Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer is here....Let's enjoy it safely

    We have an inground pool at our house, and I was lucky to be able to work from home until Matt went to third grade.  That made me one of the most popular mom's in the neighborhood.  Our pool is fenced separately within the back yard and padlocked, which meant that no one could fall in accidentally.  Matt had friends with older and younger siblings, so we always had a range of ages, but everyone had to be tall enough to stand in the shallow end.   I loved having kids around, but I am not a strong swimmer, and so I appointed a different junior lifeguard each day.  Even though the kids were not allowed in the pool area without me, I gave my assistant several duties.  It was the junior lifeguard's job to make sure no one ran in the pool area, and to make sure the kids who couldn't swim well stayed in the shallow end with me.  I was the one sitting on the steps making waves.  We were also the ones who decided what games we got to play.  Before the kids could jump off the diving board, they had to earn it.  They could solve a grade- appropriate mutiplication table, or tell a joke, or name their dive.  Sometimes, everyone had to do a pencil dive, trying to make the smallest splash.  Other times they did a cannonball and tried to make the biggest splash.  We used the diving board as the stage.  It was a fun and safe way to kill several hours on a hot summer day.  I saw the little kids gain confidence, and become better swimmers.   Of couse, we had swimming races, volleyball ,  nerf basketball, and marco polo games.   Matt was having fun with his friends.  I provided towels , sunscreen and bandaids,  as well as snacks like freeze pops, cold drinks and cookies. I bought a couple of kids joke books.  I got to see how the kids behaved when they forgot I was around, and it was great to see them help each other.  My rule was that we could stay out as long as it was fun.  If the kids couldn't get along, then it was time to go  home.  We left the pool area each day, the same way we found it.  Clear and simple.
   I hope this gives some good ideas.  Remember, I'm not a professional, so take what you like and leave the rest.   So long for now....have a good week everyone....

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