Cincinnati Family Magazine

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December 4, 2022

Mom Report: Bear Paddle

My son is very cautious around water. A couple of years ago he had a swim incident that scared both him and I. (Not at Bear Paddle!) We quickly switched him to a different facility for swim lessons, but after a while he hit a plateau. Then I started seeing ads for Bear Paddle Swim School in Mason. I decided it was a perfect opportunity to start fresh with new instructors and a new facility.

As soon as we walked in he asked if he could go swimming! The colors and bears are very inviting and it is obvious that the entire facility was designed with kids in mind. At our first visit we were given a tour and greeted by all of the instructors. I was a fan of the family changing facility! They do not separate by men and women, but instead have an area designed for families with separate stalls for showering and changing. This makes getting changed before and after swim so much easier. Some of the other facilities we have been to have small family changing areas that always included a LONG line for rooms, NOT at Bear Paddle!

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When you enter the pool area you are immediately greeted by kids giggling as they rinse off in the Kid Wash that looks like a carwash. My son and daughter could spend hours in the kid wash. My son was a bit nervous about finding where his teacher was, however his instructor was very easy to locate as the pool is divided up into lanes and each lane is clearly labeled. Have I mentioned the pool is a 90-degree salt water pool?! There is no hesitating as you get in, as the pool feels like bath water and when you get out your skin doesn’t have that typical “pool dry” feeling.

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The small class size has been perfect for him. The instructors do a great job keeping the students engaged and always practicing their skills. The way they have kids rotating turns have them constantly swimming. My son thinks his instructor is HILARIOUS! Every time my son does really well his instructor will raise his hand for a high five. As soon as my son slaps his hand he flies backwards into the water as if my son has super human strength. It makes him crack up each time!

The greatest thing about Bear Paddle is how excited my son gets as he prepares to go each week. He looks forward to hopping into the pool and practicing his skills while learning new ones. I feel confident that he is in good hands as the instructors have received training in safety, CPR, class management, and the Bear Paddle method of teaching. Overall, Bear Paddle is truly a kid friendly facility!

Bear Paddle is located at 9376 Mason Montgomery Road, Mason.  Call 513-285-8855 or visit

About the Author

Tina Pratt

Tina Pratt is the mom of two littles. She is a former PreK- 5 special education teacher that now works as a behavior coach. She enjoys being a tourist in her own town and finding ways to embed lessons into everyday fun!