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Summer Swim Activities: Improve Your Child’s Balance, Coordination, and Strength

Swimming in the pool is a fun summer activity but it can also be a fun opportunity to work on improving your child’s balance, strength and coordination.

There are many benefits to completing exercises in the pool. The first, being that the water gives resistance in all directions and it can be a good strengthening activity. Another benefit is that water can give your child strong sensory input, which can help them perform to their best ability. The water’s buoyancy can also help unload the joints and give them a better environment to practice gross motor skills.

Here are some fun exercises and games to try with your child in the pool to improve balance, coordination and strength.

Balance Activities

Kickboard surfing

  • Have your kid sit on a kick board
  • Move the kick board in all different directions
  • To progress have your child kneel in a high kneel position and eventually have them stand on the kickboard

Coordination Activities

Toy pick up

  • Put floating objects on the surface of the pool and have your child put in a bucket
  • The water reflects and changes the look of the toys
  • Good for hand-eye coordination

Waiter and Waitress

  • Put a cup of water on a kick board and have the child carry it like a waiter/waitress and avoid spilling it

Strengthening Activities

Giddy up high fives

  • Have your child straddle a pool noodle
  • Put your hand up and have them cross over to give you a high five
  • Good exercise for crossing midline and working on core strength/stability
  • Blast off exercise
    • Put feet on the side of the pool and in a crunch position
    • Have the child push through their legs and blast off
    • Great for leg strengthening
  • Flutter kicks
    • Have the child lay on their stomach on a kick board
    • Have them keep their knees straight and alternate kicking their legs
    • This exercise targets the back extensors


  • Have your child circle the pool and create a current
  • When you say “switch” have the child turn 180 degrees and walk against the current

Push-Pull the water

  • Have your child use the kickboard straight up and push and pull against the walker
  • You can play around with the orientation of the kick board to help strengthen different areas of the arms

–Alexa Bachmann, PT

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Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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