Making Waves

Going to the beach isn't only relaxing it can also be fun for everyone. So gather up your friends and family, follow these safety rules, and have some beach fun!

Enjoying the beach this summer is a great opportunity for movement and silliness with family and friends. Here are some tips parents can use to make everyone’s beach play safe and fun!

Safety:

  1. Never let your toddler out of arm’s length.
  2. All kids should wear life jackets on docks, in boats and in open water.
  3. Don’t overestimate your kids’ abilities; adult supervision is needed well into the tween years.
  4. Take breaks for water snacks and sun block reapplication.
  5. Don’t use float suits or float toys to replace close adult supervision of little ones.
  6. Good water shoes or old sneakers make water play like Frisbee or volleyball much more fun.

Fun:

  1. Pack buckets and garden tools, spoons, and other everyday kitchen items to use for sand play.
  2. Rock collecting and sand building are great alternatives to swimming should kids lose interest or tire.
  3. A Frisbee, a $2 rubber ball, or a badminton racket can be great to pack for the beach; a simple line in the sand is as good as a net.
  4. Old milk jugs with their tops cut off make great sand castle moulds.
  5. A simple $10 float raft can mean hours of wrestling and a great potential target for jumping off the dock.
  6. Marco Polo is even more fun with parents!
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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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