Written by: Michelle Goodwin, LPC – Therapist- San Marcos location
Continuing with the theme of A day at the Beach, this blog focusses on the activities that can be done outside. These activities are designed to keep kids active and everyone in the family can participate. There will be some preparation for activities to happen. Better to decide what activities you can do and then do the preparation for each activity before you tell the kids what you are doing. You may need time to figure out how to adapt to your space. For these activities it will be fun to dress for the beach.
What to wear: Bathing suits or shorts and loose-fitting tops; sunglasses and hats.
What to have handy: Sunscreen and Beach towels
Activity 1 – Outside Swim Activities (Teenagers can help set up space and participate. After smaller kids participate, have adults compete and or compete against teenagers)
A) Swim relays – You will have to figure out how to set up backyard.
1) Have children line up. Adult says, “On your mark, get set, go!” The kids race moving arms like they are swimming arms while walking really fast.
2) Have children line up. Adult says, “On your mark, get set, go!” The kids move arms like they are swimming arms while hopping.
3) Have children line up. Adult says, “On your mark, get set, go!” The kids move arms like they are swimming arms while running.
4) Have children line up backwards. Adults says, “On your mark, get set, go! The swimmer has to go backwards move arms like they are swimming arms (back stroke) while walking.
B) Surfs Up – Put two beach towels side by side on ground (Old towels you don’t care about)
One kid each (or an adult and kid) on a towel and the adult will say “Surfs up!” and kids pretend to surf and then the adult yells “Wipe out!” and the participants must fall down and have to swim (run) length of yard before getting back on surfboard towels. (repeat as many times as fun)
C) Pool Noodle Race – If you have pool noodles, you can do relays with one person holding the pool noodle or two people holding the same noodle and racing. If you can do the relays with two people holding the noodle, one at each end. Do one race skipping one race walking fast and one race running. If one person is racing against another one person then each must hold the noodle on one shoulder with one hand.
(Relays can be done with beach pails filled with water or inflated beach balls if you have enough.)
Activity 3 – Water activities -Inflatable pools, water guns, water balloons, water balloon volleyball, sprinklers. Kids love participating in all these things. Choose one to do. I know these are generally summer activities, but the weather has been warm, and it is time to play.
Activity 4 – Listen to the surf – Good calming activity when kids start to quiet down. Have each kid lie on a towel or chaise lounge. Have them breathe in slowly through the nose and breath out slowly through the opened mouth. Have kids do in unison (if possible) and tell them that is the sound the sea makes when the tide come in at the beach.*
Part of mental health is having balance in our lives. The nice thing about these activities is you can do just one activity or do one each day or do a Saturday morning of fun! The other thing that is great is once we are not quarantined from each other, you can invite friends and family to do some of these things again. It is important to take some time out of the seriousness of this virus and have some fun. Happy Beach Day!
*Ocean Breath taken from (Therapist Aid, 2015)