Swimming Pool Exercises for KidsClick here to get our FREE weekly pool maintenance newsletter!
Childhood obesity is one of the most serious health crises currently facing the United States, and no parent can afford to ignore the danger. As both the time and space devoted to outdoor play is whittled away by over-scheduling and suburban sprawl, physical education in public schools is also being reduced to mere lip service. What’s a parent to do?
Fortunately, one of childhood’s favorite pastimes- swimming- is also an effective way to encourage activity, health and well-being. Children fortunate to have access to a pool are at an advantage; their summer hours are more likely to be spent outdoors and not in front of the television.
There are lots of organized games parents, sitters, and other caretakers can guide children through, especially groups of children. Try some of these swimming pool exercises for kids, and feel free to use them as inspiration to create your own.
Nothing encourages diving and breath-holding skills at an early age like a scavenger hunt. There are dozens of sinkable pool toys designed just for this purpose, be they rings, sticks, or other fun objects.
One way to make the game extra fun and challenging is to forbid the children to look when the toys are thrown in the pool. Have all participants line up on one side of the pool and face away. Once the toys are thrown in, yell “go,” and the kids can turn around, take a breath, and dive. Whoever comes up with the most toys wins the round. Alternately, different point values could be assigned to different colored toys. Just 30 minutes of this will have great aerobic effects.
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Arrange various pool obstacles throughout the pool, and have children (one at a time), navigate the course as fast as they can. Gathering sunken objects, paddling on a raft, swimming over pool noodles, scoring a basket on a pool basketball set- the possibilities are endless. What makes the game fun is the way in which you combine and arrange them, and the added “pressure” of competing for speed.
Inflatable sharks, crocodiles, and other assorted predators make excellent wrestling partners for energy-filled kids. Have participants stage a spirited wrestling match with their favorite inflatable, awarding points for creativity in choreography. Have each child “wrestle” for 60 seconds at a time.
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This works best with a bigger group of children. Have all the kids line up in the water, along the edges of a non-inflatable pool (this particular game is potentially unsafe in an inflatable pool without solid walls). Have the kids run clockwise along the walls, gradually building up a strong “current” that will eventually push them along and increase its own strength.
After 5 minutes, give the signal for the kids to stop, turn, and swim in the opposite direction. The current they’ve built will be pushing strongly against them, making for a fun and challenging workout, besides being a great physics lesson.
Find a Coin
This game is more often suited for children that are a little older and have more experience swimming as this game will require kids to dive under the water in search of treasure.
Have the kids close their eyes, then take a few coins and toss them into the pool being careful to avoid the drain. Once the coins sink to the bottom, have the children open their eyes and then jump in to find the coins scattered across the pool. The child that finds the most money, wins the game.
Games like these can enrich the lives and the health of children who play them, and ensure that great memories and great physical fitness will follow them through their formative years.
Spend Less Time Cleaning and More Time Swimming
We cut out all the fluff and confusion of pool maintenance and stripped it down to the bare bones in this easy-to-read illustrated digital guide.
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 16th, 2015