When the weather is hot, there’s nothing quite like spending time in a pool, at the beach or in a fresh water lake. When you are with a group of friends or family, water sports are a great way to have fun as well as exercise.
Many water sports don’t require elaborate equipment and are suitable for almost all ages. Just slather on the waterproof sunscreen and jump in!
Note: For all of these games, make sure you “know your water” (how deep, what are the potential hazards), and insist that non swimmers wear life jackets.
Marco Polo: A classic – One person (the shark) stands in the water with their eyes closed and says Marco while the others in the water (minnows) respond by saying Polo. When minnows are under the water, they are safe because they can’t respond, but when they come up for air, that’s when they are called out. To “win” the shark must tag a minnow who then becomes next shark.
Water Races – There are several ways to enjoy water races. “Mattress” races on inflated air mattresses are more difficult than they look! Other ideas include: “running through the water up to your arm pits”, and “running through the water carrying an egg on a spoon”. For younger kids, start the race a few feet out from shore so they race towards land.
Water Polo or Basketball – All you need is a floating net and beach ball. If you don’t have a net, a floating ring does nicely.
Silly Jump – An all time favourite when you are somewhere safe to jump directly into the water. Have your panel of judges give each contestant 3 chances to perfect their silly jump.
Water Football – You can make it as simple as possible by just throwing a football around or as technical as setting up boundaries with teams.
Prevention – Whether it’s a pool, bathtub, water park, or beach, always watch children actively around water, even if they can swim. If there’s a crowd, assign one adult to each child.
Consider requiring all non-swimmers to wear a lifejacket to assist you while supervising.
Empty portable toddler pools after each use.
Swimming in a lake – Get to know where you are swimming before you head into open water, especially if you want to jump in! Every lake and beach is different. Some are shallow, others drop to deep levels quickly.
Never underestimate the power of current. Swimmers or waders can be swept away in an instant.
Diving headfirst into water should be avoided unless the individual is properly trained and you are sure that the water is deep enough.
Be in the Know
Swimming skills combined with safety knowledge is what saves lives. Encourage your children (and adults) to take swimming lessons. Swim classes also teach water safety, which is key to preventing an emergency in or on the water.