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Parenting Tip of the Month

Click here to view our July Parenting Tip, "Red, White & Blueberries..."

Summertime Parenting Tip:
Summer Fun with Pool Noodles

Babies in PoolNow that the pools have opened and the summer weather has arrived, it is time to get the pool accessories out! This might include beach balls, squishy water toys and pool noodles.

Did you know that pool noodles are not just for the pool? Because pool noodles are so inexpensive and come in a variety of colors and sizes, they are a perfect tool to utilize in creating fun activities for kids. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cut a pool noodle into round slices. Use a permanent marker to write letters or numbers on each slice. Place the slices upside down in water. Have the child look for letters/numbers. Make a game out of looking for the letters in their name, how old they are, etc.
  • Repeat the slicing process from above. Write lower case and upper case letters on each noodle slice with a permanent marker. Have children match the letter cases.
  • Cut several colors of pool noodles into slices. Gather blocks and invite the kids to utilize the materials to build with.
  • Cut pool noodles lengthwise. Prop one end of the noodles up so that they are at an angle. Kids can race small balls or cars to the finish line.
  • Make hockey sticks by cutting a pool noodle in half. Kids can use the “stick” and a bouncy ball or balloon to play a fun game of hockey.

For more creative ways to use pool noodles, visit 

If you plan to do outdoor activities, here are some reminders on keeping your family safe from the sun:

  • Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The ultraviolet rays are most intense during this time frame.
  • For babies under 6 months, avoid sun exposure and dress the infant in lightweight clothing and a brimmed hat that covers their neck to prevent sunburn. If shade and adequate clothing are not available, apply a minimal amount of 15 SPF or greater sunscreen.
  • Have children wear a three-inch brimmed hat or a hat with the bill facing forward.
  • Provide sunglasses with 97-100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater. Be sure to apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Apply sunscreen every two hours and reapply after swimming and sweating.

When having fun in the sun, remember to have plenty of water available to stay cool and hydrated. Consider bringing fruits or vegetables as snacks and as another source of water.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children website, 

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