Splash Away the Summer Blues
School is out for the summer, and if your kids are like mine, its only day three of summer vacation and you are already hearing the dreaded words "I'm bored!" Let me say - kudos to teachers everywhere for keeping these little guys entertained for over 7 hours a day! Because the last thing you want to do is have them sit in front of the television, computer, or video game console all summer - now is the time to make a plan!
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. It is recommended that kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Why not spend those 60 minutes splashing in the pool this summer? Swimming pools are an outstanding resource for getting your kids to exercise during the summer months. Kids love to play in the water and probably won’t even realize that they are getting at great workout at the same time! (And from my experience, water play REALLY tires them out - think naps!!!)
We have some really great pool games available here on SwimmingPool.com, but here are a few of my favorites:
Hold a scavenger hunt in the pool. There are many different pool toys that float or sink. Throw several toys in the pool while your child is not looking. Instruct them to swim, dive and float to retrieve all of the toys. The kids will get plenty of exercise and have fun while doing it. You can continue this exercise until your child has been swimming and fetching toys for at least 30 minutes.
Create some relay races in the pool for a fun workout. Have the kids jump into the pool, fetch some rings, paddle on a raft and swim over pool noodles and through some inner tubes. The first kid to touch the other side of the pool after finishing all of these obstacles is the winner. The great part about this activity is that you can perform any type of relay race by using objects you already have in your home or near your pool.
Have the kids create a whirlpool. Line the kids up along the inside edge of the pool. Have them all run in a clockwise direction for five minutes. At this point, the water’s current should be flowing strong enough to push them along. When you give the signal, have them turn around and try to swim in the opposite direction. This will take some time and a substantial amount of effort. Walking and running against the resistance is a great way to work their muscles. Safety note: this type of activity should only be attempted in an in-ground or above ground pool – not an inflatable pool. If attempted in an inflatable pool, the sides could possibly collapse, causing possible injury.
You don't really need expensive toys or equipment - inexpensive pool noodles or a beach ball will work great. The most important thing to remember is that children should never swim alone in a pool without adult supervision. Be sure to enforce pool safety with children at all times.