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!

Classes and Programs

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 (Non-Walking)

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 sim to safety while fully clothed. Lessons are 15 minutes, one-on-one, four days a week. Instructor: Mary Jo

Monday - Thursday  ▶ January 8-February 15 ▶ Times Vary ▶  Register

Monday - Thursday  ▶ February 19-March 28 ▶ Times Vary ▶  Register

Monday - Thursday  ▶ April 1-May 9 ▶ Times Vary ▶  Register

 

Infant Aquatic Survival Swim (Walking)

This 8-week program teaches toddlers and younger children the swim-float-swim sequence. Children will learn to swim a short distance with their face fully submerged, to roll onto their back, to float, and to flip back onto their tummy to continue to swim to safety while fully clothed. Lessons are one-on-one, and four days a week for eight weeks. Instructor: Mary JO

Monday - Thursday  ▶ January 8-February 29 ▶ Times Vary ▶  Register

Monday - Thursday  ▶  March 4-April 25  ▶ 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.  

Punch Pass Program ▶ Register at Merriam Community Center Welcome Desk 

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

Aquatic Programs-Youth

KU Sensory Enhanced Aquatics

This class provides swimming and water safety lessons for children who are on the autism spectrum. Traditional learn-to-swim methods are combined with sensory startegies matched to the unique needs of each swimmer. Individual and small-group lessons are available. Instructors: The University of Kansas Medical Center Department of Occupational Therapy Education Staff. 

Thursdays   ▶ January 24 -April 25 ▶  6:30-7 p.m.  ▶ Registration opens December 8 at 6 p.m.

Thursdays   ▶ January 24 -April 25 ▶  7:05-7:35 p.m.  ▶ Registration opens December 8 at 6 p.m.

Thursdays   ▶ January 24 -April 25 ▶  7:40-8:10 p.m.  ▶ Registration opens December 8 at 6 p.m.

 

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

 

MJ's Spring Swim Clinic

This swim clinic will prepare your child for the summer swim season. The class meets once a week based on age. Instructor: Mary Jo

Monthly  ▶ Sundays ▶  Ages 6-8 ▶ 10-10:45 a.m.  ▶ Register

Monthly  ▶ Sundays ▶  Ages 9-18 ▶ 10:45-11:45 a.m.  ▶ Register

SuperKids Level 1

Superkids is an entry-level age group competitive instructional swim program. Emphasis on learning correct swim strokes, streamlines, and turns. Encourage 2x weekly attendance during weekdays plus optional Saturday swim. 

Level 1 is entry level. Swimmers need to be comfortable in the water and able to swim-float-swim. Ages 3-7 or permission from Mary Jo.

Monthly ▶ Register

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays  are 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Saturdays are 11 a.m.-noon

 

SuperKids Level 2

Superkids is an entry-level age group competitive instructional swim program. Emphasis on learning correct swim strokes, streamlines, and turns. Encourage 2x weekly attendance during weekdays plus optional Saturday swim. 

Level 2 is medium to advanced level. Emphasis on correct swim technique for the four competitive strokes, streamlines, and turns plus an introduction to interval training. This level is the foundation of the KC Swim Academy, a USA Swimming competitive team. Instructor Mary Jo

Monthly ▶ Register

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays  are 5-6 p.m.

Saturdays are 11 a.m.-noon

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-meditation techniques. Parent participation is encouraged . Instructor: Derrick (1st degree) 

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

 

Dance Expressions I & II

Come explore the wonderful world of dance where imagination and movement come to life. This is a ballet and tap combo class. Students must have dance leotards, pink ballet shoes, and black tap shoes. Instructor: Wendy, USASF certified

Dance Expression I age 3-7

Wednesdays  ▶  Monthly ▶  6-6:45 p.m.   ▶   Register

Dance Expression II age 7-12

Wednesdays  ▶  Monthly ▶  6:45-7:30 p.m.   ▶   Register

 

Jump-Start & Intermediate/Advanced Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a fun and safe way for children to develop confidence and coordination. Lesson plans 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 standing position and return to a standing position independently to participate. Instructor: Wendy, USASF Certified

Jump-Start Gymnastics age 7+

Tuesdays ▶ Monthly ▶  6:15 - 7 p.m.   ▶   Register

Intermediate / Advanced Gymnastics

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

 

Kawaii Kids Martial Arts

Kawaii is a popular Japanese term meaning cute.  While it's kawaii to view kids in uniforms, it's also rewarding to see them learn practical street smarts.  Kids become more aware of their surroundings in this fun, proven  method for children of all ages.  Children 4 years old must be accompanied by a guardian.  Instructors: Mick (6th degree) / Rafael (2nd degree)

Wednesdays & Saturdays ▶  Monthly ▶  / 4:45-5:45 p.m.  / 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.  ▶  Register

 

Tumbling for Tots

Gymnastics is a fun and safe way for children to begin developing confidence and coordination. Lesson plans are specifically designed to introduce new tumbling skills in each class, focusing on improving balance and flexibility. Recommended for kids age 3 to 6.  Instructor: Wendy, USASF certified

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

 

Tumbling for Tots

Gymnastics is a fun and safe way for children to begin developing confidence and coordination. Lesson plans are specifically designed to introduce new tumbling skills in each class, focusing on improving balance and flexibility. Recommended for kids ages 3 to 6. Instructor: Wendy, USASF Certified

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

Merriam Dolphins Swim and Dive Team

Junior Dolphins

This program is designed for students who want to be on the Merriam Dolphins swim team. The ideal student has gone through several rounds of swim lessons and is looking for more of a challenge. Students learn starts, flip turns, and swim team workouts.

Saturdays  ▶ Monthly   ▶ 12-1 p.m. ▶  Register

 

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.  Information and schedules for the 2024 season will be available at late spring. 

Precompetitive Swim

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.

Competitive Swim

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

Additional information will be available in late spring. 

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

FREE FOR MEMBERS

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.

Saturdays  ▶ January 6-March 2  ▶  Register

Saturdays  ▶ March 16-May 11  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶ March 4-20  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶ April 4-20  ▶  Register 

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays  ▶  April 29-May 8   ▶  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. 

Saturdays  ▶ January 6-March 2  ▶  Register 

Saturdays  ▶ March 16-May 11  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  January 8-24  ▶  Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  February 5-21  ▶  Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  March 4-20  ▶  Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  April 1-17  ▶  Register  

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays  ▶  April 29-May 8  ▶  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. 

Saturdays  ▶  January 6-March 2  ▶  Register 

Saturdays  ▶  March 16-May 11  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  January 8-24  ▶  Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  February 5-21  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  March 4-20  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  April 1-17  ▶  Register  

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays  ▶  April 29-May 8 ▶  Register 

 

 

Adult: 13+ 

Adult lessons are designed to help each participant reach personal goals. Whether you want to be a proficient lap swimmer, learn to float, or acquire water safety skills, instructors will work to ensure your success!  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  January 8-24  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  February 5-21  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  March 4-20  ▶  Register 

 

Junior Dolphins

This program is designed for students who want to be on the Merriam Dolphins swim team. The ideal student has gone through several rounds of swim lessons and is looking for more of a challenge. Students learn starts, flip turns, and swim team workouts.

Saturdays  ▶ Monthly  ▶  Register

 

Private and Semi-Private Lessons

Get four, 30-minute lessons tailored just for you. Available for ages 3+ . $100 for private lessons, $90 for semi-private.

More Information 

Workshops

Merriam Gamers Club

Join us after school to play a variety of board games and video games in this unique way to socialize! Try to out-race opponents in Mario Kart or pummel an opponent in Super Smash Bros. Participants should leave personal consoles at home. Light snacks are provided.  Instructor: Cecilia

First Wednesdays of Each Month  ▶ January-April  ▶ 4-5 p.m.  ▶  Register

 

Cinema Friday: Kidzone

Plan a night out, then drop off your kids to create a craft, watch a kid-friendly movie, and eat some treats! Light snacks and craft supplies are provided. Preregistration required. Ages 7-12. Instructor: Cecilia

Friday  ▶ January 26  ▶ 5:30-7:45 p.m.  ▶  Register

Friday  ▶ February 16  ▶ 5:30-7:45 p.m.  ▶  Register

 

Preschool P.R.E.P.Child participating in an experiment

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! FREE for members. Instructor: Margo

<Fourth Thursday of the Month  ▶ January - April   ▶ 11:15 a.m.- 12 p.m.  ▶ Register 

 

Kids DIY:Fairy Gardens

Fairy Garden

Calling all crafty, fantasy loving kids! Come build your very own fairy garden just in time for spring! Bring your friends for a morning of creative fun! All supplies included. Ages 6-10 Instructors: Ingrid

Saturday  ▶ April 13  ▶ 10-11 a.m.  ▶  Register