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Over the years I've invested a fair bit of time and money in trying to make sure my kids learn the vital life skill of swimming. A survey this year highlighted the fact that only 50% of primary school children in the UK actually can swim, in my area initiatives like free swimming for kids in the Summer are aiming to change that, building up confidence in the water is something a parent can do and, in my experience this item is one of the best things you can buy to do that. These dive sticks are the main reason my eldest daughter got over her fear of putting her face in the water, after playing with them solidly in a pool on holiday for a week the difference in her confidence was amazing - she was a real mermaid by the end of the week! I really think these dive sticks, which can be purchased in packs of 3 and 4 are a real investment.
We paid around £10 for our pack. The sticks come in a handy carry pouch that we will be slipping into our suitcase on holiday again this year. The sticks themselves are hollow and made of a flexible rubber. Despite lots of use in pools indoor and out over the time we have owned them there is no sign of perishing or fading - they look exactly as pictured above.
Zoggs say this toy is for the confident swimmer, they are stage 3 by their scale which goes from 1 (baby) to 3. There's no reason a learner couldn't be encouraged to hold and throw the toy in my opinion, this is exactly how my daughters started out playing with these. Once thrown they will sink slowly, thanks to the little holes in the shaft of the toy that lets air and water in and out. The foot of the seal is weighted so the seal once at the bottom of the pool stays upright, it's perfect for the purposes of being sought out and grabbed by a child, and the stick is exactly the right diameter for small hands. There are all kinds of games you can play with them, be it competitive hunting or having to pick up the sticks in a colour sequence. The design both appeals to children and is fitting for a swimming toy - I think the little silver goggles that the seals have on are a nice touch and reinforce the message that goggles are a good plan if you are going to be diving underwater. Because the sticks are quite flexible there is no chance that a child could harm another child with one - mine have yet to have any sword battles with these but it could happen!
The dive sticks really are a simple item - what you see is what you get here, a small ruler length stick with a seal head - but the play possibilities are fantastic and the sticks really do enable to learn through play. The sticks can be a little expensive - currently a pack of four is £8.99 on amazon but the rrp is £18.40, but they really are a quality item that you will only have to buy once. Ours will be one of the first things we pack in our small cases this Summer, I really wouldn't want to be without them, the kids love them and they've been a real hit.
Dive to find Zoggy and his friends with the Zoggs Seal Dive sticks game.Set of 4 dive sticks with flexible soft tube construction for safety.Dive and retrieve the most to win.