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5 Beach Games to Improve Water Confidence

5 Beach Games to Improve Water Confidence
10 July 2014 1628 Views No comments

If you're heading to the beach with your family this summer, remember that there is a lot more to do than simply swim and sunbathe. There are a huge number of games you can play to make the most of the sea and sunshine, as well as to help build up your children's confidence in the water.

While there are plenty of water games you can play in the pool and the sea, there are a number of activities that are only suited to the beach. This can be due to safety issues – after all, you don't want children running around on the wet floor around a swimming pool – but also because you need a bit more space.

We've put together five games that are perfect for the beach for getting your little ones to be happier about hitting the waves.

Obstacle racing

This is a really easy game which lets you set the goals depending on your children's ages and swimming ability.

You simply set up different obstacles or tasks on the beach, which your kids have to complete in turn in order to get to the water. You can either set the shoreline as the finish line or make it so that they have to swim to the final finish line.

Obstacles can include having to make a sandcastle, hopscotch – which you can draw into the sand – having to fill a hole in the sand with seawater collected in buckets, and hoop toss. There are so many different things you can include, meaning you can make the game different each time around.

Scavenger hunt

This is a great game to play if you are visiting a beach that has a lot going on. It is important to remember, however, that you shouldn't let your children wander off on their own.

Before starting a hunt, create boundaries and ensure that you can see them at all times, make them work in pairs (this is a good idea for older children), or have an adult play with them in teams.

You can arrange this game before you get to the beach – simply create a list of things each team or player has to find (such as a shell, a piece of seaweed and a hermit crab) and provide a bucket for each player.

The winner is the one who finds everything on the list first, or as many items as possible within a set amount of time.

Dodge the wave

This is a really easy game which is great for children who are a bit unsure about the water. You play it exactly as it sounds, by dodging the waves.

Simply stand on the shoreline and try to avoid getting your feet wet as the waves roll in. This will make it more fun and get your little ones laughing whenever their toes get wet. You can also get them closer to the water so that they are happier to go in when the time comes.

Build a paddling pool

This is quite a good game if the water is rough or the current is particularly strong and not suitable for swimming. All you need is a bucket, a spade and a good stretch of sand.

Simply get your children to help you design a paddling pool and dig it out. It can be as simple or as complicated as they want, by either just digging a pit or including seating areas. Get them to use their imagination and come up with something different each time.

Once the pool is built, use the bucket to collect seawater so that you can fill it up. This way you can get your kids into some water, but still keep them safe.

Get the ball

Another game that can get your children into the water requires you just to throw a ball. Similar to racing but with a difference, use a ball that floats – like a Neoprene Swim Ball – and throw it different distances. Your little ones then have to race to pick it up and get it back to you.

You can throw it onto the sand or into the water – just be sure not to make it too deep – depending on your children's swimming ability. The game will get them running into the water without worrying and increase their confidence in the sea.