Water Fun in the Summer Sun
Seems like summer may finally be on its way! The sun is coming out, temperatures are heating up and splash pads are starting to open!
My absolute favourite part of summer has always been cooling off with the kids. There is nothing more refreshing than cold water on a hot day. It is the easiest way to cool both yourself and the kids off when the weather is steamy.
I introduced my babies to water as soon as I possibly could. I wanted to help them learn to be comfortable in water and nurture their natural love for all things wet.
There are lots of fun and easy ways for you to ease your babies into the world of pools and now that the weather is heating up it’s the perfect time to start.
Community Centre Pools: Check your local community centre pool for the classes and sessions they have for small babies. Most pools have special times dedicated to children under the age of 5. This allows you the opportunity to take your little one into a smaller pool (that is usually a little warmer) without the older kids splashing around them. It’s a little bit more of a calm and quiet environment that’s perfect for babies just being introduced to the concept of swimming.
While you are there check out any classes they have available. The very first “class” I ever did with my two in the pool was “Mom and Baby Aquafit”. It was fantastic! They were able to take part as long as they were comfortably holding their heads up. I got in a little exercise while spending time introducing my baby to water. Both my kids loved the class, quickly became comfortable in the pool and I got in a little low impact exercise at the same time.
Parent and Tot swimming classes: These classes are a great way to make sure you regularly get in the pool with your babies. They are not going to “learn” to swim in the class but it does guarantee that at least once a week your babies will be taking a dip and you will notice by the end of the run that they are probably much more comfortable in the pool. Instructors are trained to ease babies into the experience by practicing blowing bubbles in the water, getting their faces wet, floating on their backs and eventually bobbing under the water. The classes are often filled with songs and games to entertain the babies. They often flip from some one on one time with the instructor to time for you to help your little one practice their new skills. Each of my two were enrolled in their first swimming class before they were even 6 months old.
Splash Pads: Splash pads are a fun way to cool off in the summer. They are fantastic for older kids but even babies can enjoy a little time under the spray. Try and find a splash pad that has some sprayers that are lower to the ground with a lighter spray as the bigger ones can be a bit overwhelming for babies. Let your little ones explore these areas made just for them. They might like to grab at the water, crawl through the spray or just sit and splash in the puddles. Make sure you are wearing something that will dry easily because you are bound to get wet too and most importantly don’t forget the sunscreen and protective hats!
Backyard Kiddie Pools: This is probably one of the easiest and cheapest ways to expose your baby to water. You can purchase a pool that blows up or one made of stiffer plastic, fill it up with the hose and let your little one go to town! Bring different size Tupperware or watering cans to allow them to play with the water while they are cooling off. Even better put your swimsuit on and join them. My son had the most fun when his mummy would sit in his little kiddie pool with him. Keep in mind that water from the hose tends to be very cold. Even on super hot days it can be a bit of a shock to sit down in ice cold water. You might want to heat some water up on the stove and mix it in with the hose water so that it doesn’t totally take their breathe away.
An early introduction to the pool can help foster a love of swimming. It may also help your kids be more comfortable swimming, learn water safety techniques and teach them how to respect water. So now that the sun is shining get out there, be safe, have fun and cool off!