12 Water Activities To Entertain Your Kids
Ready or not— here comes summer! Normally that means the kids are out of school and everyone has big vacation plans, but this year is nothing if not different. Which is why we’ve put together this list of 12 creative ways your kids can stay cool while they learn and play!
- Giant Bubbles
If there's two things kids love, its bubbles and giant versions of things. If you have a hula hoop and dish soap, you can have the best of both with bubbles as big as your children! Its fun and easy and all you need is a wading pool (or a full-size pool if you're feeling really adventurous).
- Fishing for Letters
This is a great way for younger kids to learn about magnetism and practice letter recognition, while their older siblings fish for words.
- Swimming Pool Scrabble
This one is ideal for bigger pools - and the whole family can play! All you need is sponges to write letters on, then your kids can collect them to spell words, create the alphabet, or learn their letters.
- Treasure Hunt
Everyone has spare change lying around. Did you know you can put it to fun and educational use by throwing it in the pool? This is a great way for kids to learn counting by ones, fives, tens, and twenty-fives… and a great opportunity to teach them about being safe when they go underwater. Let your kids keep what they pick up, but ONLY if they calculate the right amount!
- Boat Races
Here's a fun way to inspire creativity and critical thinking that can be different each time you play! Let your children's imaginations run wild as they create sailboats and regattas, then test them out in a wading pool or swimming pool to see which can most effectively travel across the water or carry a straw to safety.
- Whirlpool/Wave Pool
When you eventually have a group in your pool, wow them with the sheer amount of power they can create with a whirlpool or a wave pool. To create a whirlpool, have everyone move along the edge of the pool in single file for three or four minutes which will build up a current to carry them from then on. For a wave pool, just move your arms back and forth under the surface of the water without breaking the tension. Here's a fun video that shows what you can do:
- Pool Noodle Math Spelling
This one requires a little prep work, but its worth it! Basically you're creating an aqua-abacus for your kids to solve math problems. You could also turn this into a literacy game by writing letters on the pool noodle pieces instead of numbers.
- Bobbing for Letters
While this activity may seem simple on the surface, its actually a great way to work with your kids on literacy, spelling, and water safety. Older kids can play this game to work on their spelling while little brothers and sisters can dive for the correct letters.
- Pool Noodle Marble Water Slide
Here's an outside-the-box way to experiment with ramps and physics - and all you need is a marble and a pool noodle! Change the dimensions of the pool noodle to see the effect on the speed of the marble in real-time and get your kids to record what they see in a science journal.
- What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?
A classic game for land and sea, What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? is a fun way to encourage active critical thinking. Sort of a combination of Mother May I? and Freeze Tag, What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? is fun for children of all ages.
- Quick Jump Quiz
A fun activity that needs no set up, Quick Jump Quiz is a great way to foster retention of things your kids learned in school this year. To play, one person acts as the Quizmaster. Players have to correctly answer the Quizmasters questions mid-jump or lose points/turns. A competitive way to improve your child's memory!
- Build a Pirate Raft
Building a raft from pool noodles is not only an awesome team-building activity, it's also an excellent way to promote problem-solving and cooperation. If you find yourself with a bunch of kids to entertain, divide them up into teams and see what they come up with!
These are just some of the inventive ways your kids can expand their brains while they stretch their water legs this summer, but the most important lesson parents can teach is how to be responsible in and around water. Just like learning math and reading skills, safety has to be practiced and making it fun to be water-smart goes a long way towards everyone having a summer they'll never forget!
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