Pool Exercises For Kids

Pools are a great place to not only play, but also work on exercise and conditioning. There are several great pool exercises for kids that you can do that seem like all fun and play! The summer months are prime pool season, but indoor pools provide opportunity for these water exercises for kids when the weather isn’t as nice!

We moved into a house a couple years ago that had a pool. As a pool owner, and someone with kids, safety is always my number one priority. Anytime kids are in a pool, whether they are playing or working on pool exercises, it is important that you take water safety very seriously. Any of the following pool exercises should only be done with water safety considerations first.

Pool Exercises For Kids

Pool Exercises For Kids

There are several advantages to exercising in the water.

  • The resistance that water provides.
  • The buoyance component of water.
  • The input from the pressure of the water.
  • The fun that comes with playing in the water!

Not only is in the water great, but using the sides of the pool or the pool railings is huge too when it comes to strengthening and coordination!

There are many exercises you can do without any need for toys or props, but there are also several great pool toys that can add to the fun with exercises. I’ll talk about a few of them in this post. The links I include are affiliate links. I only use affiliate links for items I love and/or use myself.

Not everyone has a pool or body of water accessible. Many of these exercises can still be transitioned to dry land exercises and used for a “pool day”! One of my favorite pool exercises transitioned to dry land is the waiter/waitress exercise below!

Water Exercises For Kids With Pool Noodles

Let’s start off with a few exercises that use pool noodles. Pool noodles are cheap and can be found at most stores during the summer months, and ordered online throughout the year. See even more ways to use a pool noodle outside of the pool!

These exercises are great for full body strength and body awareness!

In the first exercise, the kiddo sits on the pool noodle like they are straddling a horse. Feet need to be off the bottom of the pool. The goal is to try to balance without falling off the noodle!

You can add a paddle to this exercise and make it a race across the pool!

In the next exercise, the pool noodle is bent in the shape of a horseshoe. You will sit on the pool noodle with your feet off the ground. You will need to try to balance in the seated position without falling off the pool noodle.

Then of course there is running horse races. These can be done by straddling a pool noodle and running across the pool. While a pool noodle is fun, it isn’t necessary. Running across the pool on it’s own provides great full body strengthening and input.

Eye-Hand Coordination In The Pool

The pool also provides awesome opportunities for eye-hand coordination activities. The reflection of the water may cause the toy to look different when underwater.

Here are a few toys similar to out favorite diving toys at this house.

Pool RingsMermaid DiversSquid Divers

This can be done in shallow water or on the steps for a child who isn’t ready to go under the water, but when you still want to work on this skill.

For the child that is ready to go under the water, working on swimming down to pick up diving toys is a great exercise and skill. You can work on picking up one toy at a time or several toys at once. You can do this in all different depths of water depending on the swimming ability and skill level of your child

Find even more pool ring gross motor activities here that can be done on land!

Kickboard Pool Activities For Kids

The kickboard is another amazing tool that you can use in the pool to work on several different exercises for kids.

There is of course the traditional way of using a kickboard by laying on your stomach and kicking across the pool.

You can also use the kickboard much like the pool noodle and try to balance on it while in the water. This is a bit more challenging than the pool noodle. First, start by sitting on the kickboard. Take your feet off the ground and try to stay in the seated position. If this is easy you can progress this exercise to kneeling on the kickboard.

Play a game with your kickboard! The waiter/waitress game is a fun pool game that the kids can play while working on strength, balance and coordination. Fill up a plastic cup with pool water and place it on your kickboard. The kiddo now has to work holding the kickboard across the pool without spilling the water. This can be done by walking forward, backward, or side stepping.

Pool Side and Rails

Pool exercises for kids can also be achieved using the sides of the pool and the rails! Simply jumping off the side of the pool into the water is an exercise in itself.

Instead of always taking the steps up, try to have your kiddo climb out of the pool on the edge. Make sure to check the temperature of the concrete around the pool that it isn’t too hot when doing this. This is a great strengthening workout! Try do it yourself!

Now use the side of the pool to work on “blast offs”! These are great for strengthening and the water provides resistance!

Using the wall to do the “moon walk” is another great strengthening exercise. It is also a great tool to have in your bag for pool safety.

Finally, using Squigz at the pool is another great option! If you have handrails at the pool, Squigz can be suctioned to them. They are perfect to motivate if working on stair climbing or stepping.

Pool exercises for kids using Squigz on the pool rail.

Pool Themed Bilateral Coordination Game

Pink Oatmeal also has an amazing pool themed resource that you can use for your pool day. The Pool Float Bilateral Coordination game can be played in a digital manner or you can print the game and use it as printables. This game is prefect for your computer, tablet, interactive whiteboard (ex. Smartboard) or to screencast onto a larger screen. Use this to work on strength and bilateral coordination while sticking with your pool theme!


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