* Prices may differ from that shown
This is a review of Zoggs' dive sticks.
~~~ The back story ~~~
My love of swimming stemmed from regular lessons from the age of four and water activities I experienced growing up in Australia. I have always swam whenever possible, have a pool at home, and have a three year old daughter who has been having lessons since she was five months old.
Our daughter is turning into a fish, and also loves to be in the pool day and night. Hence we have needed to find a wide variety of pool toys, floats and swim accoutrements to keep her and us amused.
Zoggs is an Australian company, which originally made goggles and then expanded into selling related items. They sell several items that are designed to build confidence in water, including these dive sticks.
They four dive sticks come in their own storage case that is partially coloured in Zoggs' trademark blue and partially clear. Each stick is a different colour - blue, green, red or yellow - and designed to replicate a seal. Each stick has a long, straight middle, a head and a pair of feet. They are 14 x 4 x 19cm, weigh 300 grams and according to the website are made of phthalate-free Dinch with a zinc metal weight inside. (Dinch is some kind of food-grade plasticizer used in manufacturing toys. In this case, it's the covering for the metal component of the dive stick.)
~~~ My experience and thoughts ~~~
These Zoggs dive sticks have been in regular use in our home swimming pool since we bought them three months ago.
We'd bought these at the same time as buying a replacement set of dive rings. We were particularly interested in these sticks (along with the accompanying rings) as apparently it can take a very long time for children to acquire the skill of swimming to the bottom of the pool and then returning to air. We realised that the more frequently she practiced, the faster our daughter would (or at least should) learn this skill
All three of us use these rings however our daughter uses them most. She loves to throw these dive sticks into the shallow (3') end and then try to duck dive or "swim" downwards to pick up the sticks. (I write "swim" as at this stage she is still learning to swim underwater.)
Millie never seems to get sick of playing with these sticks. She's currently in an imaginative play stage of her life, so we often have to pretend that each of the sticks are member of The Fresh Beat Band or are various wild animals or one of the H20 mermaids...I'm sure that you get the picture! These sticks have certainly helped with her water confidence.
Finally, these sticks seem to be a good weight and are easy to see and pick up under water. They are soft enough not to damage our pool. They have lasted well so far. We usually store them with a number of other pool things in a dry, shady place.
Available from ASDA for £9.50 (July 2013).
My son has recently enjoyed swimming, and our friends have began taking our little one swimming at their gym on a saturday morning.
For his birthday they bought him a snazzy new swimsuit with built in floats. They also bought him this zoggs seal set, which he raved about my friend going and retrieving for him as he threw them in the pool.
These 4 seal sticks come in their own clear plastic case with navy blue stitching and zip. Each seal has a different colour and stands about 18cm tall. They have 2 feet/flippers that are together,and a long thin straight body coloured either green, purple yellow or red.. These cute blue seals have goggles on and are made of PVC with a stainless steel weight inside to make them sink.
The idea of the game is to throw these little water lovlies into the pool and be the first to retrieve one. At 3, my son doesnt really understand this concept, and wearing a float around his waist would mae it very difficult for him to retrieve anything from the water, but he certainly had fun throwing them for our friends to retrieve!!
Zoggs themselves understandibly say that these should not be used in very shallow water for the obvious reason of injury, and could be a little heavy if thrown at someone, silly toddlers!!
These are suitable for those 3 years and up, and the older the betterto understand the concept more appropriatley.
In general a great little toy, maybe more appropriate for kiddies a little older.
4/5 for me!
Zoggs Dive Sticks are swimming pool toys designed to help children to swim underwater. They're soft, brightly coloured, cylindrical sticks maybe eight inches long and just under an inch in diameter. The construction is slightly odd - they have soft plastic 'ends' on - like the ends of a majorette baton - and the main part of the stick is sort of squishy plastic (it feels like a thick layer of plastic filled with fluid or gel of some type). I suppose the softness is deliberate so that the sticks won't damage the tiles when they sink to the bottom of a public swimming pool: you can get into a lot of trouble dropping things that aren't soft onto the bottom of a public swimming pool, as I learned aged seven, when I washed up a nice big rock from out of the field outside our house and took it swimming so I'd have something to fetch off the bottom. I was hauled up by the resident lifeguard for this almost immediately (and they confiscated the big rock too, which had nice sparkly quartz pieces in it, so I thought that was a bit unfair really).
Since you can't drop rocks into swimming pools and yet it's useful, in terms of learning how to swim underwater if kids can have something to fetch off the bottom, over the years there've been a number of variations on the Dive Sticks theme: it used to be dense, coloured rubbery little hoops they threw in but now I suppose the latest thing is these.
We tried these out at a hotel pool during the half term when they had some communal ones out for everyone to use. You chuck them in the water and they sink to the bottom at a nice, non-urgent pace. My five year old daughter immediately wanted a set - but as they cost £10 for FOUR I thought that was a bit steep. Especially since she has this lizard (£2 out of 'The Entertainer' toy shop) made out of that weird super-stretchy, rubbery plastic that can go in the pool and do exactly the same job as a Dive Stick - ie. sink to the bottom of the pool for her to swim down to retrieve.
They were selling packs of Dive Sticks at the pool: they come in a little clear, plastic wallet (like you buy felt-tip pens in) and I thought it was a bit of a rip-off, given the price, that the Dive Sticks didn't even come with eg. even a little el-cheapo drawsting bag or something that could be used to keep the set all together once they were out of the frankly, temporary-storage-solution-looking original plastic wallet.
Zoggs Dive Sticks are a handy swim training product that can be used to help children both young and old build up their confidence in the water. We bought a set of these, as we thought they were such a great little product that could really help when children or adults are getting used to being in water and learning to swim.
They can be bought in both Argos or Tesco at the moment, although they are also widely sold by other retailers. Our set of Zoggs Dive Sticks cost £9.95 for the full set of 4 and they have proven to be great fun for children to use, whilst also teaching them how to deal with being under water for short periods of time safely.
Our set came in a neat blue and clear plastic mixed case. The case contained 4 of the Zoggs Dive Sticks. Each dive stick is modelled to look like a small slim seal, wearing swim googles. The sticks are weighted so that when you throw or place them into the water they will stay down, so that you can dive or dip under the water to rescue them.
Each little seal dive stick has a different colour and we found this to be very handy. The seal dive sticks come in red, blue, yellow and pale green shades. They look like they are wearing long coloured straight jackets with nothing but their heads and feet showing. They are shaped this way so that they are easy for a child or adult to grip onto, when rescuing them from the murky depths of the local pool.
When we first began to use the Zoggs Dive Sticks we just used them in very shallow water, which meant you only had to bob under with your hands to get them. As time went on we placed them slightly deeper so that you would have to bob under the water very slightly to rescue the little seal dive sticks.
As confidence was built up we placed them further into deeper water and began to use them in a colour coded system that was easy for our child to understand. This was very helpful and allowed us to teach our child not to be afraid of the water and build up the confidence to at first bob under and later dive under the water to rescue the Zoggs Dive Sticks.
During the later stages when our child was confident enough to swim and dive for the Zoggs Dive Sticks, we used these in a way that related to the colour of each stick. As in, when using the blue stick, this was always placed in the shallower end of the pool as a starting point. The green stick was placed slightly deeper. The yellow stick meant a short dive under the water to rescue the seal dive stick and red stick was placed deeper still to enable a much longer dive.
The Zoggs Dive Sticks being made of a strong and durable yet soft and flexible rubberized material, meant that they didn't absorb extra weight from being under water and were easy to wash and dry and put away, ready for their next trip to the pool. We stored them in the carry case they came in.
The Zoggs Dive Sticks may seem pricey at near enough £10 per pack, but as a way of giving extra confidence to young swimmers in the water, they are priceless. They can be used in the pool at home too (if deep enough) with supervision and can also be packed into hand luggage and taken on holiday to be used when swimming with family members.
We have found the Zoggs Dive Sticks to be really handy to have. Who would have thought such a simple little idea could be so helpful and also lots of fun. As with any such item they do need to be used wisely and are not something that should be used without correct supervision. In terms of rating the dive sticks, I feel they should get a 5 star rating as we have found them to be a great confidence booster.
Once my children had become confident in the water I purchased these seal dive sticks for them to play with in the pool. We also used the seal flip overs by Zoggs and found them great so decided to buy these ones next.
I bought them from our local leisure centre and they were £10.00 for 4 dive sticks although you can probably get them cheaper from sports shops. The dive sticks come in 4 colours- red, purple, yellow and green and each one has the head and flippers of a seal. The stick isn't long, probably about 8-10 inches in length and is only narrow so it is easy to grab onto.
The middle of the dive stick is made out of a soft squeezy plastic so it is very lightweight and durable and there is a hole in the bottom of each tube for water to go in so it will sink easily. The water is released by simply holding the stick upright above the water.
The aim of these dive sticks is to throw them into the water, wait for them to sink and then swim downto the bottom of the pool to collect them. This can be played either as a competition or on your own. The bright colours of the sticks means they are easy to find under the water and once they have water inside them they will not move along the pool floor because of other movements in the water.
These dive sticks are loved by my kids, they always bring them to the pool and on holidays. They take up no room in the swim bag either.
They are great for building confidence in the water. If the child doesn't want to put their face in the water then they can reach them with their feet until their confidence levels have grown. They are also good for practising diving as the kids have something to aim for. It gives the child good practice in holding their breath.
I would recommend these to anyone who has children that love to play in the pool. They don't realise that they are practising their swimming techniques when they are!
I first used Zoggs seal dive sticks in my son's swimming lessons when he was in the toddler group of water babies. As I was no longer able to take my son swimming I purchased a pack of these so that I would be able to continue to teach him continuing on from what he had learnt in the lessons.
The dive sticks come in a pack of four and come in four different colours: yellow, orange, purple and green. Each has a seal blue seal head on the top wearing a pair of goggles and a long coloured stick with what appears to be a blue tail although it looks more like a foot with four toes. They are made of a soft plastic which is slightly bendable but not floppy.
The aim of these sticks is to throw them in the pool then the child will dive after them. This encourages the child to look under the water, and encourages those more apprehensive about putting their head underwater to swim with a distraction. These sticks remain vertical when they sink so does make it easy to see and even on the bottom remain upright so children can easily retrieve.
My son took about three lessons before he got the idea once he did he absolutely loved it. He finds it easy to hold and throw. He would then dive and retrieve it despite been only two and a half years of age. I now take my son swimming on a weekly basis and I don't take it every week as I want it to continue to have the novelty value. He proudly will show it off to anyone who will listen and on the weeks I take it will spend time practising his diving. When my son gets bored I found could pick these up with my feet which are handy whether you have a learner swimmer in your arms or simply don't want to get your hair wet.
.When he first started swimming under water he would search for me so these sticks require more focus. I do feel that this has helped both his diving skills and his confidence under the water.
These sticks are available from a wide range of sports stores and are currently available at Kiddicare fro £8.95. Zoggs do recommend that these are suitable for children three years old and while there are no small parts for choking hazards I imagine that most children under three would not have the necessary skills to start diving.
I have owned this set for about three months and they have been thrown in the bottom of the swimming bag and generally thrown around but looks like new so this is certainly a product that both my son and I would recommend
I am a swimming teacher and I work on a one to one basis with children and also teach small groups from the poolside. These dive sticks are an invaluable tool to me the children love to find these in the water and they encourage them to venture deeper than they would normally go or they encourage submersion in beginners. With older children they make a great contrasting activity at the end of a session in which you can teach surface dives and dives from the side. Although there are different sorts of dive sticks available these ones are really the best as they are colourful and are easily seen and also for little ones the seals can make it easier for them to create characters and stick to their own colour. I would say that if you are a parent who is teaching their own child be careful as many pools will not allow the use of dive sticks unless in a fun session ..... check at you local pool first.
Zoggs Seal dive sticks are used by many children to add fun to their swimming sessions. The main aim is to increased children's confidence going underwater to retrieve these sticks. Yes, when I was young we had to dive for bricks so these are a much welcome improvement.
What are they?
In the pack you get four different coloured sticks (red, green, yellow and purple). They have a head of a seal wearing goggles. They are weighted so when you throw them in the pool they will sink to bottom and stand upright ready for a child to pick up and collect. They aren't too heavy so are easy to pop in your swimming bag and will be ok for children to collect. They are made of plastic. The main stick is not slippy so easy to get hold of.
Who are they for?
The age says 3+ (as do most children's toys) but my little one as enjoyed playing with them since he could walk. He likes throwing them in the shallow water (up to his knees) then going to collect them. Great for older children to dive in and collect. Widely used in swimming lessons.
Price and availability
I got mine for £9.99 from Tesco but are widely available (including Amazon). One tip is lots of children have these so you may want to mark yours to distinguish them from others.
I would imagine they are good for hoildays and leisure pools but some pools might not allow toys so check before buying for your child to take to their local pool. At £10 they are not cheap but they are durable and would have good resale value on ebay I would imagine.
If your child loves swimming I would definately recommend them.