15+ Water-Related Ways to Make Learning Fun
Put down your pencils and pick up a pool noodle, because were diving into 15 fun activities that will help your kids stay cool, while getting ready for back-to-school.
BUT FIRST, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF SWIMPLAY®
According to science, the foundation for a childs cognitive growth is rooted in two key factors: a safe environment and learning through guided play.
Every childs potential is in there. Sometimes you just need to add waterwhich is why were sharing more than 15 hands-on ways to make learning fun for your little one.
MAKE MATH MORE MAGICAL
Which number is bigger? Which is smaller? Which way does the symbol face? This fun game uses pool noodles to teach kids about number comparison and help them remember which way the greater than/less than symbol faces. Remember, the alligator always eats the bigger number!
How many ways can you make the number 10? This activity uses different colored pool noodles to visually show which combinations of numbers add up to 10.
Everyone knows water balloons are a great way to beat the heat and have some backyard fun! But, did you know water balloons can also be a great learning tool? Help your kids practice their math facts with a little game called sum splat. Simply use a permanent marker to write a series of addition facts on your water balloons (ex: 2+2, 3+3, 4+4, etc.) and use chalk to write the possible outcomes on your sidewalk. Then, watch your little ones have fun throwing each balloon at the correct answer. How fun?!
Just when you thought pool noodles couldnt get more fun, this activity involves using pool noodles to paint apples (talk about the perfect back-to-school craft)! For a fun twist, check out this blog to learn how to make your own stamps to create fun pool noodle prints.
If squirt guns arent your thing, you can use plastic spray bottles, too! Simply set up an easel with sheets of paper outside, fill up your squirt guns (or spray bottles) with liquid watercolors, and have fun watching your kids create colorful masterpieces for your fridge. You could also fill water balloons with paint and throw them at a canvas (outside, of course) as another fun way to create even more cool and colorful patterns.
PRACTICE READING & WRITING
Similar to sum splat, this game uses water balloons to help younger kids learn the letters of the alphabet. Use a permanent marker to write each letter of the alphabet on a balloon. Then, do the same with chalk on the sidewalk. Have your kids pick up a balloon and toss it at the letter that matches. For a fun twist, you could also use this activity to help your child learn about lowercase and uppercase letters.
This mess-free activity is perfect for hot summer days, and a great way to help preschoolers use their fine motor skills to practice writing the letters of the alphabet (or their numbers, too)!
This is another super simple activity that can teach toddlers and preschoolers about the alphabet. Simply place foam letters into a water bin for toddlers to scoop out with a ladle.
This activity teaches kids how to spell by using pool noodles to create word patterns and rhymes. Once youve made all of your pool noodle blocks its time to play! Let your kids randomly pick three and stack them on top of each other. Then, let them find as many words as possible by turning the blocks and finding letter combinations! For example, if the bottom two letters are A-T, turning the top block could spell any of the following combinations: CAT, BAT, PAT, MAT…you get the point!
Bring a little learning to your kiddie pool or bathtub with this super fun sight word sailboat activity. You only need five household materials to make each sailboat: Pool noodles, construction paper, straws, markers and tape. Once theyre made, place them in your kiddie pool or bathtub, call out a word and watch your kiddo have fun picking out the right one.
Make a splash (literally!) with this fun twist on a favorite summer sport. Simply swap the wiffle ball for a water balloon and let the fun begin!
At Goldfish Swim School, we create a safe, fun and welcoming environment for children 4-months-old to 12-years-old to learn and grow. Using The Science of SwimPlay®, our confidence-building curriculum teaches kids how to swim while also helping them develop other essential skills that will help them make BIG waves in life, like gaining the courage to overcome their fears and dive into new experiences.
In addition to the progress being made in our pools each and every day, weve also created a way for kids to continue learning about water safety and get some extra practice at home. Join Miss Jenny and her friends on a #GoldfishAtHome adventure on YouTube, as they use their imaginations to travel around the world, to the moon, under the sea and moreall while practicing swim skills we teach in class.
EARN EXTRA CREDIT
Dont forget to make bath time fun!
Blowing bubbles during bath time can be a great way to practice the basics of breath control. Encourage your child to slowly blow air out of their nose and mouth as they put their faces to the water. Once they’re comfortable with that, let them put their face underwater to blow even bigger bubbles! While theyre having fun and becoming more confident putting their face in the water, theyll also be busy building the foundation for proper breath control.
Bath time is also a great opportunity to condition your little one to the feeling of water on their face. Use a plastic cup to gently pour water over your child’s arm. Make it a fun game by saying something like, Ready Go! Once your child is comfortable with this, use the same approach to gently pour water over their head. Before you start, you could have your little one practice the same thing by pouring water over their dolls heads, too.
Which ideas are your favorite? Try them at home and tag us in your pictures using #GoldfishSwimSchool. If you want more ideas, check out our blog about more games to play in the pool.
Dont forget to empty any kiddie pools or buckets of water when youre done, and make sure theres ALWAYS a responsible adult supervising the kids any time theyre in or around water! Brush up on more water safety tips here.
Creating a safe, fun and welcoming environment for children to learn and grow has always been our number one priority. Every detail – from our confidence-building curriculum and our tropical atmosphere to our shiver-free pool – was carefully designed with kiddos in mind so they build up a love for the water and are excited to come back every week.