Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guest Post: 4 Math Activities for the Pool by Patricia Sarmiento

This guest post is by Patricia Sarmiento.  You know how I love math and I am tickled to incorporate math into my summer pool times

4 Math Activities for the Pool

            Don’t get me wrong, summertime should definitely be action-packed and fun for the kids. But I’ve never been one to pass up a great learning opportunity, and time at the pool provides many. First, it’s a great time to teach your kids about water safety as they strengthen their swim skills. If you’re looking for information on pool safety, this all-in-one guide on recreational swimming safety is a great place to start.

            Then, there are also the many learning-based pool games. What’s great is that many of them are so much fun that the kids don’t even realize they’re playing an educational game. Here are a few math-based games that I played with my kids last summer, and that I’ll definitely be trying out again this year:

Swimming Pool Math Toss. From, this is a great game to play with elementary school-age children. Buy a few plastic Frisbees and sponges. Write numbers on the backs of the Frisbees and corresponding equations on sponges. Then, put the Frisbees in the pool and have the kids toss the sponges at the correct Frisbees. If the kids are older, you can use more challenging equations or larger numbers.

Fishing Fun! This is a fantastic multi-subject lesson. It prompts you to take the kids pretend fishing at the pool. Make your own fishing poles using string, sticks, and paper clips and have the kids go fishing. Use the worksheet provided by to help the kids imagine what kind of fish they might catch. When they do catch something, have them “measure” what they’ve caught by using the fish on the worksheet.

In addition to being a creative thinking and math lesson, it is a great opportunity to teach your kids about how to be safe around ponds, lakes, streams, and other natural bodies of water. 

Math-driven Swim Lesson. Academy Swim Club offers several ways to turn your kids’ swim lessons into math lessons. For example, you might ask them to swim a path in a certain shape or ask them to swim x + y number of laps. Connecting their swim lessons to math concepts is a great way to challenge their minds as they become stronger swimmers.

Swimming Pool. From the University of Cambridge, you can either use the provided diagram to use this lesson on a rainy day or use the actual steps of a pool. It comes with several questions for you to ask your “students” to help you guide them through the lesson. The activity offers a fun way to help younger kids work on counting and to introduce them to negative numbers. It also offers a nice opportunity to discuss with young children the safest ways to enter the pool.

I want my kids to experience learning during the summer, but because swimming is such a valuable skill, I also want them to spend as much time as possible becoming stronger swimmers. With these activities, they can do both.

Patricia Sarmiento is a health and fitness blogger. A former high school and college athlete, she loves writing about health, wellness, fitness, and other health-related topics. She and her family make living an active lifestyle a constant goal. They live in Maryland.

Photo credit: Via Flickr – by flattop341

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