Fun In The Sun

Time spent at the pool or beach is essential to enjoying a perfect summer. Keeping cool in the sweltering summertime heat relies heavily on water. Whether it’s swimming pools, the ocean, country rivers, streams, waterfalls, or even a still pond for fishing, we all enjoy living life like beachcombers and bathing beauties for a few months out of the year. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a swimming pool in their backyard or to belong to a country club. This is when public pools are literal lifesavers!

Praise for the Public Pool 

Usually, when you visit a public swimming pool on a hot summer day, it’s filled with kids playing, practicing their handstands underwater, showing off their skills on the diving board, and judging who swims a lap the fastest. It’s an ideal scene and a wonderful time of year. Some games to play that don’t cost a thing, are entertaining for kids of all ages, and have been around since way before “Baby Shark” became an earworm include: 

  • Marco Polo: become familiar with a pool version of blindfolded hide-and-seek. It’s fun, simple and everyone can play.
  • A race is always fun but remember not to be a sore loser! Seeing who can swim back and forth across the pool the fastest is probably one of the oldest swimming pool pastimes there is. 
  • Toss coins to the bottom of the pool and see who can collect the most.
  • Practice swimming strokes. Stage your own contest and vote on who has the most solid back, butterfly, and breast strokes. Maybe you or one of your friends can hold their breath for a really long time underwater; this is always fodder for childhood games at the pool.
  • If you want to show off your diving skills, make sure the water is deep enough (at least ten feet). Safety cannot be stressed enough!
  • Backflips, anyone? Who can make the biggest splash with a cannonball, tread water the longest, and/or doggy paddle like a pro? How about having an underwater tea party?

On the Beach 

Water sports at the ocean are endless and always amusing for a thrill seeker; there’s an added excitement to the beach that you just don’t experience at a pool. Remember to be careful of the undertow, never go out alone, make sure there’s always a lifeguard on duty, and, if the current is strong, steer clear.  Some sports to try include:

  • Jet skiing 
  • Water skiing/Wave Running
  • Surfing 
  • Snorkeling
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving 
  • Deep Sea Fishing

For these different sports, it’s important to be with someone who is familiar with the surroundings, equipment, etc. Always go with an adult if you’re venturing out into the ocean and use proper gear, life vests, leashes for surf and boogie boards, etc. 

Another aspect of the ocean that is exceptional is the natural element, so take advantage and build a sandcastle, collect seashells and stones, and observe all the native flora and fauna. You might even see a dolphin, whale, jellyfish, crab, or even, gasp, a shark! Study the pattern of the waves hitting the shore. Did you know that Thomas Edison learned about the way sound travels (and invented the phonograph) by watching ocean waves recede and noticing the marks left behind on the sand? 

River Rapids

“The river has great wisdom and whispers its secrets to the hearts of men.” 

Mark Twain

A river is constantly flowing, always being fed by tributaries, streams, and waterfalls. Some of the most fun to have this summer is at a river, maybe on a camping trip with fireside ghost stories complete with hotdogs and marshmallows roasting. Some water sports to try include: 

  • Kayaking
  • Whitewater rafting 
  • Inner Tubing 

And don’t forget to bring along your fishing pole! Fishing on the bank of a river or stream or from a pier at a pond is more accessible than going out on a boat in the ocean because deep-sea fishing consists of, well, really big fish, special bait, lures, and, of course, sharks and stingrays. Another fun river accessory to have nearby is a tire swing. 

To learn about Spartan and the Green Egg’s series of books, other exciting activities and sports, destinations for explorers, and amazing sights all over the world, visit the website


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