Water Fun

Here in southern California, we've already had our share of warm days. Our kids went for their first pool play date a couple weekends ago. I wasn't quite prepared, thinking we'd be back in our house by this time, so I didn't know where the boys' swimsuits were! Fortunately, that problem was remedied quickly and they were able to jump in with their buddies. It seems like it's going to be a warm one down here for sure! We don't have a traditional swimming pool in our yard, but we have been able to have quite a bit of fun in an inflatable one (even our teen! She's a good sport.). But even with an inflatable, especially with little ones, make sure there is constant supervision, just as you would in the tub. It doesn't take much water for something to happen, and we wouldn't want that would we?

Today, I've collected some reading material from around the Web to give you ideas on enjoying the warm weather outdoors. From water safety to pool games, I hope you'll find what you need to help make this summer a fun--and safe!---one in the sun.

Preschool Ideas:

DIY Water (or Sand) Table: I am thinking we're going to need to make one of these in our house! If you don't want to spend big bucks on one made for preschools, and you have a handy husband or neighbor who could help you put one together, this can give countless hours of entertainment to your little ones. Not sure what to do after you make one? Check out Pre-Kinders' site  or eHow for lots of learning activities to make the most of your investment.

6 Safety Activities Every Family Must Know (Pool Safety): This is an excellent article, with suggested activities to make sure your kids are water safe this summer. I wish I had read it more carefully before we went swimming last weekend. By the grace of God, my little one was spared from what could have been tragic accidents. Somehow he didn't quite realize that stepping off the step in a pool is a lot different than stepping off the step on dry ground. After this incident, I am making sure we go through these again before our next pool party!

Not only that, we will need to start some swim lessons for Jonathan. If your child doesn't do well with group or private lessons, and you're willing to get in there and help him yourself, Cheerios and Lattes is having a Teach Your Child to Swim Summer Series especially for little ones. Very well done and worth reading! Even if you don't actually teach your own children to swim, it will give you things you can do with them in the pool when you're just goofing around.

Water Games and Toys:

31 Cool Games and Crafts Using Pool Noodles: we don't have these as we don't have a pool, but I'm beginning to get second thoughts after reading this article!

PVC Pipe Sprinkler "Kids Wash": now this looks fun! Who needs to go the water park? Here's another one from Under the Sycamore  that shows how she used Family Fun's idea with her family.

Sponge Balls (aka Sponge Bombs, Water Bombs): I can imagine what my sons would do if they got their hands on one of these. Better yet, maybe they can make their own! I can see a full blown battle in our backyard with these and some squirt bottles! The best part? No pool required!

Sunblock or Sunscreen?

Every mom knows that this is a summer essential. But what is the difference? Here are a couple articles for you to read so you can make an informed decision. I'm not necessarily endorsing anything---just putting it out there to think about. Of course, do your own research to come to your own conclusions!

Sunscreen vs. Sunblock from About.com Pediatrics.

The 411 on Sunblock vs. Sunscreen from Scott and White Community Blog

UCSF School of Medicine's Department of Dermatology recommendations