I might be one of the luckiest moms in the world. Yes, I have wonderful kids and a great husband—and I’m incredibly happy about all of that—but that’s not why I feel so blessed come this time of year. No, I’m the luckiest mom in the world because my lovely, wonderful neighbor (and one of my best mom friends!) has a pool. So, every summer my family and I are spoiled by her hospitality.
And after what felt like the longest winter, pool time is almost here. My neighbor and I want to make the most of every second our kids spend in the water this year. Having recently read about how childhood obesity leads to in an increase in risk factors for heart disease, we want to be sure our kids are staying as active as possible.
To aid us in our efforts, we brainstormed a few ideas to spice up pool time. I think a lot of moms will appreciate these fun options so I’ve shared them below:
Play pool games. This one seems obvious, but when I’m at the pool, one problem I run into is finding a game that works for everyone, especially when there is a wide age range of kids. This year my neighbor and I have decided to split up. One of us will supervise a game with the older kids and the other will take the younger ones. To help us out, we found this awesome resource, which offers game recommendations based on age.
Try something new. Kids do love splashing around in the pool, but they also have short attention spans. This year, when our kids seem to be getting bored in the water, my neighbor and I are going to introduce them to something they’ve never tried before—pool yoga. Here’s a great resource that we plan to use to lead the kids through some fun and beneficial exercises: Aqua Yoga – 8 Pool Yoga Exercises. We’re excited to give them a try. I think they’ll be a great way to introduce some new activities that will broaden our kids’ views of what obesity-preventing exercise can look like.
Go natural. Don’t get me wrong. We’ll be spending the majority of our days in the pool this summer. But my neighbor and I also thought it might be nice to expand our kids’ horizons. So, we found a local natural swimming hole, and we’re going to try it out. If you want to find a natural place to swim in your area, try this locator.
Organize a mini-Olympics. Swimming is an extraordinary form of exercise for kids. From strong muscles to a healthy heart to improved balance and agility, it truly provides full-body benefits. It is one of the best ways I’ve found to help my kids get in the recommended 60 minutes a day of moderate exercise that helps prevent childhood obesity. So, to maximize those benefits this year we’ll be holding a mini-Olympics. There will be races by age group, shallow end flip and handstand contests, a diving board splash contest, and more.
Good luck to all the moms this summer! I hope these fun activities will help you make the most of your time at the pool.
Patricia Sarmiento is a former high school and college athlete and a health and fitness buff. She enjoys blogging about and discussing health and wellness, fitness, and other health-related topics. She lives with her husband and two kids in Maryland.