Tips for Summer: Making Swimming Fun!

Swimming is a great activity for a hot day that provides entertainment and exercise. Swimming helps children develop strength and coordination, and is considered an important life-saving skill. As a former child swim instructor, I have met many parents who struggle with a child who is afraid of water.

Here are some tips on making swimming fun and encouraging your child to enjoy the water

  • If your child is afraid of water, ask him/her why. Many times, children don’t like it when they can’t see the bottom of a lake or pond. Start in a shallow pool with clear water.
  • Play games while sitting on the steps. You can play “drums” on the water, hitting the surface with your hands and making big splashes. Work your way down the steps, deeper and deeper.Mother with child at the pool.
  • Blow bubbles in the water. If your child doesn’t want to put his/her face in the water, use a straw to make bubbles. You can pretend you’re fish or sing a song underwater. Or you can have competitions to see who can hold their breath the longest.
  • Fetch sinkable toys from the bottom of the pool. There are colored rings, boats, and other objects that are available for this purpose. This will encourage kids to submerge their whole bodies and help them figure out how to move in the water. You can start shallow and move deeper.

Once your child is feeling more comfortable in the water, there are plenty of games you can play to make pool time more fun and encourage exercise and gross motor play

  • Marco-Polo
  • 1-2-3-Trophy: Make up different ways of moving your legs while doing a handstand in the water. For example, the “trophy” handstand involves keeping your legs straight, while the “scissor” handstand involves scissoring your legs back and forth. See how many you and your child can think of!
  • Water basketball: Floatable basketball hoops or hoops set up at the edge of the pool are great.
  • Water volleyball
  • Jumping Simon-Says: As one person is about to jump in the pool, someone has to yell out what kind of jump they have to do (cannonball, pencil, star, etc). The jumper has to quickly make that position in the air before they hit the water.
  • Races: Race from one end of the pool to the other, or race to collect sunken objects.
  • Shark-Attack: For groups of 3 or more, one person plays the shark, who turns his/her back to the pool. The other people have to make it from one side of the pool to the other without being tagged by the shark. If the shark thinks the others have started swimming, he/she can jump in and try to tag them.
  • Monkey-in-the-Middle

Swimming is a great outdoor activity that promotes exercise and gross motor development. Use these tips if your child doesn’t enjoy swimming or is afraid of the water.

Love What You Read?  Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blogs Via Email!

Tips to Help Stay Cool over Summer

For most kids, summer means no school, staying up late, playing outside for hours, and going to the pool. It is essential to stay cool during these activities.

To help your kids and family stay cool over the summer, try these ten helpful strategies:

Children in the shade during summertime

  1. Clothing: Dress in light colors. Also, cotton fabrics can help you keep cooler, as well as clothing that fits more loosely.
  2. Hats: If you are wearing a hat, you can put cold water in it throughout the day and put it back on your head to help you stay cool.
  3. Beverages: Drink lots of cold water and be sure to stay hydrated. You can also drink sports drinks that have electrolytes in them. However, it is helpful to water down these drinks since they tend to contain a lot of sugar. Freezing water bottles and bringing them with you when you’re going to the beach or park ensures that you’ll have something cold to drink for hours. In addition, be sure to avoid caffeinated drinks. They can make you more thirsty and leave you dehydrated.
  4. Foods: During the summer, try to eat lighter and cooler foods. Many people do not feel hungry due to the heat; however, an empty stomach can lead to lightheadedness, especially in the heat. Munching on smaller snacks/meals throughout the day, like vegetables and fruits, can help cool you down.
  5. Time of the Day: If possible, try to plan activities during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or early evening hours.
  6. Common Sense: If it is just too hot outside, choose indoor activities, such as arts and crafts or board games. You can also plan to go to a museum or see a movie.
  7. Spray Bottles: Before going out to play, be sure to bring a spray bottle filled with cold water.  Spraying yourself can help refresh and cool you down.
  8. Fans: If you’re outside on a hot day, use a portable fan to help you stay cool. You could also attach it to your child’s stroller to keep him or her cool as well.
  9. Water: Outside water play is a great way to stay cool on a hot day. You can go to the pool, run through the sprinkler, or even have water balloon tosses.
  10. Seek Shade: When you are outdoors, make sure that there is shade nearby. Using shade from trees or bringing umbrellas or tents will provide relief from the sun.

Remember – when playing outside, stay smart and keep these tips in mind to help stay safe. Listen to what your body is telling you and keep cool. And finally, be sure to wear your sunscreen!

Love What You Read?  Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blogs Via Email!


In today’s Webisode, a Pediatric Behavior Analyst explains techniques on how to encourage your child to do homework. She will cover various approaches to help the parent understand the child’s behavior and assist him to want to do homework as a result.

In this video you will learn:

  • What goals can a parent set to help the child do homework
  • The significance of adaptive behavior with the approach to homework
  • Ways to help your child want to do homework

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn
Ackerman. Today I’m standing with Behavior Analyst Katie

Katie, can you give us some pointers on how to encourage a child
to do homework?

Katie: Yes. To help your child get more involved with their homework,
some things that you can do are create a schedule in which
there’s an exact day and time that your child will do the
homework. Looking at weekdays, they can do their homework right
when they get home from school or maybe they want to do it after

Another thing is the weekends. It is usually best to have your
child do homework on Friday so they’re not rushing on Sunday
night trying to get it done. With this schedule of the time, you
definitely want to have your child involved. Have them pick out
the time and just be creative with that. With that being done,
you do want to stick to having that schedule and always do
homework at that time.

Even with a schedule, there might be situations where your child
will want to do something else. He might want to go play
basketball or play Wii. In those situations you want to use
‘first/then’ directives. You’re still going to stick to that
schedule. You’re going to tell your child, “First you can do
your homework, and then you can go play basketball.”

Another thing that can be helpful is having a designated area to
do homework. To do that, pick an area in the house. You want to
find somewhere where there aren’t a lot of distractions, maybe
in the kitchen doing it at the table or at the computer or
office studio. Those would be great choices. Even going to the
library and having his homework be done there. With your
designated area, you do want to go ahead and have all the
utensils that the child would need; pencils, paper, markers,
whatever they would need, so they’re not wasting time and
prolonging the homework process.

Another thing that can be done is providing praise for your
child and giving them encouragement, “Great job doing your
work,” and, “I like how you’re being so studious.” With more
challenging things, you can do things in regards to giving them
tangible reinforcement. Maybe they had a really big task or a
really big project that they spent a lot of time on and were
nervous about. You can do an extra little, “Let’s go get some
ice cream,” or, “You got an A on that test. I’m so happy. I know
you wanted this toy,” just a little more reinforcement. You
don’t always want to give that reinforcement because you want
them to be doing their homework on their own, but that’s just
helpful for harder subjects or things that they might struggle

Another thing is that when your child is doing homework, you
should also be quiet. You don’t want to be doing things that are
going to be fun and exciting that your child would want to do.
Try to avoid playing on the computer, doing Wii Fit, and things
of that nature. At that time you can be paying your bills or
responding to emails, something that’s just a little more low-
key and your child won’t want to be involved with.

Robyn: All right. Thank you so much. Those are actually really
wonderful tips. Thank you to our viewers, and remember, keep on

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of
mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To
subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit
our website at That’s