It’s pool time! Here in Northern Virginia, almost every community has a pool and we either get a membership included with our monthly HOA fees or in our current house, we do not have an HOA so we can choose to purchase a membership to our neighborhood pool or the pool of our choice.
Now, I realize that not every community has such a dense population as to have a pool around every corner like what we have here – but I still think chances are good (pretty much anywhere in Northern Virginia) you have a pool close enough to your home that a pool membership is feasible and even a good idea. I’ll tell you why we join our local pool in Northern Virginia and I think you should too.
Families who join the local pool are exercising
Swimming is an awesome form of exercise. Its low impact, and the water cushions your joints from strain. Water also makes you weightless so it feels like less work to move in the water but actually uses *more* energy.
Kids at the pool are off devices
At least they should be except for short pool breaks. I don’t know about you, but we definitely need moderation when it comes to electronic devices. One way to get kids off devices and still having fun is to take them to the pool!
Kids at the pool are playing
Whether they are making new friends or playing with old friends — kids at the pool are getting involved in each other’s play. Diving sticks, beach balls, basketball hoops, and pool toys encourage kids to play together for more fun. Fred Rogers said that “play is the work of childhood,” and evidence supports the idea that more playtime and less formal learning is good for a child’s brain.
Kids at the Pool are Learning to Swim
My children have been raised on “pool summers” and have learned to be comfortable in the water from a very young age. By going to the pool often and encouraging water play you can help your child learn to swim.
When my kids were little we did swim lessons, and then throughout the week, we would practice their new skills for a few minutes each day. My eight-year-old boys have been swimming underwater like fish for a few years now. They still can’t pass the swim test because of endurance, but they can swim and I attribute that to the massive amounts of time we’ve spent at the pool.
Kids at the Pool are Becoming Stronger Swimmers
Once kids have learned to swim, every day at the pool increases their swimming strength. With knowledge about swim strokes and the ability to pass a swim test, kids won’t even think twice about swimming across the pool – and every time they do that they get a little stronger and a little more confident.
Kids at the Pool are not at Home Messing up the House!
I don’t know about your house. At my house the more time we spend at home the messier it gets. One of the benefits of getting the entire family out of the house for a few hours in the afternoon is that my “summer” house does not look like a tornado just went through.
Now, we still have laundry to do and I won’t tell you what it looks like during VBS week, but at least the rest of the summer it is actually *less* housework and chores than we have during the school year.
Siblings at the Pool Bicker Less
Pool time is a distraction from the day-to-day stress of sibling relationships. I don’t know why, but siblings at the pool bicker less and cooperate more. Or they play with other kids and therefore aren’t as bored with each other when they are at home. In any case, this really works. Its a thing.
Kids at the Pool in the daytime Sleep More Soundly a Night
As I mentioned when I talked about how much exercise we get at the pool, swimming is an excellent workout. Spend two to three hours (or more) at the pool and your kids are going to thank you by getting a good night’s rest – and hopefully early.
Families at the Pool are Getting Vitamin D
During a recent doctor visit, my doctor mentioned to me that a very high percentage of people in the United States are low on Vitamin D. I don’t remember the exact number, but it was significant.
I realize that many sunscreens block vitamin D, so mid-summer it might be a good idea to wait thirty minutes before applying sunscreen, or perhaps skip re-application during one of the pool breaks. Getting more Vitamin D will put everyone in a better mood and help you feel better too!