Your Guide to a Fantastic Backyard BBQ

So you’re having a backyard BBQ for your friends and neighbors? Here’s all you need to make it great!

1. Comfort

The issue of “not having enough chairs” usually comes up at most get-togethers. So if you want to be sure all your guests are comfortable and have a place to sit, you may want to have a few spares sitting around. If you want to go the extra mile, have a selection available, as some guests might prefer a classic chair with a canopy, others may like to put their feet up, another might prefer a bug net (there is always one guest who freaks when bugs touch their food, and it’s usually me!), or you might need one just the right size for kids! One way or another, make sure you’re guests all have a place to sit to enjoy your food and company!

Original Canopy Chair With Ottoman Original Canopy Chair

 

 

Original Canopy Chair With Bug GuardKids Canopy Chair

2. Food

You can find burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, steak, or BBQ sandwiches at just about any backyard barbecue you go to. You’ll typically see sodas, chips, corn on the cob, baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad as well.

Since these are dishes people will expect to find at a barbecue, you may want to include some of those familiar items, but you can also try some items that are a little different too!  Here are some foods that are super easy to make, and will really get your guest’s attention- making your party stand out among the rest. This arrangement screams summertime- Sparkling Pineapple Strawberry Punch, Red White and Blue Mason Jar Salad, and Bacon Pineapple Chicken Kabobs!

Sparkling Pineapple Strawberry Punch

Red White and Blue Mason Jar Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon Pineapple Chicken Kabob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Games

Break out some great, backyard games like Ladder Ball, Badminton or Volleyball, Bocce Ball, and Bean Bag Toss! Each of these games require sets of teams, ensuring there is something for everybody to play and a little friendly competition!
Kelsyus Ladder Ball Kelsyus Premium Badminton/Volleyball Combo

Kelsyus Bocce Ball Kelsyus Premium Bean Bag Toss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Have a pool?

Kelsyus Floating Pong

 

If you have a pool, another great game to include is Kelsyus Floating Pong! Fill the cups with punch or water and toss the ball into the cup!

You can even create a combination of these backyard games to make a full-blown tournament if you’re feeling competitive!

 

 5. Grand Finale

S’mores is a classic way to go for an outdoor dessert. But you may not have the ability to set up a campfire in your backyard, and holding marshmallows over the grill might not be a sensible option for you if you have a large number of guests. Even if you simply want to try something different, we’ve got you covered with an awesome snack-movie combo! Set up a really easy DIY movie screen in the backyard and enjoy while snacking on a Strawberry Brownie Kabob!

DIY Backyard Movie Screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swim Step 3: Swim Training

Editor’s Note: This is the third post in our three-part series focused on teaching children to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program. The steps include Swim Step 1: Water IntroductionSwim Step 2: Water Exploration, and Swim Step 3: Swim Training. Swim along with us and teach your child the skills of a lifetime!

They grow up so fast, don’t they? If you’re reading this, your child should have the skills from swim steps 1 and 2 down, and they should be between the ages of 4-6! Here, they’ll begin using kickboards and start to learn paddle-like strokes while wearing flotation devices! Remember, they are still learning, so be sure that you, or another responsible adult continues to be with them and available to help while they are in the water.

There are so many positive effects of teaching your children to swim at an early age. Studies show that children who are taught to swim by the age of 5 have increased confidence, are ahead in their cognitive and physical development and are more likely to have higher IQ’s (due to an early exposure to sensory and motor stimuli in the water). Learning this skill by this age can also help in developing math skills. Finally, better oral expression and social skills are also wonderful benefits of swimming.

 

During your child’s Swim Step 3 training, they should continue wearing swim training flotation aids like the Sea Squirt Swim Trainer Life Jacket or Power Swimr. These wearable flotation devices help them stay in well-balanced swimming positions and they’re easily adjustable.

 

These vests help them to use their arms and kick their legs- training them to develop coordination for independent movement in the water.

As your child progresses, and continues to wear the Power Swimr or Sea Squirts Swim Assist Vest, you can begin to take 1 of the 9 flotation pads out at a time.

Make sure you continue to encourage and be patient with them as they are still learning. Also, remind them never to swim without proper supervision.

A great swim training practice is to allow your child to stand where their toes can just touch the bottom of the pool. Then, tell them to try to use their arms and legs to spin around in a circle.

Another great technique is to begin to back away as your child swims (even using the doggie-paddle method) toward you. This gives them the opportunity to control where and how they get around the pool.

Consider signing them up for organized swim lessons. These are great for children (particularly those 4+), as it encourages confidence and can further their love of spending time in the water! The USA Swim Foundation is a great resource for finding swim lessons for your child. Make sure to check with your child’s swim instructor on the requirements for swim training equipment before he or she starts their swimming lessons. Some instructors may require U.S. Coast Guard Approved swim gear such as the Sea Squirts Swim Trainer Life Jackets.

Be sure to take a look at the video on Swim Step 3 training. And don’t forget to use your other resources: Review the American Red Cross water safety checklist and visit our resources page on TeachMeToSwim.com.

SwimWays Swim Sweater

Water Exploration: Swim Step 2

Editor’s Note: This is the second post in our three-part series focused on teaching children to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program. The steps include Swim Step 1: Water Introduction, Swim Step 2: Water Exploration, and Swim Step 3: Swim Training. Swim along with us and teach your child the skills of a lifetime!

Congratulations! If your child has completed the skills in Swim Step 1,  you’re ready to walk them through Swim Step 2! This step is about helping your child gain some independence and more confidence in the water. Here is where they’ll begin to paddle and kick, which are important building blocks for their future swim training.

Here’s a list of skills your child will be working on in SwimSteps 2: floating, kicking, splashing, and paddling! They’ll be building muscle coordination and balance in this step as well. At this stage, your child should be wearing a flotation aid, such as; Swim VestFloat Shorty or Swim Sweater. (Please note that our Swim Steps flotation aids aren’t life-saving devices and are only meant for swim training. We do however, have kids PFD life vests here!)

There are so many positive effects of teaching your children to swim at an early age. Studies show that children who are taught to swim by the age of 5 have increased confidence, are ahead in their cognitive and physical development and are more likely to have higher IQ’s (due to an early exposure to sensory and motor stimuli in the water). Learning this skill by this age can also help in developing math skills. Finally, better oral expression and social skills are also wonderful benefits of swimming.

1. Touch Supervision

Swim Step 2- SwimWays Swim Sweater

 

It’s very important that you stay within arm’s reach of your child (known as Touch Supervision) while they continue to explore the water in this step. This will help to build trust and security in the pool, as well as gain some independence.

2. Fun + Instruction

Swim Step 2- SwimWays Pick Me Up Pelican

 

Combine your little one’s swim training with time spent with a swim instructor and time directed at having fun in the pool. You can even use floating pool toys such as Pick Me Up Pelican. Place the floating toys around the pool and as your child begins to swim over to collect them, they’ll be developing hand-eye coordination, balance, and confidence! But remember to stay within arm’s reach of your child.

3. Breath Control

Swim Step 2- Finding Dory Swim Goggles

 

Breath control is the next step, and a great way to do this is by using games. Lower and raise a toy above and below the surface of the water. Make sure they also have goggles to keep water out of their eyes.

After you’re child has completed these skill sets, and is between the ages of 4-6, they’ll be ready for Swim Step 3!

Be sure to take a look at the video on Swim Step 2 training. And don’t forget to use your other resources: review the American Red Cross water safety checklist and visit our resources page on TeachMeToSwim.com.

Introduce Your Baby to the Pool : Swim Steps 1

Editor’s Note: This is the first post in our three-part series focused on teaching children to swim with the SwimWays Swim Steps program. The steps include Swim Step 1: Water Introduction, Swim Step 2: Water Exploration, and Swim Step 3: Swim Training. Swim along with us and teach your child the skills of a lifetime!


National Learn to Swim Day is May 19th! Get your child ready for a summer of fun and staying cool by beginning the process of teaching them to swim! But before you do, take a look at some of these tips on how to give your baby the most positive learn to swim experience they can have!

Before you head to the pool, make sure you are fully aware of water safety practices. Review the American Red Cross water safety checklist and visit our resources page on TeachMeToSwim.com. Arming yourself with knowledge and a plan will help you to relax and feel more confident. If you are one of the many adults that did not learn to swim, sign yourself up for swim lessons before you get in the pool with your child. There are swim lesson courses available just for adults, and it’s never too late to learn.

There are so many positive effects of teaching your children to swim at an early age. Studies show that children who are taught to swim by the age of 5 have increased confidence, are ahead in their cognitive and physical development and are more likely to have higher IQ’s (due to an early exposure to sensory and motor stimuli in the water). Learning this skill by this age can also help in developing math skills. Finally, oral expression and social skills can also be bettered as a result of swimming.

1. Don’t force it

Swim Step 1 is focused on getting your child comfortable with being in the water. It’s very important that your baby want to be there. If he/she doesn’t, you may choose to sit with them on the edge of the pool or a shallow step where they can play, or allow them to do so while staying within arm’s reach. Then, once they’ve warmed up to the idea, you can bring them into the water!   Baby testing the water

2. Getting used to the water

The phrase about dipping your toes into something, couldn’t be more applicable to getting your baby acclimated to the water. The next step is to allow them to dip their toes in. Consider splashing a little water onto their stomach, too!

3. Help your baby become comfortable

Now, you can place your child in one of our comfortable and secure Baby Spring Floats (for ages 9-24 months).

The Original Baby Spring Float is designed with a large circumference and an inner spring around the outside edge for stability. You and your baby will have a fun time as they experience the wonderful feeling of floating in the water for the first time!

What makes a SwimWays Baby Spring Float different from other brands?

  • Fabric-covered inflation and soft mesh seats keep babies comfortable in the water.
  • Dual air chambers and safety valves enhance security.
  • Large circumference and a patented inner spring around the outside edge of the float for added stability in the water.
  • Folds flat into three compact circles for easy portability in the included carry case.

 

 

Additional styles include baby floats with sun canopies, designs that allow parents and babies to float together, and baby floats with integrated toys.

 

Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy for Infants

 

 

 

The SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float with Sun Canopy is a fabric-covered baby float for infants.  This float is for ages: 3 months – approximately 9 months (or until baby attempts to climb out or sit up).

4. Time for some more fun

Here comes the fun part! You’ll want to begin encouraging your child to splash around, and maybe even splash you so that they will correlate FUN with being in the water.

Baby Spring Float Activity Center

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to take a look at the video on Swim Step 1 training.

Note: Signing up for a Mommy and Me swim class is another great way to help get your child comfortable in the water.


*Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-4? Help turn this tragedy around by teaching your kids to swim and practicing water safety with your family. Share this infographic online to help spread the word.