While the children are home this summer, it is a great opportunity to tie learning into fun activities like swimming at the local pool. The children can gain knowledge with hands-on activities that expand their math, science, physical education, and social skills.
Learning to swim is an important skill that all children should learn. There are health benefits to being active and being able to swim, along with allowing children to be social in swimming related activities like surfing, sailing, kayaking, fishing, competitive swimming, and swimming games.
General Swimming Pool Games
With a group of children or family, there are many different games that they can play in the pool. The games teach children about taking turns, sharing, counting, colors, or even scientific theories.
Examples include the typical games that children play in the pool like Marco Polo, water polo, water Frisbee or catch, tag, or relay races. When a new game is introduced, the children also have to learn the rules and follow the rules to be a good team player. All of these activities can involve additions where children need to count (how many times in a row can they catch the ball without dropping it), and learn skills like first, next, last, before, after (like in relay races and taking turns).
Music Games at the Pool
A way to incorporate music into pool time is to have the children choreograph a pool ballet or dance to music. This allows the children to make artistic and fun choices while moving to the beat. They can then put on the final production for the parents and other children at the pool. Music could also be incorporated into games like freeze tag. When the music is stopped, they would have to stop making their way to the goal point and if they kept moving they would be knocked out of the game.
Math & Science at the Pool
A great activity that involves counting and money would be to have the children dive to collect coins that have been dropped at the bottom of the pool. The objective would be to collect the most amount of money in one breath. After they come back up, they count the money to see who wins. The goal would be to collect the coins that have the highest value.
A creative science activity at the pool would be to challenge the children to build the best raft. In small teams, they should be given a set of supplies like plastic bags, straws, and a limited amount of tape. Once the rafts are completely they can have a race to see whose raft in the pool, aided by a child blowing on the sail, can go the farthest without tipping or sinking.
Links for More Swimming Pool Games
Article by Laura Ketcham
Picture by bobrpics