Being a strong swimmer is an essential skill and one that many parents, especially those with pools, care about developing in their children.
Swim lessons are important and swimming for a school or city swim team is beneficial too, but one of the best ways to promote strong swimming is by incorporating fun pool activities and games in your own backyard.
Swimming games allow you to encourage your children to swim more and to strengthen their skills while having a blast. These games and activities are a great way to have fun in the summer while keeping your kids active in the water and improving their swimming.
Swimming games such as Sharks and Minnows or diving games are great ways to encourage strong swimming patterns. Sharks and Minnows improves swimming speed and awareness in the water while dive games are extremely helpful for younger swimmers who are getting the hang of downward swimming and holding their breath underwater.
Starlight Swimming Games, a swimming pool game set of 10 different swimming games from Starlux Games, includes glow in the dark equipment for both of these and is a great way to keep the fun going after the sun goes down. It’s incredibly easy to set up, requires very little maintenance and is easy for kids of all ages to understand. Incorporating night swimming into your weekly summer routine is a fantastic way to strengthen swimmers in your family and is a new and fun twist on traditional pool activities.
One of the big appeals about joining a swim team is the element of competition that is cultivated. A good way to keep kids engaged with activities is to promote healthy competition within the games or activities. The Starlight Swimming Games can be used to play ten different types of games, many involving competition.
Another great option which involves a different kind of swimming competition is the Watermelon Ball (available on amazon), which is made to look and feel like a real watermelon when filled with water.
This ball can be dribbled like a basketball underwater and passed up to ten feet. It’s a great way to bring some fruity fun into swimming and can be used to play multiple games. The Watermelon Ball is perfect for a family with kids of different ages and lets the whole family play together. Promoting healthy competition with games like the Watermelon Ball or Starlight Swimming Games is a great way to encourage strong swimming habits while keeping pool time interesting and active for your kids.
Looking for something closer to a traditional sport? Consider a poolside volleyball net or an inflatable basketball hoop.
These kinds of games are perfect for older kids who are still looking to strengthen their swimming abilities. Especially with preteens and teens, one of the most difficult tasks can simply be to get them into the pool.
By incorporating a sport that they already feel comfortable and confident with, you can ensure they get the pool time that they require to become strong swimmers. While these activities don’t necessarily encourage straight-line swimming like the games mentioned above, they can require treading water and general use of the same kinds of muscles needed to be a strong swimmer.
Another advantage of group swimming games is that they are a good way to promote social interaction. This may not seem like the most obvious way to strengthen swimming, but using pool time as a social event is another good way to keep kids engaged and active.
You should choose the group swimming games based on the number of swimmers and their ages. The Watermelon Ball, Starlight Swimming Games and pool volleyball or basketball are all great choices for social events. Games like these help encourage healthy social time and extended pool time which will help build muscle and encourage healthy swimming habits.
There are also plenty of enjoyable pool games and activities that can promote strong swimming without any equipment. The popular pool game, Categories, helps to build swimming speed, timing and muscle. One person is “it” and names a category such as favorite colors or best desserts. They then proceed to call out items in the category. The remaining players line up on the wall and think of something within the category. When their choice is called out, they race to get to the other side of the pool before the “it” person can catch them.
Another classic game is Marco Polo where one player closes their eyes and calls out “Marco” to which other players must reply “Polo” until the player who is “it” catches one of them. Games like this are fun and simple and can be used in between other games like those in the Starlight Swimming Games set to extend pool time.
The most important aspect of swimming is to always encourage pool safety. Long stints in the pool can be a great thing for promoting strong swimming, but an adult should always be present and paying attention when children are swimming. This is extremely important for younger swimmers or swimmers just starting out and another reason why helping your kids to grow to become strong swimmers is so essential.
The idea behind using fun games and activities to promote strong swimming is a simple one: keeping your child in the pool as long and as often as possible encourages muscle building and habit formation that will lead to strong swimming. To really endorse swimming, these activities are best supplemented with swim lessons, swim team, or some other kind of formal swim training. These games are effective however for getting your kids to feel more comfortable in the pool and more confident in their own abilities. They give them a fun break from traditional swimming that will continue to increase their love of being in the water.
If you enjoy having pool parties, learn how to make your pool parties even more fun by reading our blog post on the best pool party games.
The featured image used in this post is by CambodiaNisc on Wikipedia Commons and can be downloaded here.
There is a good deal of research supporting the fact that swimming and swimming pool games are a great pastime for all ages – kids, teens and adults. However, no research is needed to tell the parents of young kids that swimming activities are a great pastime, when they see how it wears their kids out and helps them sleep better. That sells them on it, every time!
According to UC Berkley Wellness, “Swimming is an almost ideal way to stay in shape. If you don’t already swim, it’s not too late to start. And, if you don’t like to swim, there’s a wide range of other workouts you can do in water.” See the complete article “Why Swimming Is So Good for You,” at http://www.berkeleywellness.com/fitness/active-lifestyle/article/why-swimming-so-good-you.
Just like the article indicates, if you don’t like to swim laps, there are so many other ways to have fun and get exercise in the water. Not to use too many water puns, but there are a flood of recreational activities and swimming pool games that can transpire in a pool. For example, aqua aerobics and pool walking are the perfect exercises for all ages, especially those over 50, because it doesn’t put stress on the joints. Swimming pool games, such as Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows, are a fun way to strengthen kids swimming skills and help them learn and respect pool rules.
Find endless ways to entertain your brood this pool season with some of the swimming activities found at http://www.swimmingpool.com/pool-living/pool-games. This site includes low-cost, creative pool games like Atomic Whirlpool, Crocodile Hunter and Splash Dance. For more summer fun, visit https://swimswam.com/the-top-9-swimming-pool-games-3-sharks-and-minnows/ to find another list of swimming pool games including rules for Water Polo and Swimming Battleball.
When in doubt, throw a bucket full of change in the pool and play Capture the Change, where everyone is a winner. Plus, extend your pool playtime with the Starlight Swimming Pool Game Kit. This kit allows you to play ten different swimming pool games after nightfall using the enclosed waterproof glow in the dark games pieces and game instructions available here. Games like Sharks versus Whales and Treasures Hunters are even better in the pool after dark.
Purchasing a few pool toys throughout the swim season can also help keep all ages entertained. Swimoutlet.com has everything you need to make a splash at the pool from beach balls and dive rings to basketball hoops and waterproof playing cards.
For a really fantastic float, toysplash.com carries giant rafts with amazing shapes like pizzas, flamingos and even the continental USA, all available for purchase at https://www.toysplash.com/rafts-lounges-floats-inflatables.html.
Whatever fun you choose to have in the pool – you’ll know that swimming is a relaxing, low-impact activity that gives the body an all over workout. Almost all of your muscles are being used during swimming without impact or stress on them. Meanwhile, it keeps your heart rate up and builds endurance and muscle strength. It is also a beneficial way to maintain a healthy weight, and improves heart and lung capacity.
“Swimming is a good, whole-body exercise that has low impact for people with arthritis, musculoskeletal, or weight limitations,” Robert A. Robergs, director of the exercise physiology laboratories at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque says, “because it is low impact and can be done by people of any weight, age or physical ability.” http://www.medicaldaily.com/swimming-benefits-8-reasons-why-sport-good-you-247152
In addition to helping your physical health, swimming and swimming pool games have many other benefits, including improved flexibility, coordination, balance and posture. It can be a relaxing way to alleviate stress and improve mood.
According to a powerful article on Livestrong.com:
Spending time in the water can also be positive for children’s mental health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Swimming may improve mood and decrease anxiety. Families that spend time swimming together could experience enhanced family bonding. Kids could enjoy swimming more than other types of exercise, so, if you provide your children with opportunities to swim, they may be more likely to exercise.
What more convincing does anyone need? In addition to being fun and helping young kids sleep better, swimming is a great way to stay fit, enjoy time with friends and cool down on a hot day. Plus, it is a healthy activity that you can continue your whole life. So, pull out that speedo, put on that sunscreen and head to the pool for a fun day of swimming pool activity. Jump in knowing that you are providing a fun and healthy activity for you and your whole family.