Ogival Water Wings – Swimming Arm Bands for 2 Year Olds

Gareth loves water. He goes nuts every time there is an opportunity to play in water. When we were staying at a hotel, his favourite place was in the bathroom where the bath tub was. During our recent trip down to Singapore, the first thing he did when he got into the room was run into the toilet and climb into the bath tub fully clothed.

Although I initially bought him a neck float in an effort to teach him to swim, he quickly outgrew the usefulness of the neck float. After a while, he didn’t enjoy wearing it any more so we ended up “carrying” him in the water since he was too young to use arm bands and he didn’t like the ring floats or those baby floats that he had to sit in. “Carrying” him worked well for a spell but recently, he has been trying to push us away to gain his freedom in the water.

Being completely fearless around water, he is a lot more reckless compared to Gavin at this age and many times more likely to run into trouble in the pool because of that so I figured it was time to get him some arm bands. The smallest arm bands are made for children who are at least 2 years and above but I figured since he is a big boy for his age, arm bands were better than nothing. With arm bands, it is also a little easier on the person handling him in the pool.

The main problem with arm bands for a younger child is that it requires some experience with balancing for the child to keep his head above the water. Without that experience, a child with arm bands can still go under – which was what happened with Gavin when he was very young. It was the result of that single experience of having his head under the water for a brief moment that put him off deep water for the longest time. I figured that Gareth, being more adventurous, would take such experiences in stride.

While we were looking for arm bands, we found the following modified arm band by Ogival called “Water Wings”:

It is not a complete ring. It is more like a half ring attached to two arm bands. It is designed for children age 2-6 years. I tried it on Gareth and it works well. He can balance on his own in the water without assitance (although if he is around an older brother who is busy making tidal waves in the swimming pool then his head can still go under so constant surpervision is still required).

The problem with a lot of other floats is the sensation of being “restricted”. This float was tolerated by Gareth because it gave him a little more mobility and freedom of movement in the water. It is difficult to slip on though. The easiest is to partially inflate the arm bands, slip on them on your child’s arms and then blow them up again. The only problem with this float is that the part that sits under the arm floats keeps flipping forwards because of the design. Unfortunately, I cannot offer a better explanation than that because Gareth wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to get a picture. It doesn’t affect his ability to float, though, so it isn’t a big fault.

The Water Wings costs about RM20 from Jusco.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

12 thoughts on “Ogival Water Wings – Swimming Arm Bands for 2 Year Olds

  1. Hi Shen-Li, since Vee was about 1+ year old, I got him the Konfidence Jacket from Mothercare. http://konfidence.com.sg/konfidence-jacket-the-original-new

    I love the adjustable buoyancy. He doesn’t like his head in the water, so previously, we used swimming arm floats (also from Mothercare) with the Konfidence Jacket. With the jacket on, the arm floats need not be too inflated. He can waddle freely to and fro the pool many times.

    Now, I’ve removed the arm bands and a few foam inserts from the jacket, to help him learn to float more on his own.

    It’s a great investment for regular young swimmers. 🙂


    1. Thanks, MieVee. I have seen those around but didn’t try it with Gavin because we had something similar and he kept screaming for us to take it off. Unfortunately, Gavin was always against anything he felt was “restrictive” and was not the sort of toddler you could convince to do anything he didn’t want to do. He hated dungarees and wouldn’t wear them (until last year when I said Gareth looked cute in dungarees), and wouldn’t wear button down shirts until he was much older. I forgot all about the jacket float when it came to Gareth. I think Gareth would be more accommodating since he has never protested against anything I make him wear…


  2. Have transferred the audio files to my gadgets, only started listening to first part of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I like the narration voices, so far so good. 🙂

    Btw, I also bought 1 copy of National Geographic Living English (same creators behind Black Cat). It’s non-fiction with topics such as volcanoes; comes with DVD video and audio files. Quite informational too.


  3. Hi Mvie-great, as long as we parents think it is worth to purchase for books and CDs …… I will try find out National Geography Living English, I remembered had a quick glance of that in Smart Kid’s exhibition, would select few topics later on…….thanks.


  4. Thanks to you on recommending the bookstore. Now my hubby remembers that he used to frequent this bookstore (Singapore branch) when he was young.

    One of my reasons for homeschooling Vee is to save on exorbitant private preschool classes and purchase our own educational learning materials, which can be used for many years and on several children.


  5. Hi MVie- Homeschool at age between 0-6 still I think is my right move, exorbitant fee is unavoidable nowadays even homeschool !!!!!!! My main gripe with preschool is its learning isn’t aligned to pace but age, topic chosen isn’t crucial, and I believe none of the school would allocate an hour’s time to teach to kids on mummy in Egypt…..so interesting and important, but because we parents carry more weights on test results and not so much of imparting knowledge…so, we end up doing activity aren’t essential but still need to swallow all, after all we mother still their best teacher in life.


  6. Yes, homeschooling isn’t cheap indeed. Yet we get to keep the materials for re-referencing and pass them down to younger or other children. The one-to-one or one-to-few attention at home is very precious to the child.

    Ha… just recently, we spent 1+hour sitting INSIDE an interesting book (that opens up like a big cage enclosure) exploring jungle animals.

    If the mum is interested in educating the child and can manage, this is a wonderful option indeed.


    1. Yeah, I felt the same when I thought of homeschooling Gavin. Unfortunately, hubby won’t agree to it so he’s got to go to school. I figure that we can still learn together when he’s at home. In some ways, I think this is good for Gavin because I have noticed that he is the sort of child that does better taking instruction from other people. For instance, in Heguru, the sensei has told me that when Gavin goes to class without me, he tends to have better participation. When I’m around, he gets all “manja” and pretends he can’t do stuff so I am forced to help him. Similarly, when my SIL’s hubby started taking him swimming, he told me the same thing. When I’m not around, Gavin is much braver in the pool. It is almost as if Gavin feels he cannot show me how independent he is because I might pay him less attention compared to Gareth who is the baby and needs my help more. So maybe it is also a phase that he will outgrow once Gareth is more independent.

      For me, my role is to help him discover his passion and to encourage him to pursue it. I think that is the one thing I wish I had when I was growing up.


  7. Yes Shenli- this water wings look really good……with design and price, ( I think you are a reasonable mom and I fall within the exception) , I bought her almost all types of floats, rings in the country and overseas, not less than 10 pcs…..so ended up I needed to take more times to undo that part…luckily she likes to be challenged, could dive deep, could swim across 25m adult’s pool, but imagine how I suffered my “hardship” when I had to use >< 2/3 of the year (8 months) to persuade, to encourage and to snub her before she could completely let go all the swimming gadgets. So then I learn from my mistake to only give sufficient and minimum gadget possible, to leave them with no choice with that gadget then they would learn to swim of their own. ( I always wish my child to know swimming at tender age between 4/5 so that I could bring her to beaches, to visit marine park and to learn island hopping).

    Of course this pcs of advice only goes to unreasonable moms like me…


    1. FZ – Having had experience raising both Gavin and Gareth, it has made me realise how much personality affects our children. Gavin falls down once, and he instantly becomes more careful the second time around. Gareth falls off a stool and the next thing he does after recovering is to climb the stool again. You never see Gavin doing that. When Gavin was little, his head went under the water and after that it took so much coaxing just to get him back into the water. When Gareth was little, his head went under and he behaved as if nothing happened. So I think it is much easier to teach Gareth to swim compared to Gavin.

      I also feel that Gareth’s coordination and motor skills are developing much faster than Gavin’s did at the same age so it is easier for Gareth to pick up these physical skills. Of course, being the second child, he also has the advantage of observing his big brother.


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