Having Fun in and out of the water this Half Term
Posted on 11th February 2015
You don’t always have to don a swimsuit to have fun with water and it needn't involve squirt guns, sprinklers or rain! Although all of these are fantastic fun in the summer, they would be a lousy way to spend this half term unless you’re taking a sunshine break somewhere hot.
Oh well back to reality. For most of us, when the TV has been watched, the Lego built and the paint applied its time to get out of the house. Here are a few water related activities that you can get involved in without having to brave a cold changing room.
Feed the ducks – Oh the nostalgia, I remember doing this as a child at the local duck pond in the park. Mum would always hand out slices of soft brown bread (my brother would eat most of his!) and we’d lean through the railings as far as we could to try and tempt the ducks to take our bread over someone else’s.
Feeding the ducks is not only fun and free but can also be a great way to introduce and educate your child on British Wildlife. Here are a few fun facts you can share:
- Ducks can see well underwater.
- Ducks eat grain, seeds, nuts, fruit, insects, water plants and even small fish. Tip: Feeding bread is a thing of the past, take grapes cut in half or duck pallets instead. It’s a lot healthier for the ducks.
- Ducks are social. They live in groups called rafts or teams.
- Male ducks are called drakes. Females are called hens. Babies are ducklings.
- Ducks fly in a “V” shape. This shape makes flying easier.
TOP TIP – This is a great opportunity to talk about how ducks swim! You can talk about how they kick their feet underwater (just like your child does at the pool) or how much paddling they do that we can’t see?
A walk on the beach – If you’re lucky enough to be driving distance of a beach, make sure you take this opportunity and head for the coast. Even at this time of year (when its blowing a gale and raining) there is plenty of exploring to be done! Get the kids wrapped up (don’t forget our wetsuits and Combi’s can be worn under clothes for that extra warm and waterproof layer) and get out there.
Rock pooling in winter is still a haven of wildlife activity, you can expect to find crabs and sea urchins all going about their business. If you’re brave enough, pop on some wellies and take a paddle on the shoreline, you could spot some unexpectedly pretty shells!
TOP TIP – For safe splashing about in rock pools and shorelines make sure you head out at low tide. Get the tide times online or from the local RLSS station to make sure you get the best exploring times.
Puddles and Pooh sticks – We spend our workdays talking about Poo here at Splash Towers, so it stands to reason that it’s also a topic of conversation on play days! We just can’t get away from it. But this time it’s the real Pooh game which is much more fun.
Wrap up and head for a bridge and a stream where they can get some lovely fresh air, splash through puddles and play Pooh sticks. It’s an old game that never looses its appeal, children will have great fun throwing sticks from one side and then racing across to the other side of the bridge to see who won. As long as you have a stick you have a game! Cheap and great family fun.
TOP TIP – Explain the dangers of running water to school age children and teach them to stay away from the edge of streams and rivers. Healthy respect for water is an important lesson to teach children.
Aquarium adventure – If the weather does finally defeat you then head to your nearest Aquarium. Kids just love the huge variety of fish on display including Stingrays and Sharks. These purpose built entertainment sites are the perfect way to introduce children to the wonders that live underwater. Many provide fact sheets and quizzes to keep the older ones busy whilst they move through the displays.
TOP TIP – If you don’t live near an Aquarium or if you fancy a less expensive day out then local Garden Centre can sometimes have a great tropical and cold water fish selection that you could show your children. These usually have very experienced staff that can answer those tricky questions that you or your children may have (be careful, you might be talked into taking some home!).
So, with half term looming and 5 days of fun to be had here are four days worth of suggestions to keep you water focused. On the fifth day get yourself down to the swimming baths and get Splashing About!