Aquatic Activities For The Whole Family
When summertime comes, it’s hard not to have fun around the water. It’s estimated that most Americans live less than two miles from a body of water and there really is no shortage of fun aquatic activities people of all ages people can partake in. Whether you’re kayaking, boating, fishing, swimming, diving, or even collecting rocks, the possibilities for fun in and around the water are endless.
Even if you’re an avid fisherman on your local lakes or you love going to the beach for a swim, the thought has probably crossed your mind a time or two about ways you can enjoy water activities at home. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can do that, whether you live right on the water or even within a short distance.
Put In A Pool
When it comes to fun aquatic activities, it doesn’t get much more fun than having a pool right in your own backyard. The key is finding which pool is best for you and your family. If you’re pool shopping, you’re going to find two popular options: an above ground pool and an inground pool.
An inground pool is just what it sounds like: a pool built into the ground. They’re typically made of concrete or fiberglass and are a major investment since they are more permanent. Above ground pool are obviously pools above the ground and are a lot quicker to install.
So which one is best for your family? It depends on what you want. If you want something installed quickly, an above ground pool is a great option and there are lots of benefits:
- It can be installed quickly
- There are lots of different layouts available
- They’re very affordable
- They’re very easy to maintain
- They’re very safe, which is a plus if you have young kids
- You can install them yourself, if you’re somewhat handy
On the flip side, you have plenty of advantages with an inground pool.
- The biggest advantage you have is that an in-ground pool has more permanency
- They can withstand the elements in a variety of climates
- Even if you don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, having an inground pool can add a certain degree of elegance to your home
- There’s plenty of flexibility in the design of an inground pool
Regardless of which style of pool you choose, take some time to do some research before making any rash decisions. If you’re unsure of what’s going to work in your yard, consult some local pool swimming pool services. They’ll not only be able to give you some design ideas, but they’ll also be able to give you estimates and when all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, they’ll be able to install your pool for you.
Enjoy Your Pool
When you pool is finally installed, it’s important to make the most of it. When the sun is out and the weather is hot, get outside and enjoy your pool.
With a pool in your backyard, you can swim to your heart’s content, but a pool can be so much more than that:
A Gathering Place
Your pool can be the ultimate spot to really soak up some quality time with your family. Think about it: if you and your significant other are constantly working and your kids are busy with school and activities, you probably don’t get to see as much of each other as you would like. That’s where your pool can become the family hangout spot for aquatic activities, but as a complement to things like picnics and bonfires.
Better Home Value
Adding a pool can also boost your home value. A pool can become a unique selling point, especially if you are able to customize your backyard by adding things like a fire pit or outside lighting.
Improving Your Health
Of course, a pool is great for aquatic activities like swimming, but a pool can also contribute to some amazing health benefits. By swimming regularly, you can have improved sleep, reduce your stress, better maintain your weight, and feel better overall. It’s also important to take care of your eyesight in the sun and you can visit local eye care services to get sunglasses, goggles, and other eyewear.
Helping Your Special Needs Child
Believe it or not, having a pool can be great for kids with special needs. If you are raising a child with Down syndrome, you can introduce them to swimming by teaching them how to swim. Offering them swimming lessons has many benefits because swimming improves their strength, builds their confidence and coordination, and enhances their functional skills. If you’re teaching them to swim or introducing them to different aquatic activities, have swim aids or flotation devices ready to provide support and stability.
If you’re a parent, you’ve likely seen your kids’ faces buried in their phones or mesmerized by the TV. If you’re looking to pull them away from screens for a while, a pool is a perfect way to do it. When the weather is hot and muggy, there’s no better feeling than jumping in a pool and cooling off. Even if it’s for a half an hour, get your kids outside and in the pool.
If they’re having fun, they’re going to forget all about their phones and TVs for a while. You can play games in the pool such as Marco Polo and volleyball. You can even have a cannonball contest or have your kids make up their own games. Before they know it, they’ll have easily spent a couple of hours outside with no thoughts given to their electronics.
Buy A Boat
Another way to really enjoy the water and aquatic activities like diving, swimming, and fishing is to buy yourself a boat. But, truth be told, there are a lot of different kinds of boats for sale and you might find yourself doing a lot of window shopping as you try to select the right one.
If you’re looking for the perfect sort of family boat, it’s a good idea to get a pontoon boat. Pontoons are popular from coast to coast with families and those looking for nice leisurely rides around the lake. Benefits of pontoons include:
- Storage: Compared to speedboats or some kinds of fishing boats, pontoons have loads of storage space. It’s not uncommon to find storage space under seats and in the floors, to say nothing of the typical compartments that are available. This will give you room for lifejackets, food, water, inner tubes, medical supplies, and just about anything else you need. The storage also extends to people since pontoons can fit 8-10 people easily.
- Easy boating: If you’re a first-time boat owner, a pontoon is a great first boat to have. It’s easy to maintain and you won’t need to worry about updating anything every 2-3 years. They’re also very easy to drive and dock.
- Safety: Pontoons are difficult to tip and difficult to flip, so they’re considered very safe and are less expensive to insure because they are considered safe.
- Customization: It’s true that pontoons don’t need to be updated much, but you can definitely make them your own. You can add more seating, a speaker system, lighting, or even water toys like tubes or slides to advance the fun of such aquatic activities.
- The do-it-all boat: It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing, swimming, tubing, or even just entertaining family or friends, the pontoon is perfect for any occasion.
If you’ve looked around and found a boat that suits you and your family, one of your local boat dealers can help everything come together. Your boat dealer can discuss the financial particulars, give you a rundown on the ins-and-outs of your boat and make sure you’re outfitted with everything you need to popularly run and enjoy your boat.
Build A Dock
When you think of lakefront homes, there aren’t too many aquatic activities more fun than being able to jump off your own dock and go swimming.
If you’re a fisherman, wouldn’t you love to have your own spot to come and go, where you know your boat is safe and where you won’t have to pay docking fees at a marina?
It’s estimated that the average homeowner plans to spend a little more than $10,000 on a home renovation project. Obviously dock installation is not a home renovation, but it’s important all the same because it’s a component of your backyard.
What you’ll pay for a dock really depends on what kind of dock you install and what materials you use. A standard sized dock may run anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 and more expensive dock installations can run as much as $50,000.
Before you start buying supplies, it’s essential that you clear the area where the dock will be installed. If you need to call tree services to clear some trees out of the way, do so. If you need to do any more work, you might want to place a call to local landscaping companies to help.
Now that you’ve got the area cleared, you’re probably wondering what kind of dock you need. Ultimately, you’re looking for one that’s going to last and be easy to maintain. Much like pools, docks can be installed to be permanent or semi-permanent (removable).
As removable docks go, options include:
A floating dock is a big platform that floats on the surface of the water. They’re very adaptable because they rise and fall with the water level and are practical because they don’t do any damage to sediment. In certain areas, they can remain in the water year-round, provided they aren’t pushed by currents.
These docks are constructed by putting wooden pilings in the water and attaching a dock with rollers to the pilings. For bigger boats or fishing boats, these are ideal because they are strong, especially against currents. One drawback is that they can take a lot to maintain and don’t adjust to changing water levels.
These are very similar to piling docks, but the big difference is that they are less stable because they are built with an aluminum frame. They’re easy to build and cost-effective, so you can easily partake in aquatic activities like fishing and diving. But they need to be removed at the end of the season.
If you’re to stock up on boat decking hardware supplies such as wood or aluminum or even plastic and build something more permanent—perhaps for your new pontoon—you have two main options:
These are installed to hang over water and care suspended with anchorage posts and cables. But they can be costly to install.
These docks are made by anchoring a frame to the bottom of the lakebed, filling them with rocks, and then covering that frame with decking. Crib docks are strong and stable, but expensive to install. Essentially, crib docks are an extension of shoreline and can affect the flow of water, as well as affecting wildlife.
No matter what kind of dock you end up installing, using the services of local docking companies will ensure that your dock is put in properly and removed properly (assuming you have a removable one installed).
You’ll also want to look into financing options. You can talk to local bankers or insurance companies about taking out construction loans to get your dock up and running. As previously mentioned, docks—no matter which one you install—aren’t cheap and you’re going to need capital to get a dock up in your backyard.
Making The Most Of Time On The Water
Whether you put in your own dock for your backyard or you put in a pool, either way you’re opening the door for many hours of enjoyment. Whether you feel like swimming laps or sitting on a tube to read a book or diving off a dock, the possibilities are endless when it comes to fun. There are numerous aquatic activities that you can do at home or at a beach and the only limit to the fun you have may just be your imagination.