In this personal flotation device activity, kids can test one out in a pool to see how it works! Life jackets and other personal flotation devices (PFDs) are meant to keep you afloat if you accidentally fall into the water.
However, PFDs only work when they're worn properly. If a boat capsizes, there won't be time to simply grab one and put it on in a hurry. There's no way of knowing what will happen in an accident! If you've never tried out a PFD before, do so before you go boating.
What You'll Need:
- Use of a pool
- Any life jackets or other PFDs in your household
- Adult help
Make absolutely certain you supervise kids when they try a life vest in a swimming pool. First, put the life vest on over a swim suit. Help kids adjust the straps so the life vest fits snugly. Get into the pool and be ready to help kids in case something goes wrong -- then have kids jump in the pool and see what happens!
If the vest feels uncomfortable, or if it makes you float awkwardly, adjust the straps or try a different size or style. Once you find a vest that fits, test it out.
Then put on clothes you would wear if you were boating or playing or fishing near open water. Put the life vest on over your clothes, adjust the straps, and jump in the pool.
How does it feel? Will the vest keep you afloat with your clothes on? Knowing what it's like to float in a life vest will make things easier later.
Make a milk carton waterwheel with the activity on the next page.