It may be the fact that it’s been in the 90s here in Colorado all week, or that I recently got back from California; perhaps it’s the reality that we live in a land-locked state, or possibly a combination of all three. Whatever it is, lately I’ve had water fever. You know that feeling when you just can’t drink enough water to satisfy your level of thirst–and you want to be in or near a body of water at all times? Lately, my dreams have even consisted of beaches and water parks. What’s not to love about dipping in a chilled lake on a hot summer day? Or lounging by the pool until your skin gets so hot that you absolutely need to jump in the water just to cool off? I know that you’ve probably got the fever too. I bet your kids have it even more! Now is the perfect time to give in to their begging and bring them to the nearest water feature in your area. Not only will they have a blast, but you can also satisfy some of your own cravings as well. From beaches to lakes and pools to rivers, here are our favorite activities to do with the kids while soaking up the sun’s rays by the water’s edge.
“Do you want to build a snowman?” What about a sand castle? Or even better, a sandman! Playing in the sand can be fun and rewarding for everyone. Each person can contribute to the sand creation. Building sand castles also takes skill and is great exercise. It acquires a lot of work to dig all that sand, but your masterpiece will be well worth it in the end.
Your toddler will love chasing the waves in and out while your preteen tries his hand at boogie boarding. Also fun for the whole family is collecting shells of various shapes and sizes that you can take home and later make into a fun arts and crafts project. What about catching crabs? Some beaches have populations of crabs that you can catch and release. Watch out for their pinchers!
Snorkeling is a must when you are at a tropical beach and you can see right through the sea-green water to the ocean floor. Take note of all the species of fish you see so that you can look them up and teach your children about them later on in the day.
Are you as ready as I am to head to the beach? Here is a list of suggestions for the top 10 beaches for kids.
One of my greatest memories as a kid was swimming out by the dock at the local lake by my family’s vacation house in New Hampshire. My brother and I also loved catching tadpoles that gathered by the water’s edge in a pail, and then releasing them back into the water later in the day.
If the lake is big enough to allow watercrafts, rent a canoe or paddle boat. As you traverse around the lake, you’ll catch glimpses of different kinds of wildlife and get a good workout. Don’t forget to bring along a snack and dress appropriately in summer clothing for kids.
Fishing on a lake can also be a great family activity that encourages children to learn about and explore the outdoors. Fishing is very relaxing, and helps kids with focus and concentration.
Marco Polo is a childhood favorite that your kids can play together in the pool with other children. You will be the life of the party (without having to jump in to the pool) when you bring along the Ring Toss Game to your next pool play date. The kids can also test and improve their underwater swimming skills by throwing and then collecting Sinking Diving Rings.
Once your little fishies have become better swimmers, relay races are a great test of their abilities. Just make sure you don’t take off the swimmies or life vest too soon! We suggest waiting until you are both comfortable enough with their swimming ability, and they are no longer in need of the extra support.
What’s our favorite pool activity you ask? Well, floating on inflatable floats of course!
If you live in a land-locked state like we do, you might not have the luxury of being able to hop in the car and drive to a nearby beach or lake. Don’t worry–there is still fun to be had at a river or creek! You can pack up some food and have a picnic on the rocks of the river. Make sure to choose big, dry rocks in a somewhat shaded area for your picnic location spot.
Watch as people go tubing down the river and get pulled along by the current. Or better yet, try your hand at tubing if the water and current are not too powerful or rough. We recommend wearing a water-safe helmet for this. Kayaking can also be a fun family activity to try on the river if the water is deep enough and current is not too strong.
Teach your children how to skip rocks with flat stones that skim the water’s surface. It may take a few tries and you might not quite have the method down yourself, but you’ll surely have some giggles and it will make for some great bonding time with the kids.
Fountains and Water Parks
Did you know that there are free public water fountains that allow and encourage your kids to play in and get sprayed with water? Watch in delight as your children splash away and dodge sporadically squirting water spouts. Here are the best fountains for kids in the Denver area. You can also check out the best waterparks in the US for 2014.
Do you have water fever? What’s your favorite water activity to do with the kids? Let us know by leaving a comment below!