Water Fun Ideas with Tweens

Go beyond swimming with these fun water activities

Canoeing is a water activity you can enjoy together. iStockphoto.com

By now your child should be a competent swimmer and understand and follow water safety rules. If he has, it's time to introduce your tween to other fun water activities. Whether you're traveling to the ocean, a lake, or just exploring your own town, chances are there are fun water activities you and your child can enjoy together. Consider exploring the wonderful wet world around you with the activities below.


Water Fun -- Ideas for Tweens

Try Something New: The best way to learn about the water is to find activities that take place on the water. Consider taking classes to learn how to surf, kayak, paddle board or canoe. Make sure your tween learns how to enjoy these activities safely and responsibly. If your child is really adventurous you could consider other activities such as snorkeling, or even parasailing. Of course, fishing and crabbing are water-based activities that many children would enjoy trying. 

Learn Knot Tying: If your child is interested in sailing, teach him the basics of knot tying, such as how to make a fancy knot, and other knots routinely used with sailing and boating. He could also learn basic sailing and boating terminology, traditions and even songs. 

Investigate Water Habitats: If your child is interested in biology, wildlife or just nature in general, there's a lot to learn from the water.

Investigate the role water plays in habitats, and how animals and plants depend on the water for their existence. Find out if the animals like the water to be murky or warm, if they use the water to find food, and if they know how to swim or exist in the water. 

Explore Through Books: Books are a wonderful way to learn about anything, water included.

Find books that your tween would enjoy reading that revolve around water. Classic novels such as Moby Dick and Treasure Island immediately come to mind, but a quick search will reveal hundreds of titles your tween would enjoy. 

Explore Careers: There are a number of careers that take place near or on the water. Explore these careers with your tween. You can look into what it takes to become a lifeguard, a professional fisherman, a sailboat captain, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard or the United States Navy. Other careers you could investigate could be someone who makes a living on water tourism (such as a local fish boat captain) or even someone who works for a major cruise line. 

Attend an Event: One fun way to learn more about the water is to attend a water event, such as a surfing contest,  a kayaking race, a swim meet or even a fishing competition. If your tween has the skills to enter the event, give it a try. Or, consider participating as a volunteer. Learn the rules of the event and follow the progress of those who have entered.

Your child will learn more about the skills it takes to be good at a particular sport, as well as how much fun water competition can be. 

Take a Water Safety Course: Your local chapter of the American Red Cross or your local YMCA probably offers classes in water and boating safety. Check to see if your child is old enough to attend classes. Be sure you're as confident and capable on the water as you hope your tween is -- be sure you understand how to use a personal flotation device, and how to practice responsible water safety and provide adult supervision at all times. 

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