These days it seems like our phones are stuck to our hands with glue — cement, for some of us. But of course the last place we want our electronics is in the water.
How do you convince your kids or grandkids to put down their phones for the afternoon and join the family for some backyard pool time?
Consider these tips for creating a family-friendly pool that will inspire even the most connected preteens and teens to go off the grid and jump right in.
Make Your Pool the Spot for Hangouts
To get your preteens and teens excited about being in the pool, make it the go-to hangout spot for their friends. Incorporate an outdoor sound system to play their favorite music — or as a lower-cost solution, buy wireless floating speakers. Add drink holders and trays that either float in the water or attach to the side of your pool to hold their favorite snacks.
Incorporate Screen Time in the Pool
True, handheld screens are off-limits in the water. But a poolside flat screen or projector isn’t! With a few inflatable lounge chairs, you can turn your pool into the perfect spot for a “float in” movie night or a game viewing party.
Keep Them Busy With Pool Games
Consider enticing your preteens and teens with a pool basketball hoop or volleyball net. Have plenty of pool noodles on hand for pool jousting tournaments. The benefits are twofold: The kids will stay active and fit, and they’ll be participating in group activities as opposed to their usual solo screen time.
Meet Them in the Middle
You can’t expect to peel your preteen or teen away from their phones all day. Give a little: Incorporate screen-friendly zones in your backyard pool area. Designate a corner of the yard for non-water games like beanbag toss or table tennis. Design a comfortable lounge area poolside as well.
Next, learn to keep your kids safe in the pool, not just entertained.