For children it is great to have games that will keep them moving and it is easy to use chalk on a patio to make a Twister board or use paint to paint the colored circles in a lawn area. Playing a couple of games of Twister will allow the children time to dry off before heading indoors.
Another easy and fun game for outside, active play is hopscotch which can be painted on the lawn with a can of spray paint or drawn on the patio in chalk. The children can participate in painting or chalking the game boards.
Letting the children design the game boards prior to swimming will engage them and help them build planning skills in addition to helping them learn to work together in a group. Simply providing spray paint in a couple of colors and chalk and then helping only as needed will help them build planning skills too.
You can also encourage the children to come up with other game ideas with the plan to play the games after swimming during dry off time and be sure to have a few snacks on hand as swimming will greatly increase appetites. While healthy snacks are always good, certainly after a few hours in the pool, candy is appreciated and drinks are extremely important for everyone exerting energy. It is very important that everyone stays hydrated so a mixture of water, flavored water and soft drinks are always appropriate. It is easy to keep drinks cold out doors in a cooler and prevents people from having to go inside throughout the day saving clean up time.
The yard and patio offer thousands of options for activities. You can set up fun relay races with different activities such as sliding on a lawn slide, swimming a lap in the pool, putting on a swim cap and endless other things. It is best to just get out in the backyard and start imagining all of the things that you can do there. Start looking around at all of the things you have in your yard and start considering what each item could be used for in addition to its’ typical use. A chair can be part of a game of musical chairs; a potted plant can be a form of a base in a relay race, a patio provides a canvas to chalk anything on to. With a little imagination, anything is possible in a yard!