Kickboards are the perfect pool toy to address so many developmental skills! When used for their intended purpose, kickboards encourage reciprocal leg movements as kids propel themselves forward using a flutter kick. At the same time, they are gaining strength through their backs, bottoms and legs as the water resistance makes that forward movement more difficult. Try placing a kickboard between your child’s legs and have him propel across the pool using only his arms as he squeezes those legs tight to keep the kickboard in place. Or, have your child try to sit on a kickboard for a terrific balance challenge. He can start by straddling it and then move toward trying to keep his legs together in a seated position. For upper body strengthening, have him try his hardest to push that kickboard down under the water (being careful that it doesn’t pop back up into his face!).
1. SWIMWAYS NOODLE HEAD SHOOTER: Place this friendly-looking dinosaur on the end of a standard pool noodle and you’ve got a creature that’s ready for battle! Use those upper body muscles to push him all the way under the water, give him a squeeze to fill him up and resurface ready to fight! This noodle head shoots water up to 10 feet!
2. STREAM MACHINE SWIM THRU RINGS: Awesome for body awareness and agility, these underwater rings can be adjusted to allow for different depths. Have your child dive deep for one and shallow for the next. Make it an obstacle course and have her go through the set of 3 to retrieve objects and bring them back! See if two kiddos can go through at once or try swimming through backwards! Endless possibilities!!
3. MELISSA AND DOUG SHARK TOSS AND CATCH: Hand eye coordination at its best and a great game to encourage social skills! This toss and catch game could get crazy! Fortunately, those balls are foam and won’t hurt any of your little fish!
4. LADY BUG SQUIRTS: Squirters are perfect for fine motor strengthening and are fun for all ages. Fill them up and squeeze them to play freeze tag or squirt them at a ping pong ball to move it across the pool. For smaller swimmers, encourage them to be brave and swim out to the toy, rewarding them by allowing them to squirt anyone in sight!
5. DOHENY’S SWIMMING POOL NOODLES: These vinyl pool noodles are 6″ in diameter and are pretty much indestructible! We love the ridges that provide a little sensory boost too! Pool noodles are just plain fun. Ride them, swim over and under them, use them as a sword, or just lay over them and relax!
6. MELISSA AND DOUG UNDERWATER TREASURE HUNT: Everyone loves a treasure hunt and this cute version from Melissa and Doug has easy-to-see coins that your child can search for in the pool. They can dive for them or pick them up with their feet. If you have a little one just getting comfortable in the pool, put them along the side and have them use their hands to spider walk down the wall to get them.
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Looking for more great activities for kids and useful information about child development? Try these!
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