Our aqua sensory play program is a playgroup in the water. The session allows you to explore, connect and spend quality time with your baby in calm, shallow water.

During the sessions, you'll have access to carefully researched and sourced sensory equipment that enhances our dedicated shallow water pool space. Everything your baby or toddler sees, hears and touches will contribute to a unique and enhanced sensory experience.

Aqua sensory play is a wonderful way to meet other parents and children in Ashburton. It's also the perfect play-based session to take along with (or before transitioning into) formal swimming lessons.

At Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre, aqua sensory play sessions take place in our toddler pool. Together you and your child can take part in games, activities and songs designed to introduce them to the water.

Enjoy a warm drink on us in our café after the session, and get to know other parents and babies in the Ashburton area.

How old must my child be?

Aqua sensory play is ideal for children from three months to two years old. We run sessions for two different age groups:

  • Three to nine months
  • Nine months to two years

Session days and times

  • Tuesdays: 12:30pm-1:00pm, 1:00pm-1:30pm
  • Thursdays: 12:30pm-1:00pm, 1:00pm-1:30pm

Book online

You can book aqua sensory play sessions online using the timetable below. Please contact us if you have any questions.

View timetable / book


  • Aqua sensory play prices
    Casual entry
    Aqua sensory play (one parent / guardian and one child)
    *Aqua sensory play is $6.55 for swimming lesson members.

  • How to book aqua sensory play

    To book into aqua sensory play you will need to create a parent account, add a child and then book.

    If you already have an account with the child you wish to book for, you can skip to step three.

    1. Create account
      • Select book now on the timetable on this page or visit the online customer portal.
      • Select ‘Join or book now!’.
      • Select 'Ashburton Pool & Recreation Centre'.
      • Select ‘Casual Bookings’.
      • The option of ‘Create Parent / Guest account’ will display. Select ‘Next’.
      • Complete your details.

    2. Add a child
      • On the welcome page that loads select ‘Enrol a student or make a casual booking’.
      • Select 'Ashburton Pool & Recreation Centre'.
      • Complete the child’s details you wish to book for. Select ‘Create account’.
      • On the page that loads select ‘Cancel' to be brought back to the portal.

    3. Book
      • In the menu select ‘Group Fitness’.
      • You can use the class filter to select one of the ‘Aqua Sensory Play’ options.
      • Select your day and time from the calendar.
      • Select ‘Book now' on your session.
      • Select ‘Book now’ next to the child you wish to register.

    4. Make payment
      • Pay for a single session via credit / debit card.
      • You will receive an email confirming booking. Please note payment is required to hold your booking. Non-payments will automatically be cancelled.
  • Booking conditions

    Bookings open seven days prior to the class start time (to the minute).

    Cancellation policy

    Casuals: Cancellations made no later than 60 minutes before your booking will result in a product return being added to your online customer account. Bookings cannot be cancelled after your booking or less than 60 minutes prior and are not allocated a product return.

  • What should we wear and bring?

    All children must wear an aquatic swimming nappy at all times in the pool. Everything else is up to you! In the warmer months, your child may prefer swimming in just a nappy (which allows skin to skin contact). In the cooler months, you may prefer to put your child in an appropriate swim suit.

    Parents / carers can wear anything they feel comfortable in. However please be aware that you must go in the water with your child. You'll be submerged up to just above the knee but could get splashed all over.

    Children feel the temperature change quickly, so we recommend you bring a change of clothes for your child and a new nappy. We also suggest you bring extra towels so you have a nice dry towel available after the session.

  • Can I bring my pram or pushchair?

    Yes, space is available at the side of the pool for prams or pushchairs. Please make sure you do not obstruct doors or evacuation routes or block pool deck travel routes.

  • Do you have change tables?

    Yes, we provide change tables within our open change room space and our family change rooms.

  • Is your centre breastfeeding friendly?

    Yes, mothers are more than welcome to breastfeed within the centre. However, breastfeeding in the pool water is not permitted.