A Splashing Good Time: Water Exercises for Kids

by Delilah Newton | Aug 04, 2022

Time spent playing in the water can be fun and games, but it’s also exercise! That’s a good thing, given that most kids need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day. The benefits include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Boosting self-esteem
  • Helping students focus in school
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Strengthening the heart, bones and muscles

Fun H2O Games
Your child can do more than swim laps to get their heart pumping. There are several other water-related activities that count as exercise. Here are just a few to try:

  • Sharks and minnows. This is a great game for a big group. One person is a “shark” in the middle of the pool, and the “minnows” line up on one side. When the shark says go, the minnows try to swim to the other side without getting tagged by the shark. Everyone tagged becomes a shark until there’s just one minnow left.
  • Dive for treasure. Throw toys into the pool that will sink to the bottom. Then, unleash the swimmers to retrieve them one at a time and save the sunken treasure.
  • Seal relay race. For kids who aren’t yet strong swimmers, keep them in the shallow end so they can still touch the bottom. Then, have them push a ball across the water with their noses, like seals. They can compete against each other or try to beat their own fastest time.

Staying Safe Around Water
The water is an amazing place for recreation and exercise, but it's important to be aware of the dangers.

The water is an amazing place for recreation and exercise, but it’s 
important to be aware of the dangers.The 
SIGN THEM UP FOR LESSIONS
Put your kids in swim lessons so they can stay safe in the water. They can start learning as young as age 1. Some kids may not be ready until later, but by the time they’re 4 years old, most can work on floating, treading water and getting out of the pool.

NEVER LEAVE THEM ALONE
Make sure children know they should never swim without an adult nearby. You should watch them at all times. Water accidents happen very quickly. If your child is not a good swimmer yet, they should not go in the water without an adult being within arm’s reach.

BAN RUNNING BY THE POOL
It’s also important to stay safe around a pool. Don’t let kids run on pool decks, which are often slippery. If they have a lot of energy, encourage them to use it in the water, where they can splash around to their heart’s content.

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