Despite staying in the hotel a few years ago I hadn't actually visited the water park until last weekend. Water parks are not usually my kind of thing so it hadn't really appealed to me before but it's one of those things I think that, when you have children, you grow to love....or at least to appreciate.
It's definitely not the place to go if you want a nice relaxing swim. With water pouring over you pretty much everywhere you go you can't even be afraid of getting your hair wet. It is inevitable.
Charles is a pretty confident swimmer anyway now thanks to his swimming lessons so the only swimming aid we had for him was a float. He also wore his Vorgee goggles and took along his dive sticks.
The Konfidence Dive Sticks (DiveStiks) are made from soft, flexible Neoprene and sink to sit on the pool floor ready to be collected.
The dive sticks are all numbered so if you wanted to play a game with them where the "collector" wins points then this is an easy way to do that.
Harry is used to wearing arm bands in the swimming pool, and with the Konfidence swim jacket we had no need for the arm bands for this swim. I wondered if the reassurance of the armbands would make Harry hesitant to get into the water, however, being used to wearing a life jacket on the boat may have helped him to accept that this was enough to keep him safe and to keep him afloat.
I have to say, I genuinely was amazed at just how good the swim jacket is. As he first went into the water Harry was a little apprehensive and did cling to us. Within 5 minutes, if that, he was asking us to let go because he could "do it himself" and we watched as his little legs kicked furiously under the water and a smile beamed across his face.
It was a really busy day and we were grateful for the bright colours on the swim jacket because of this! A couple of times we would be separated, only for a couple of seconds but enough to make us panic a little, and knowing we just had to look out for the bright yellow and blue made it so much easier.
The swim jacket also meant Harry was able to enjoy the children's slide in the smaller pool. Usually he would rely on us to catch him at the bottom but he was able to go down the slide knowing that he was (reasonably) safe when he hit the water.
Of course I'm not saying that this jacket means you can go for a swim of 4 or 5 lengths and leave your child to it. But it gives you the chance to be hands free and to enjoy swimming with your child, and helps them to gain independence and confidence in the water.
The swim jacket kept Harry upright, but also gave him the flexibility to move around and didn't restrict him at all, which we find arm bands can do.
Currently priced at £22.99 the swim jackets are an essential item for children and are available for ages 1-7 years. I just wish we'd discovered them sooner.
We made a little video whilst at Splash Landings, which you can see below. (Please appreciate the music choice, I'm particularly proud of that)
We were given weekend tickets and an overnight stay at Alton Towers as well as a range of items from Konfidence as part of our Swimologist role.