Anyone who lives with children knows that their energy sometimes seems inexhaustible. It takes a lot of flexibility to create and develop games that keep them entertained, and this can be a real challenge in the aquatic environment, due to the limited area and even safety issues.
Fortunately, with a little creativity it is possible to develop different activities in the pool, either adapting those practiced on the street or creating new ones. And the best part is that it’s fun for kids and adults alike.
Water activities provide physical, psychological and social benefits and are also very democratic. This is because they can be practiced by all age groups, as long as they are adapted for each one of them, respecting people’s limits and abilities.
Pool activities: more fun for the kids
But what games to play with children, anyway? To help you ensure your little ones (or not-so-little ones) have fun, we’ve listed seven play and water sports tips:
1 – Water polo
This sport is well known for being an Olympic sport. It has the same objective as handball, which is basically to score goals. The basic rule of the sport is that players other than the goalkeeper cannot hold the ball with both hands. In addition, it is also not allowed to keep the ball under water, to get momentum at the bottom of the pool and to push other players.
The match consists of four periods of seven minutes and each team has 30 seconds to make a move. Remembering that the teams are formed by seven players and something is needed to mark the goal.
2 – Pool volleyball
This game follows the same rules as traditional volleyball. Officially, the space must be 4 m wide, 8 m long and 1 m deep, with nets 2.6 m high (men’s competition) or 2.4 m (women’s competitions). But, of course, it is super possible to improvise in pools of all sizes.
The main tip is to choose a part where the depth is level for both teams and divide the “fields” with a net. Then, just separate the teams and go for fun!
3 – Pool basketball
Yes, it is also possible to play basketball in the pool! The rules follow the same principle as the original version: passing the ball from hand to hand to make baskets.
It can be practiced with regular balls or water balloons, and if you don’t have baskets, you can improvise them with bottomless plastic buckets hanging in a way that makes them higher than the edges.
4 – Man overboard
This is a variation of tag, a traditional game among children. The idea is, then, that they cross the pool without being caught. If this happens, you will be responsible for picking up the other participants and, thus, the roles will alternate. It is an excellent option to distract the little ones, stimulating them, including, in the resourcefulness of swimming.
5 – Treasure hunt
Spread plastic objects across the bottom of the pool while participants have their eyes closed. Then ask them to find the items. The game can happen in two ways: by timed, that is, whoever finds all the objects faster wins the game; or by quantity, when all players enter the pool together and whoever finds the most items wins.
This activity is an excellent way to make children lose their fear of diving, but remember: it must be done at a safe depth for them.
6 – Bucket Race
Another game that requires few resources and looks like a gymkhana is the bucket race. Place two buckets on one side of the pool and divide bathers into two groups.
Each member must cross the pool with a plastic cup filled with water and deposit the contents in the bucket until it is full or reaches the previously established measure. The team that fills its bucket in the least amount of time wins.
7 – Race
Place the participants neatly on one edge and let them swim to the other side. Whoever gets there first wins the round. The type of swimming can be defined according to the age and skills of the participants, such as freestyle, backstroke, butterfly or breaststroke, for example.
This activity is a great way to familiarize children with pools and train their hand-eye coordination in the water. Don’t forget about security!
Regardless of age and ability in the water, ensuring the safety of bathers in the pool is critical. So, check if the pool equipment is correctly installed and working and establish rules for activities, especially in the case of children and teenagers.
It is important that everyone understands the danger of pushing a partner, running around the pool or going to a depth where they will not be safe. And, of course, always keep a responsible adult close by.
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