If you own a home on a lake and have been hesitant to allow your children or grandchildren to play in the lake, don't be. Of course, you'll want to be sure they are capable of swimming and/or provide them with life jackets or other water buoyancy aid devices, and always watch the children while they are in or near the water. However, you can foster their love for nature by introducing them to several games to play off of your dock on the lake. Here's why, a game idea, and how to make sure your dock is safe.
Foster their love for nature
Children love to play games outside and always have but, according to research, children today only spend half as much time outside as their parents did when they were the same age. What's even more startling is that 47% of parents in a survey felt that their children were addicted to mobile devices. One has to wonder how all of this affects children's ability to be creative through imaginary play, as well as how it affects their physical and mental health. Regular exposure to the outdoors has been found to improve children's cognitive development.
An example game to teach them
Bulldozer Relay is a great way to get the children active and have the bottom of the swimming area of the lake cleaned up at the same time. This game can be played by 2 or more people with strong swimming abilities to reach the lake bed. You will need one bucket for each player or team of players. Each player acts as a bulldozer and gathers up rocks and debris from the lake bed. The contents of the scoopers (player's hands) are rushed to buckets that are placed at the edge of the dock. The game is won when a player or team fills their bucket first. For newer swimmers who are not ready to go underwater yet, throw a few small balloons out onto the water for them to retrieve and put into their buckets.
Ensure the dock is safe
If you do not have a dock or your existing dock is old and decrepit, install a new dock that is made with plastic. Plastic docks don't require the necessary maintenance that wood docks require, and they are resistant to mold and mildew growth. Plastic docks are also slip-resistant, which is important to help protect against accidents, especially when children are in the middle of playing. Regardless of which type of dock you have, always inspect the dock for safety first before each time you allow children to play on or near the dock.