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What are the best water-based sports for kids?

by Carolyn Hopping (follow)
Children (14)      School Holidays (4)      Family entertainment (1)     


water park
Image courtesy of Bev Sykes from Davis CA, USA / Wikimedia Commons


Exercise is crucial for children, but during the long hot Australian summer many sports that are played outdoors arenít suitable, due to the excessive heat. Water-sports are a perfect solution, as kids can get all the exercise they need while having loads of fun in the cool refreshing water.

What are the best water-based sports for children? What are most suitable for very little tiny-tots, and what would older children enjoy most?

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A lot of water sports are where you are actually on top of the water - like surfboarding, so you are still exposed to the sun. You also need a surfboard. I think the best water sports is good old fashion swimming; you're in the water, getting lots of exercise because you always have to be moving, and you don't need to buy any extra equipment. For young toddlers, going in the baby pool with an inflatable ball, and arm bands will get them learning to swim, while being able to splash about and play games.
A lot of water sports are where you are actually on top of the water - like surfboarding, so you are still exposed to the sun. You also need a surfboard. I think the best water sports is good old fashion swimming; you're in the water, getting lots of exercise because you always have to be moving, and you don't need to buy any extra equipment. For young toddlers, going in the baby pool with an inflatable ball, and arm bands will get them learning to swim, while being able to splash about and play games.
Swimming. I think children should be taught to swim very early and can then enjoy the water - with proper and diligent supervision of course.
Swimming, surf boarding, body boarding, sailing and fishing.
Swimming, surf boarding, body boarding, sailing and fishing.
Canoeing is a wonderful sport and children can be introduced to it when they're still very young, either as passengers in their parents' canoes, or in their own little beginners' ones. Of course, they need to be supervised very carefully, wear life jackets and only go out where the water is calm and quite shallow, but they will still have a blast.

If you live close to a lake or other large body of water, sailing can also be a lot of fun. Surfing is becoming increasingly popular with kids too, and the terrific Vegemite Surf Groms programs introduce little ones to the basics of the sport and teach them all about water safety at the beach. Surf Groms are held at surfing schools and clubs all around coastal Australia, usually from October until April.
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