 and Under!}

I hope you have been enjoying my Springtime in Hershey video from earlier this week. I know its sort of crazy to post a Springtime immediately followed by a Summer in Hershey video – but we visited a month apart and the spring doesn’t last long around here!

Today I put together a video from our visit last week which includes our first experience at The Boardwalk at Hersheypark. Last summer when we got to Hersheypark it stormed and we weren’t able to enjoy the water fun, but all that changed this time, and I’m so happy we FINALLY got to experience it!

This video primarily highlights the water fun, along with some new rides for kids 4 and under – my boys are 4.5 {Brooks} and almost 3 {Graham}. Rides and experiences for the younger kids are one of my absolute FAVORITE things that Hersheypark does so well. We have been to Hershey a ton in the past year and I can honestly say that we still haven’t done all the things for young kids – we are constantly on the hunt to cross more and more off our list each visit.

It’s basically the perfect park because there is literally endless entertainment for kids + adults, all.day.long! I am trying to see if I can get up there without the kids to have some mama fun on my own – it’s been a while since I’ve been on an actual ride!

Here’s a look at all the fun we had at The Boardwalk at Hersheypark, check it out and let me know what you think!

As a little extra treat, I will be launching a Hersheypark GIVEAWAY FOR 8 TICKETS tomorrow on And Her Little Dog Too! I wanted to launch my Spring + Summer videos before posting the giveaway, so you can check out all the fun.

The tickets will be good for Hersheypark, Zoo America + The Boardwalk at Hersheypark – the 8 tickets are perfect for a family of 4 to use over 2 days {so you cam maximize all the fun!} and can be used for any dates before the end of 2018.

Come back TOMORROW to enter to win + be sure to get a head start by following along on my social channels:

YouTube And Her Little Dog Too / YouTube Leslie Brinkley / Instagram  / Facebook 


VIDEO: Springtime in Hersheypark, All the Kid Friendly Rides, Chocolate World + a Hersheypark Giveaway Coming TOMORROW!

It’s Hershey Week here at And Her Little Dog Too! As a part of this year’s Sweetest Moms for Hershey, PA I’ve been lucky enough to visit The Sweetest Place on Earth a BUNCH of times over the past year with my family. Each time gets better and better – especially as the boys get bigger! Hershey has quickly become their favorite place – EVER, and I have to admit, it’s one of mine too! We always have such a blast as a family and are constantly discovering new things to do.

I created a video from our last visit, about a month ago – during the Spring. We had no plans on a random Saturday and decided to pick up and go to Hersheypark to meet up with some friends. It turned out to be the most perfect day – the weather was perfect, the crowds were light and the boys got to go on all their favorite rides.

Here’s a look at our Springtime fun in Hersheypark in May, check it out and let me know what you think:

Almost a month later, the day after Brooks’ last day of school – I asked him what he wanted to do on his first day of Summer. His request: “Hersheypark!” 

Tomorrow I’ve got another fun video with a look at our time at The Boardwalk area in Hershey {all the water fun!} plus some new rides too…along with a GIVEAWAY! 

I’ve got FOUR Hersheypark Tickets to giveaway to my fabulous readers – that is going live TOMORROW, but if you want to get a head start, follow along these social channels:

YouTube And Her Little Dog Too / YouTube Leslie Brinkley / Instagram 

And here’s a look at some other fun from our Springtime in Hershey:

outfit details:  top / denim / sunglasses  / jewels 

King Size Shake: perfect for sharing!

post Chocolate World Treat? the new Cookie Layer Crunch!

The Lemonade at Hersheypark is a MUST HAVE.



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