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Making a splash: Outdoor swimming with kids

family open water swimming

Looking for a fun and refreshing activity to do with your kids? Look no further than outdoor swimming!

Outdoor swimming provides excitement for children and it also comes with numerous health benefits.

Cold water swimming could be the perfect choice for your next family outing!

Our blog covers essential safety tips for a worry-free experience and highlights some of the UK’s top kid-friendly outdoor swimming spots.

So get ready to make a splash and create unforgettable memories with your kids in the great outdoors!

The Joy of Outdoor Swimming with Kids

Outdoor swimming has many physical fitness and mental well-being benefits for your kids.

Swimming outdoors provides a great opportunity for kids to get active and strengthen their swimming skills. It also promotes a sense of adventure and exploration.

However, safety precautions should always be taken into account. So make sure to properly supervise your little ones and make use of flotation devices, such as pool noodles or tow floats!

To make outdoor swimming sessions even more enjoyable, incorporating fun activities like pool games and water sports can keep the little swimmers engaged and excited. (We recommend poohsticks!)

When choosing a location, considering factors such as water quality and facilities available is essential.

Ultimately, outdoor swimming can create lasting memories and serve as a bonding experience for families; there are also many health benefits associated with cold water swimming.

Health Benefits of Swimming for Children

Swimming offers so many health benefits for children and adults. As it’s a low-impact activity, it improves cardiovascular health and strengthens the heart. Swimming also contributes to strong muscles, flexibility, and coordination in kids.

So, not only is swimming a fun way for children to stay active, but it also helps them maintain a healthy weight.

The buoyancy of water reduces strain on joints, making swimming a safe exercise, especially for kids who are hitting their growth spurts!

So, take your little swimmers to the outdoor pool or open water swimming spots, watch them stay healthy, and have a blast.

Why Choose the Outdoors for Swimming?

There are several reasons to choose the outdoors for swimming with kids, such as:

  • Builds a connection to nature and the environment
  • Gets your kids out in the fresh air and sunlight (and away from their devices!)
  • Allows freedom for movement and play in open spaces
  • Offers the opportunity to explore new places

Essential Safety Tips for Outdoor Swimming

Safety should always be your top priority whilst outdoor swimming with kids. Supervision is essential to ensure your children remain safe at all times in the water. Teaching children basic swimming skills and water safety rules will help them feel confident in the water.

Before diving in, always check the water conditions and avoid areas with strong currents or hazardous debris.

Other top tips for safety while outdoor swimming with kids includes:

  • Make sure children wear appropriate flotation devices for added safety
  • Keep your kids hydrated and protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays with suncream or rashguards
  • Teach your children how to recognise and respond to emergencies in the water
  • Take your children to outdoor swimming spots that have on-duty lifeguards.
Child in water safety equipment
Child in water safety equipment

Supervision and Lifeguard Presence

Always ensure there is proper adult supervision when children are swimming outdoors. Choosing swimming locations with lifeguards on duty is also a good idea.

Lifeguards are highly trained to respond quickly in case of emergencies and provide assistance if needed. However, it’s important not to rely solely on lifeguards – adults should always actively supervise their children and ensure they can follow basic swimming instructions.

The scary fact is that it only takes a couple of seconds for fatal accidents to occur, especially if your children are not yet strong swimmers. So keep your eyes on the prize and watch your children like a hawk!

Teaching children about water safety and the importance of following lifeguards’ instructions can help them enjoy their swimming experience without risk.

Another way to ensure a child’s safety in the water is by kitting them up with the proper equipment.

Safety Gear for Kids

Swim vests or a swim safety jacket are a great option as they provide extra flotation and help build confidence in young swimmers. Arm floaties or armbands are easy to put on and take off, but remember, they should never be relied upon as the sole safety measure.

Invest in good quality swim goggles to protect their eyes from chemicals and provide clear vision underwater.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen generously to protect their delicate skin from harmful UV rays.

Additionally, having a whistle or a waterproof phone case is important for emergency communication and keeping your kids within sight.

By taking these necessary precautions, you can ensure to avoid the dangers of open-water swimming and create a safe and enjoyable outdoor swimming experience for your kids.

Top Kid-Friendly Outdoor Swimming Spots

In searching for top kid-friendly outdoor swimming spots, safety and suitability are key.

Research local areas that offer an environment for swimmers of all ages that are safe for swimming. Look for swimming pools with designated play areas and lifeguards on duty.

Consider the amenities available, such as restrooms, picnic areas, and shade, to ensure a comfortable experience for your family. Don’t forget to check for any age restrictions or specific rules for children at each location.

Pack essential items like sunscreen, towels, floatation devices, inflatables and snacks to keep your little ones happy during their time in the water.

Remember to keep a close eye on your child at all times and ensure they follow safety guidelines.

Family-friendly Lidos and Pools in the UK

There are various family-friendly lidos and pools that offer a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for kids.

These outdoor swimming spots provide shallow areas for young children to splash around in, and many even have additional facilities like water slides and splash pads to keep them entertained.

Lifeguards are on duty to ensure the safety of swimmers and promote the prevention of drowning, making these spots perfect for families to enjoy a day out in the sun.

From London fields lido to Yorkshire’s unheated pools, there are plenty of great places to take your kids for some outdoor swimming fun in the UK.

Check out our location blogs to find the best spots for cold water swimming near you.

Natural Swimming Locations Ideal for Kids

Natural swimming locations offer a safe and enjoyable environment for kids to swim and explore. These spots typically have shallow areas and calm waters, making them perfect for young children.

Whether it’s ponds, lakes, or rivers with clean and clear water, these natural swimming locations provide ample opportunities for kids to have fun discovering underwater creatures and playing in the sand or rocks.

It’s a great way for families to enjoy the beauty of nature while staying cool during hot summer days.

Remember to always pack the essentials before setting off on a day out to your local swimming spot.

Group open water swimming
Group in River

Preparing for the Outdoor Swimming Trip

Before going for an outdoor swimming trip, take the following steps to prepare for a day of fun:

  • Check the weather forecast to choose a suitable day for outdoor swimming.
  • Pack essential swimming gear like swimsuits, towels, floatation devices, and sunscreen.
  • Research and select a safe and family-friendly swimming location.
  • Teach your kids about water safety rules to ensure they understand staying within designated swimming areas.
  • Plan for nibbles, drinks, and extra clothing after the swim.
  • Consider bringing water toys or games to keep children engaged.

What to Pack for an Outdoor Swim with Kids?

When heading for an outdoor swim with kids, make sure to pack swimwear like swimsuits, rash guards, and swim diapers if needed.

Don’t forget essentials like towels, sunscreen, hats, water shoes or flip-flops, extra clothes, and a plastic bag for wet swimsuits.

If you are swimming in the day sunglasses and goggles are advisable, and if swimming in the evening, extra warm layers and torches are a must!

Ideal Time and Weather for Outdoor Swimming

If you’re planning an outdoor swimming trip with kids, it is important to choose the ideal time and weather for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Opt for a sunny day with comfortable temperatures, allowing your little swimmers to make the most of their time in the water. However, it’s crucial to avoid swimming during thunderstorms or when the weather is extremely hot to ensure everyone’s safety.

The summer months are perfect for outdoor swimming as the water is warmer and more inviting. So take advantage of those school holidays!

Before heading out, always check the local weather forecast to ensure the conditions are ideal for swimming.

Consider scheduling your swim in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the peak hours of intense sunlight.

Making Outdoor Swimming Fun and Educational

To make the experience more exciting and educational, explore different swimming spots such as lakes, rivers, and beaches in your area. Take this opportunity to teach kids basic swimming techniques, how to swim better and water safety rules.

It’s also a great chance to educate them about aquatic ecosystems, wildlife, and conservation.

There are also many games you can play in outdoor swimming spots to keep the little ones entertained.

Games and Activities for Kids

Engaging in swimming games and activities while outdoor swimming with kids can enhance their overall swimming experience. One exciting option is water relay races, which not only allow kids to have fun but also helps them improve their swimming skills and teamwork.

Another fab game is the pool scavenger hunt, combining swimming and problem-solving, ensuring hours of entertainment. For a unique experience, an underwater treasure hunt can be organised, encouraging kids to dive for objects and learn about underwater exploration.

Classic games like Marco Polo can also be played, which can encourage the improvement of swimming abilities and spatial awareness.

To add more excitement to swimming, try playing Simon Says in the water, adding a twist to the traditional game!

Games are fun, but you can also make them educational! Research has shown that kids can often retain information better when it is taught to them in the form of a game

Child in river with water safety
Child wild water swimming

Integrating Learning into Swimming

While enjoying outdoor swimming, parents can take the opportunity to teach their kids about water safety, basic swimming skills, and how to follow safe swimming rules.

Additionally, swimming sessions can be turned into educational experiences by learning about aquatic ecosystems and marine life.

Incorporating games and activities that promote cognitive development can make swimming even more engaging for kids. Concepts such as buoyancy, hydrodynamics, and water conservation can be introduced through swimming.

Encouraging kids to explore and observe the natural environment while swimming outdoors can further enhance their learning experience.

By integrating learning into swimming, children can acquire valuable knowledge while having fun in the water.

How to Encourage Your Kids to Swim Outdoors?

Encouraging your kids to swim outdoors can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Start by introducing them to swimming in a safe environment and make it enjoyable with water-based activities and games.

Provide positive reinforcement and rewards to motivate their progress.


Outdoor swimming with kids is a wonderful way to create lasting memories and foster a love for the outdoors. Not only does it provide numerous health benefits for children, but it also allows them to experience the joy and freedom of swimming in natural environments.

However, safety on water should always be a top priority when swimming outdoors, and it is essential to be prepared and equipped with the necessary safety gear.

To make your outdoor swimming trip even more enjoyable, consider exploring the top kid-friendly outdoor swimming spots, such as family-friendly lidos and pools or natural swimming locations.

Pack the essentials for your trip, including sunscreen, towels, and snacks, and choose the ideal time and weather conditions for swimming.

By incorporating games, activities, and educational elements into your outdoor swimming adventures, you can make the experience both fun and enriching for your kids.

Encourage them to embrace the wonders of nature and develop their swimming skills while having a great time.