As we continue through summer, the kids may be feeling a bit bored from the same routine. Check out our guest post from Lindsay on creative swim activities that they can do with a babysitter or parent.
My kids love spending time at the pool during the summer, and my husband and I have found that it is a great activity for them to do with the babysitter when she watches them a couple of days each week.
But while I know they need to be able to enjoy their break from school, there are so many valuable learning opportunities available during the season that I hate to pass them up. So, my sitter and I have been working together to find water-based activities that will keep my girls active while also teaching them a little something in the process.
If you go this route with your sitter, be sure, first and foremost, that they’re capable of keeping your children safe by the pool. At the beginning of the summer, my kids’ babysitter and I sat down and went over some of the water safety tips provided in this piece on pool parties. It provides a good overview of things your sitter should look out for when swimming in a crowded community pool. You might also have them spend some time looking at PoolSafely.gov—it provides more great resources on water safety.
My sitter and I found many great activities for her to do with the kids. Here are a few science-based lessons that she highly recommends:
Swim Physics – Of course, successful swimming has a lot to do with physics. For older kids, this article from RelaxnSwim.com is a great intro into physics concepts. It includes information and diagrams that teach them about buoyancy and drag and how they contribute to someone becoming a stronger swimmer. After your child has read the material, your sitter can ask them to demonstrate what they learned the next time they’re at the pool.
Make Lightning – Nothing ends a fun-filled day at the pool faster than a lightning storm. So, whenever your sitter has to head inside with the kids, this activity from LearnPlayImagine.com, which shows how to make lightning with a balloon, spoon, aluminum tray, and Styrofoam plate, is a great option. As your children work on the experiment, your sitter can teach them about why they must get out of the pool when there’s a possibility of lightning.
Tide Pool Science – Chances are at some point this summer you’ll go on vacation. If you have plans to go to a beach, this tide pool activity is a fun way for your children to learn about the ecology of tide pools while also teaching them how to stay safe around natural bodies of water. From BuggyandBuddy.com, your kids and their sitter can follow the directions and build a model tide pool. Then, they can add and remove water to imitate the tide.
Sink or Float: A Science Experiment – Education.com notes that this is a great way to introduce the Guess and Check Method. Your sitter can gather a few items by the pool. Then, they’ll have your kids guess whether those items will sink or swim. Next, they’ll test each one to see if their hypothesis was correct.
Time in the pool should certainly be fun, but it doesn’t have to be without learning opportunities. In fact, being in the water offers many teachable moments. These activities are easy enough for your sitter to do with your kids, and they offer a great way to keep everyone engaged while also reiterating the importance of water safety.
Lindsay M has many passions, including cooking, biking and photography. She also enjoys writing for PublicHealthCorps. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of twin girls.