Youth Programs and Activities


Merriam Parks and Recreation offers many activities to keep kids active and engaged!

Our monthly classes make fitness fun. Kids will strengthen their minds and bodies, and build skills, coordination, and confidence. Preschool Indoor Playground is held every Tuesday morning. Workshops and events throughout the year offer opportunities for learning and socializing. 

Swim lessons are available year-round and will build your child's water safety skills. When your child is ready for a challenge, they can join the Merriam Dolphins Swim and Dive team! Merriam residents may be eligible for a scholarship for lessons or for the Dolphins team. 

Enroll your child today!

All classes are held at the Merriam Community Center, 6040 Slater St., unless noted otherwise. 

Aquatics Programs for Infants and Toddlers

Aqua Toddler Swim / Sensory Time

Monday–Friday  ▶ 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Ages 0–4 with adult present 
$50 for 10 punches or $90 for 20 punches
1 punch visit = 1 parent and 1 child 
Free for members!

Time specific for families with children sensitive to loud noises or big splashes of water. During this time, all fountains, slides and water features are turned off. Children can explore the zero depth, shallow water and therapy pool without fear of big kids splashing. This isn't a swim lesson and won't be instructor led. Parents must be in the water with their children.  

Infant Aquatic Survival Swim - Nonwalking

This six-week program teaches infants and toddlers between 6 months and 1 year old to roll over from a face-down or submerged position onto their backs to relax and breathe. Children learn to swim and flip back onto their tummy to continue to swim to safety while fully clothed. Lessons are 15 minutes, one-on-one, four days a week. Instructor: Mary Jo

Monday–Thursday  ▶  June 3–July 18  ▶  Times Vary  ▶  Register

Monday–Thursday  ▶  July 22-August 29  ▶  Times Vary  ▶  Register

Infant Aquatic Survival Swim - Walking

This eight week program teaches toddlers and younger children the swim-float-swim sequence. Children learn to swim a short distance with their face fully submerged, roll onto their back, float and rest whenever they need to breathe, and flip back onto their tummy to continue to swim to safety while fully clothed. Lessons are one-on-one, four days a week for eight weeks.  Instructor: Mary Jo

Mondays–Thursdays  ▶  June 3–August 1  ▶  Times Vary  ▶  Register 

MJ's Kids

Mary Jo Klier works with children specifically focusing on strokes and stroke development.  This punch pass class includes two 15-minute sessions.  The instructor and guardian will determine times and days that work best for them.  Instructor: Mary Jo

Punch Pass Program ▶ Register at Merriam Community Center Welcome Desk 

2 punches: $50 / 4 punches: $100 / $6 punches: $150 / 8 punches: $200

Aquatic Programs for Youth

Junior Lifeguard

Participants learn leadership, rescue response, drowning prevention, and professionalism. They'll receive a t-shirt, hip pack, whistle and lanyard, and certificate of completion. Junior lifeguards may be asked to volunteer for future Merriam aquatic activities. Instructor: Cole/Michael

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Ages 13-14 ▶  June 3–August 1  ▶  11 a.m - 1 p.m.  ▶ Register


KU Sensory Enhanced Aquatics

This program provides swim lessons for children with autism spectrum disorders. Individual and small group lessons are available to meet the children's learning needs. Instructor: The University of Kansas Medical Center Department of Occupational Therapy Education Staff

Thursdays  ▶  June 6–August 8  ▶  6:307 p.m.  ▶  Register beginning May 17 at 6 p.m.

Thursdays  ▶  June 6–August 8  ▶  7:057:35 p.m.  ▶  Register beginning May 17 at 6 p.m.

Thursdays  ▶  June 6–August 8  ▶  7:40–8:10 p.m.  ▶  Register beginning May 17 at 6 p.m.


Merriam's Little Lifeguards

Take part in some fun lifeguard duties with your little one for a day! Kids will receive whistle and lanyard and shirt. Parents won't participate but need to stay on the pool deck. Instructor: MCC Lifeguards

Saturday, July 6  ▶    Ages 6-9  ▶   10 a.m-Noon   Register


MJ's Kids

Mary Jo Keiler works with children specifically focusing on strokes and stroke development. This punch pass class includes two-15 minute sessions. The instructor and guardian will determine times and days that work best for them.  

Punch Pass Program  ▶  Register at Merriam Community Center Welcome Desk 

2 punches: $50 / 4 punches: $100 / 6 punches: $150 / 8 punches: $200



Advanced swimmers learn correct freestyle breathing, streamlines, backstroke, and other swim techniques.  They'll spend 45 minutes on instruction and 15 minutes playing games. Choose two days per week. Saturday is an extra bonus day! Instructor: Mary Jo

Super Kids Level 1 ▶  May  ▶  Register

Mondays–Thursdays  4:30-5:30 p.m.

Saturdays 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Super Kids Level 1 ▶  Monthly June - August  ▶  Register

Mondays–Thursdays  4:30-5:30 p.m.

Super Kids Level 2 ▶  May   ▶  Register

Mondays–Thursdays  4:30-5:30 p.m.

Saturdays 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Super Kids Level 2 ▶  Monthly June - August  ▶  Register

Mondays–Thursdays  5-6 p.m.

Merriam Dolphins Swim and Dive Team

Merriam Dolphins Swim and Dive Team

Be a part of Merriam’s summer swim and dive teams! Athletes can choose to swim only, dive only, or swim and dive for the same fee! Swim caps provided. Athletes will need a blue suit. More information and meet schedules are available on the Dolphin's SwimTopia website.

 Mandatory Parents Meeting

Thursday, May 2   |   7 p.m.   |   Merriam Community Center

Meet the Coaches

Thursday, May 16   |   7 p.m.   |   Merriam Community Center. 

Precompetitive Swim and Dive

This team is designed for young swimmers who are learning to swim and dive and working on increasing their skills and endurance. This isn't intended to be swim lessons. A qualified simmer should be able to swim across the pool for 25 yards. They don't need to know all four strokes.

Mondays–Fridays  ▶  May 30–June 28   

Swim ONLY: 9–10 a.m.  ▶  $95 ▶  Register  

Beginner Dive ONLY: 10–11:30 a.m. ▶ $95  ▶  Register  

Swim & Dive: 9-11:30 a.m. ▶ $125  ▶  Register


Competitive Swim and Dive

This team is designed for high-level swimmers who are able to swim 50 yards without stopping and know all four strokes.

Mondays–Fridays  ▶  May 30–July 12    

Swim ONLY 13U-18U: 7–8:30 a.m.  ▶  $95  ▶  Register

Swim ONLY 9U-11U: 7:30-9 a.m.   ▶ $95  ▶  Register

Advanced Dive ONLY: 9-10:30 a.m. ▶ $95  ▶  Register 

Swim & Dive - swimmers will start with their age group and transition to dive practice ▶ $125  ▶  Register


Merriam Dolphins on Swimtopia


Swim Lessons

Swim lessons are all-inclusive and specific for each child’s skill set and include lifesaving and safety techniques. Register your child based on age. For preschool and youth lessons, class levels are used to ensure your child is successful. Children are evaluated at the beginning of each session and placed in the appropriate class level. Children should be able to work with an instructor and participate in swim lessons independently and willingly.

Parent/Child: 6 months–2 years

This lesson is designed as an introduction for parents and children alike. Learn safety tips while your child becomes familiar in the water and picks up basic water movement taught through songs, dances, and other fun forms of teaching. This class takes place in the indoor therapy pool. Parents must be in the water with their children.

June  ▶  Register

July  ▶  Register

August  ▶  Register


Preschool: 3–5 years old

Your child will learn basic water safety skills while also growing more comfortable in the water. Students will learn how to safely enter and exit the water, blow bubbles underwater, float, kick, and work on arm movements. 

June  ▶    Register

July  ▶  Register

August  ▶  Register 


Youth: 6–12 years old

Beginning swimmers are introduced to basic stroke movement and will learn how to be more comfortable in the water. More advanced swimmers are instructed in stroke technique, endurance, and safety skills. 

June  ▶  Register

July  ▶    Register 

August    Register 


Private and Semi-Private Lessons

Get four, 30-minute lessons tailored just for you. Available for ages 3+ . $90 for private lessons, $80 for semi-private. 

Learn More


Fitness and Sports

Youth Fitness Equipment Orientation

Kids between the age of 12 and 15 can work out in the fitness center after they complete a youth fitness equipment orientations with a guardian. 

  • Learn rules of the fitness center and walking track
  • Learn proper equipment usage
  • Learn basic safe exercise techniques

Youth equipment orientations are FREE. Please speak to someone at the Welcome Desk to schedule an appointment. 

Once they've completed an orientation and are ready to use the equipment, they can check in at the Welcome Desk at each visit.  

Aiki Kids Child/Parent Fundamentals

This class is designed to strengthen bodies and relationships through sweat, smiles, and laughter. Your child will learn basic ki-aikido self-defense and ki-mediation techniques. Parent participation is encouraged.  Instructor: Derrick (1st degree) 

Tuesdays  ▶  Monthly  ▶  4:30–6 p.m.   ▶  Register

Competitive Cheer Team

Learn a combination of gymnastics, dance and cheerleading skills to create high-energy and entertaining performances. Instructor: Wendy, USASF certified

Tuesdays  ▶  Monthly   7:45-8:30 p.m.  ▶  Register


Jump-Start Gymnastics

These lessons are designed to introduce new tumbling skills in each class, focusing on improving balance and flexibility. Athletes must be able to perform a backbend from a standing position and return to a standing position independently to participate. An intermediate class is also available.  Instructor: Wendy, USASF Certified

Gymnastics ▶  Tuesdays  ▶  Monthly  ▶  6:15–7 p.m.  ▶  Register

Intermediate Gymnastics ▶  Tuesdays  ▶  Monthly   7-7:45 p.m.  ▶  Register

Pickleball Camp

This one-month program is designed to make the learning process fun for young players, ensuring they develop a solid foundation in pickleball skills. Kids will learn essential techniques and game rules. No class on Tuesday June 11. Instructor: Geoff

Tuesdays & Thursdays  ▶  June 6-27  ▶  8:30-9:30 a.m.  Register


Kawaii Kids Martial Arts

Watch your kids learn practical street smarts and become more aware of their surroundings in this fun, proven method. Children 4 years old must be accompanied by a guardian. Instructors: John / Rafael (2nd degree)

Wednesdays & Saturdays  ▶  Monthly  ▶  4:30-5:30 p.m. // 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.  ▶  Register

Tumbling for Tots

Gymnastics is a fun and safe way for children to begin developing confidence and coordination. Each class focuses on improving balance, flexibility, coordination, and tumbling skills. These classes aren't designed for professional gymnastic competition but are a fun ways to learn and improve basic tumbling skills. The age listed is a guideline, but skill level will take priority. An intermediate class is also available.  Instructor: Wendy, USASF Certified

Tuesdays  ▶  Monthly  ▶  Age 3-6 ▶ 5:30–6:15 p.m.  ▶  Register

Preschool Indoor Playground

Too cold to play in the park? Ride and slide with us during Preschool Indoor Playground! Drive, pull, or push your favorite Little Tykes vehicles. Parents must supervise their children during playground time.

Tuesdays  ▶  9:30–11:30 a.m.  
$2/child  ▶  Punch cards available: $10 for 10 visits



Nature Tours with Ms. Tina

Explore nature and ecology along the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail and discover the hidden treasures and beauty of Merriam! Bring sunscreen and a water bottle. Meet at the Merriam Marketplace. Instructor: Tina

Saturday, June 8  ▶   9-10:30 a.m.  ▶  Register

Wednesday, June 12  ▶   9-10:30 a.m.  ▶  Register

Preschool P.R.E.P

Get your kiddo prepped and ready at Preschool P.R.E.P.! You and your child can play, research, explore, and participate in STEAM workshops that will help them get ready for kindergarten! Instructor: Margo

Thursday, May 23  ▶   Flower Power  ▶  11:15 a.m.-Noon  ▶  Register

Thursday, June 27  ▶   Stars & Stripes  ▶  11:15 a.m.-Noon  ▶  Register

Thursday, July 25  ▶   Bubble Party  ▶  11:15 a.m.-Noon  ▶  Register

Thursday, August 22  ▶   Name Game  ▶  11:15 a.m.-Noon  ▶  Register