I love to take the kids swimming because they love it and it uses a lot of their energy in a positive way. They are playing, splashing, swimming, jumping and LAUGHING most of the time! On the weekend, we go to my parent’s house on the lake to swim and go boating (see pictures of our lake trips here).
During the week, we try to go to our neighborhood pool. It can be tough to take the kids swimming, if there are a lot of other kids in the pool because I can’t keep my eyes on our four kids if there are 20 other ones in the pool. If we go when it is busy, I try to sit on the side with our younger kids and watch our older ones swim.
If we are in the toddler/baby pool, its easy because all four kids can get in and splash around, but as soon as we go towards the big pool, I like to have a back up plan to let our toddler play without getting in the water.
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Here is what I have been bringing to our pool:
1). Bucket (take two because they like to dump them into one another)
2). Paintbrushes (several)
3). mini paint roller
This is such an easy activity! Just let your baby, toddler or preschooler “PAINT” the concrete with water. This kept our one and three year old busy for about an hour last week, while their older brothers swam.
I hope that this helps to give you some ideas of your own. This activity, painting with Kool-aid is another fun (messy) one that our kids love!