Have you met our mascot, Bubbles?! You may have seen him in pictures on our social media pages, or even in person at your local Goldfish or in your own community at special events. Bubbles is a bright orange Goldfish that brings joy and smiles to kiddos (and parents!) everywhere he goes! He’s the fun-loving face of Goldfish Swim School, and a fintastic part of what makes Goldfish, GOLDFISH!
Though you may know Bubbles, you may not know that he has four very special sea creature friends! Each of these friends help represent different feelings that swimmers (and parents!) may have, and were designed to be a tool in helping ease swimmers’ minds and get them excited about diving into our shiver-free water for swim lessons - after all, swim lessons are supposed to be fun! So fun that we built our curriculum around the idea that swim lessons should be fun and educational; it’s what we call The Science of SwimPlay®! We utilized what we know about The Science of SwimPlay®, combined this with extensive research and the help of our pediatrician friend Dr. Molly O’Shea, and neuropsychologist Dr. Sarah Murray, PHD, and created characters that will help put kiddos and parents minds at ease. Swim along with us to meet each of Bubbles’ friends and get to know what makes each of them unique!
Jitt the Pufferfish
Jitt represents one of the common emotions swimmers can have before starting swim lessons - maybe some nerves, maybe the jitters (get it?!)...but in a word, anxiety. Separation anxiety is the most prevalent type of anxiety disorder in kiddos under age 12, but Goldfish - with a little collaboration from our friend, psychologist Jeanette von Grabe, MA, LLPC - can help! By understanding the signs and symptoms, being prepared with coping skills and techniques, and utilizing our friend Jitt, we can help little ones gain confidence in the pool!
Jitt feels some pretty big emotions, and when his feelings get really big, he puffs right up! Luckily, Bubbles is always there to let Jitt know that it’s okay to be a little nervous, and that all he has to do is take a deep breath, focus on a goal, and give lessons a good ol’ fashioned try! Jitt just needs a little extra support and encouragement - like some of our swimmers! And we totally get it! Some kiddos are worried about leaving their parents in the viewing gallery, spending time with new people, being in the water for the first time, going underwater - it can be intimidating! We want each and every swimmer to have a Golden Experience, so our crew is always alongside Jitt, and our swimmers, with kind words, big smiles, lots of celebrating, and encouragement to take deep breaths and ease away those nervous jitters. We of course want kids to learn to be safer in and around the water, but we also want to help kiddos feel comfortable, have fun and build a love and respect for the water!
Lulu the Octopus
Lulu represents one of the things we like to emphasize with our swimmers - repetition! After all, practice makes progress! There are so many (like, as many legs as an octopus!) benefits of repeating swim skills, like strengthening connections in kiddos’ brains, improving confidence, and building muscle memory! Though repetition may seem a little boring to a parent watching from the viewing gallery, it’s helping swimmers develop the skills they need to be safer in and around the water. Think of it like when a kiddo rewatches their favorite movie over and over. Though as a parent, we may get more than enough of hearing the same songs and same lines, but with each play, kiddos are learning more and more, and retaining what they are watching! As for pool time, it’s not the number of skills they work through, it’s the repetition of each skill that leads to lots of pool progress!
Freeya the Dolphin
Freeya - or as we like to call her, Little Miss Go-with-the-Flow - helps represent teacher turnover - aka, the change in swim instructors as they change roles or move on to their next career adventure. Though swimmers may have some doubts about swimming with a new teacher, it’s all a part of a swimmer’s journey! Freeya knows so, too! She remains cool, calm and collected, and is a great example for teaching kids that change is a good thing. It allows kiddos to have new experiences, new adventures, and to learn new things!
A new swim instructor means the opportunity for kiddos to form a new relationship and learn from a teacher that may have a different style of teaching the same great skills. And it’s all a smooth transition! Each of our teachers are trained on our Science of SwimPlay® curriculum, so they are ready to pick up where the last instructor left off. They even have the help of our digital skill evaluations, that keep our instructors up-to-date with a kiddos progress.
Teaching children that change can be good can help them make waves in life! Flexibility is an important component of mental health, so children who learn to adapt to change can manage the challenges that they’ll face later with resilience. We’re committed to helping parents raise healthy, happy and holistic little humans - new teacher, new friend, no problem!
Sloan the Turtle
Sloan helps the gang by representing 30-minute swim lessons.
Did you know that children’s average attention span is 3-5 minutes per year of the child’s age?! That means that a 2 year old has, on average, a 6-10 minute attention span, a 4 year old will likely pay attention for 12-20 minutes, and a 6 year old will likely top out at 18-30 minutes. Neurons get tired, and need to reset through rest.
With that in mind, each of our weekly lessons are 30 minutes long, and boy do swimmers learn lots in that time! Our swim lessons are the perfect length of time for swimmers to work through swim skills, socialize with other kiddos their age, and learn from one another in the water. They give children something to look forward to each week, while helping them build their endurance and stamina, and helping them see progress in a timeframe that works best for them! Odds are, your kiddo will be working up an appetite, and some swimmers even fall asleep on the ride home. Think about how much you can do around the house if your little one is entertained for 30-minutes… Now picture how much a swimmer can learn in the pool in that amount of time! Though lessons may go by fast, time flies when you’re having fun!
Bubbles and his friends were created with therapists and pediatricians' help and advice, to assure kiddos and parents that everything we do here at Goldfish is proven and purposeful, leads to lots of celebration-worthy progress, and helps children make big waves in life!
Learn more about swim lessons, and meet Bubbles for yourself at your local Goldfish Swim School!