Staying Cool

The best way to beat the heat this summer is to stay cool at the pool. Here are some fun games to play that can also work on developing your child’s gross motor skills.

Strengthening Activities

  • Holding a kickboard or noodle in front of you and doing flutter or frog kicks. You can make this into a race or a timed game. This helps strengthen the leg muscles
  • Playing tag in the shallow end but only using your arms to move. This helps build upper body strength as well as neck strength.
  • Climbing in and out of the pool and having them jump over targets. The climbing and jumping help to strengthen the upper body, lower body, and core muscles.

Hand eye coordination

  • Have a water balloon toss. This works on improving kids hand eye coordination along with teaching them how to catch and throw.
  • Jumping into the pool while catching objects. This helps to not only work on hand eye coordination but also lower body strengthening.

Visual Motor Activities

  • Get a squirt gun and have kids shoot different targets around the pool. You can also use the squirt gun to write letters or draw shapes on a wall or the sidewalk. This will help improve communication between the eyes and hands.
  • Take a container and draw a line on it. Have kids pour water into the container with 1 pour and try to get as close to the line as possible. The winner can dump the water on the other player’s heads. This helps with visual motor skills as well as force grading, accuracy, and precision.  

-Matthew D’Antonio, DPT, PT

-Pediatric Physical Therapist

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