Summer + Kids = Swimming Lessons + Fun

Last updated on May 8th, 2015 at 09:21 am

 kids-swim-lessonsSummer is fast approaching.  End of school concerts and events.  The trees and flowers are blooming.  Remember how you looked forward to that long summer break?  No school!  Twelve long weeks of sunshine and fun!

And then I became a mother.  Suddenly 12 long weeks of summer became more of a challenge.  The first couple of weeks are always great, everyone needs a break from the over-scheduled frenetic school year schedule.  An exhale from the 6am wake-up calls, packing lunches, and scrambling to fit in homework, soccer practice, violin lessons around life’s other commitments.  Home all day becomes bored all day.  Bored kids = cranky kids.  Cranky kids = cranky mom.  Which is why as soon as spring break ends I’m grabbing my calendar and trying to schedule the right balance of camps and activities to keep my kids and myself happy, active, and engaged so that we really do enjoy summer and still like each other by the time school starts again.

Topping your list should be time in the water, because water makes everything about summer better.  It cools you off, lifts your spirits, wears you out in the best possible way, is a great way to hang with friends, improves health, and is just plain fun.  Here are some ideas for summer water activities to add to your calendar:

  • Put those year-round swim lessons to use and enroll your children in a local swim team, which is usually a fun and social manageable level of competitiveness for even the most cautious of swimmers. That nudge of racing with all your friends cheering on the deck can make a child realize that yes, they have been learning to swim, and they are actually a better swimmer than they thought, and it’s fun!  Swim team can build confidence and make a child more interested in continuing in swim lessons.  Make sure you find a team that fits your child’s level of competitive spirit.  If they have a relaxed spirit, stay away from the Olympic hopeful team, but if your child has a competitive streak, find a more competitive team.  The goal is to strengthen their swimming skills, not make them hate swimming.
  • Take swimming lessons. If your school year schedule is too much for swimming lessons, summer is the perfect time to get your child into swimming lessons.  Even a few weeks of regular lessons makes a huge difference with skill and confidence.  No child wants to be the one sitting by the side of the pool or the lake while their friends all splash and have fun.  Knowing how to swim opens social doors, not just being safer around water and learning a lifelong skill.
  • Explore a new water sport.   Snorkeling.  Scuba diving.  Water polo.  Surfing.  Paddleboarding.  Junior Lifeguards.  Once you know how to swim, the possibilities are endless.  Reinforcing to your children that knowing how to swim makes so many more fun activities available to them will really cut any resistance to continuing swim lessons.  My kids are at the point where they are happy to continue swim lessons because they are seeing how many things they can do with that basic skill.  Neither is into competitive swimming, and both are already strong swimmers, but they have seen how many cool things they can do in the water.  They understand that the stronger a swimmer they become, the more fun activities are available.

Like reading or math, swimming is a skill that becomes stronger and more exciting and fun over time.  Take advantage of summer to keep the momentum going by showing your kids the world of possibilities that comes from being a strong swimmer.  Your kids will thank you for many years, and you’ll be able to look back at the summer with fonder memories.

About the Author

Global water safety for children is my passion and I can't wait to get up every day to work at it! I blog about water safety regularly at http://www.RebeccaWearRobinson.com, or you can follow me on Twitter at RebeccaSaveKids. Rebecca is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team

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