By Patricia Sarmiento
No kid wants to be cooped up inside during the summer. And really, it’s a great time of the year for parents, homeschoolers and otherwise, to get creative about they help their kids get in a daily dose of physical activity.
My kids love being in the water so that’s where we spend most of our time during the warmer months. But every now and then, laziness creeps in, and I notice that my kids are spending more time lounging and eating snacks than they are actually being active in the pool. That’s why I’m so thankful for the resourceful, homeschooling moms in my neighborhood.
When the kids get lazy, they’re always ready with a game or activity to get them moving again. Here are a few of the activities we’ve used in years past. (On a side note, the following activities can also be done with a babysitter. Just be sure they’re well-versed in water safety before you leave your kids in their care at the pool.)
Swim lessons. There’s no better or more convincing way to explain why swim lessons are so important than how the Red Cross puts it, “Swimming lessons save lives.” If your kids don’t know how to swim, there’s no time like the present to teach them. It’s a skill that can save their life, and it’s one that can improve their life by giving them an excellent form of physical activity that makes them stronger and healthier.
Water aerobics. No, water aerobics isn’t just for adults. As AZCentral.com notes, it can also be a lot of fun for kids. As the article points out, just be sure everyone can comfortably do the exercises in the shallow end and don’t be afraid to get creative by incorporating pool toys, such as noodles or a kickboard. Your kids will have a blast while getting in a lot of great exercise.
Safety Simon Says. HealthyActiveKids.com presents this fun way to help your kids work on their swimming skills and water safety knowledge. It works just like a regular game of Simon Says. As Safety Simon, you’ll call out a skill or water safety practice. If a child does the action and you haven’t included “Safety Simon says…” in your command then they have to get out of the pool. The last kid in the water wins.
Water Safety Quiz. If you find yourself unable to get outside for some pool time because of the weather, you can still help your kids develop their water safety knowledge. The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh offers this interactive Water Safety Quiz. It asks eight easy-to-understand questions about pool and swimming safety.
These are great ways to teach your kids about water safety. They’re educational but fun enough that your kids actually do absorb what you’re teaching them. And even they can strengthen their swimming ability in the process.
What are your favorite activities in the pool?
Patricia Sarmiento is a health and fitness blogger. A former high school and college athlete, she loves writing about how to live a happy, healthy lifestyle and other health-related topics. She makes fitness a focus in her everyday life. She lives with her family in Maryland.