Youth Programs and Activities

Youth Gymnastics

Sign up for Tumbling for Tots or Jump-Start Gymnastics


Swim Lessons

Sign up for swim lessons! Classes are available for all skill levels.

Teacher assists three children learning to swim.

Cheer 4 Fun

Cheer 4 Fun cheerleading squads make awesome transitions with formations, great tumbling passes, and stunts with high-energy routines set to music.

Two girls with cheerleading pom poms

The Merriam Parks and Recreation Department has something for everyone. Explore this section and enroll in one of our youth programs or classes.

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

Aquatics Programs for Infants and Toddlers

Aqua Toddler Swim Time 

Open swim time for parents with children four years old and younger. This is their time to explore the aquatics facility without fear of big kids splashing or other programs in their way. This isn't a swim lesson and won't be instructor led. Parents must be in the water with their children

Mondays and Wednesdays  ▶  10:30–11:30 a.m.  
Ages 0–4 with adult present 
$50 for 10 punches or $90 for 20 punches available at Merriam Community Center Welcome Desk
1 punch visit = 1 parent and 1 child 

Free for members!

Sensory Hour

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 shut down. Parent involvement is encouraged but not required. 

Wednesdays and Fridays  ▶  11 a.m.–noon

All Ages
$50 for 10 punches or $90 for 20 punches available at Merriam Community Center Welcome Desk
1 punch visit = 1 caregiver and 1 dependent person 

Free for members!

Infant Survival Swim – Non-Walkers

This 6-week program teaches infants 6-12 months to roll over from a face down or submerged position onto their backs to relax and breath. Lessons are one-on-one, four days a week, and 15 minutes long.

Mon.–Thurs.  ▶  April - May   ▶  Register 

Mon.–Thurs.  ▶  June - July or July - August   ▶ Register 

Infant Survival Swim – Walkers

This 8-week program teaches toddlers the swim-float-swim sequence. Children will learn to swim a short distance with their face fully submerged, roll onto their back, float and rest whenever they need to breathe, and to flip back onto their tummy to continue to swim to safety while fully clothed. Lessons are one-on-one, four days a week, and 15 minutes long. 

Mon.–Thurs.  ▶  April - May   ▶  Register 

Mon.–Thurs.  ▶  June - July or July - August   ▶  Register 


This class is for advanced swimmers ages 5–8 years old. Kids will learn correct freestyle breathing, streamlines, backstroke, and other swim techniques. They will spend 30 minutes on instruction and 15 minutes playing games. This class takes place in the outdoor pool.

Mon, Wed, & Sat ▶ April ▶ 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. ▶ Register 

Mon.–Thurs. ▶ June, July, or Aug. ▶ 11–11:45 a.m. ▶ Register 





Fitness Classes

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 but not required. Instructor: Patchen (1st degree) 

Tuesdays   ▶   4:30–5:20 p.m.   ▶   Register 

Cheer 4 Fun

Cheer 4 Fun cheerleading squads make awesome transitions with formations, great tumbling passes, and stunts with high-energy routines set to music. These two-minute routines contain choreography, tumbling, stunting, and dance moves. Your kids will love it! Instructor: Wills, USASF Certified

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

Saturdays   ▶   11  a.m. - 12 :30 p.m.   ▶   Register 

Karate for Kids

Sensei Tyler Murphy leads kids through fun workouts to help build patience, discipline, coordination, and muscle memory. Add $20 if you want a karate uniform. Instructor: Murphy

Saturdays   ▶   12:30 - 1:30 p.m.   ▶   Register 

Kids/Teen Swordsmanship & Weapons

Learn martial arts based on universal weapons, focusing on combat fighting using sticks, staffs, swords, etc. Students will also learn unarmed combat techniques. All weapons are padded, and protective gear is provided. Instructor: Miller

Mondays and Wednesdays   ▶   5 - 6:30 p.m.   ▶   Register 

Tumbling for Tots & Jump-Start Gymnastics

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. Classes aren’t geared for professional gymnastic competition but are a fun way to learn and improve basic tumbling skills. Instructor: Wills, USASF Certified

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

Saturdays   ▶   9:30 - 10:15 a.m.   ▶   Register 

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

Saturdays   ▶   10:15 - 11 a.m.  ▶   Register 

Youth Basketball Skills

Learn fundamental skills in ball handling, shooting, passing, defense, and rebounding! Bring your own basketball, water bottle, and towel. Instructor: Jackson

Thursdays   ▶   10 - 11 a.m.  ▶   Register 

Youth Martial Arts

Learn traditional martial arts techniques in a family-friendly environment with an emphasis on awareness-based self-defense and anti-bullying. Improve discipline, focus, and self-confidence while strengthening the body and mind. Instructor: Wood

Mondays/ Wednesdays/ Saturdays   ▶   4:30 - 5:20 p.m.   ▶   Register 


Preschool Indoor Playground

Come ride and slide with us! Drive, pull, or push your favorite Little Tykes® vehicles or make believe in the kitchen, with a carpenter bench, or work with all your favorite garden tools. Have fun, make new friends, run, and be loud. Parents must supervise their own children during playground time. 

Tuesdays   ▶   9:30–11:30 a.m.  Not available at this time. 
$2/child   ▶   Punch cards available: $10 for 10 visits




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.

April classes  ▶  Register 

June classes  ▶  Register

July classes  ▶   Register 

August classes  ▶   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. 

April classes  ▶  Register  

June classes ▶   Register 

July classes  ▶   Register  

August classes   ▶   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.

April classes  ▶  Register  

June classes ▶   Register 

July classes  ▶   Register  

August classes  ▶   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! 

April classes  ▶  Mondays & Wednesdays   ▶   7 - 7:45 p.m.    Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays   ▶   7 - 7:45 a.m.   Register 


Merriam Dolphins

Be a part of Merriam’s 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 ( Additional information and parent communication can be found here


May 20 ▶ 7 p.m. ▶ Merriam Community Center

Pre-Competitive 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 swimmer 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.

  ▶   Register 

Private and Semi-Private Lessons

Get four, 30-minute lessons tailored just for you. Available for ages 3 .
$85 for private lessons, $75 for semi-private.
Call 913-322-5550 for more information. 


Pinot’s Palette Painting Party

Join us for an unforgettable, fun night painting with friends at the Merriam Community Center! All supplies included. Instructor: Pinot’s Palette 

Thursday, April 15   ▶   6–7:30 p.m.   ▶   Llama–Rama   ▶   Register
Ages 5 – 10

Kids DIY – Mother’s Day Gifts

Drop your kids off for this hour-long crafting session. Each child will go home with two handmade Mother’s Day gifts and a card. All supplies included. Instructor: Berg

Saturday, May 1   ▶    10–11 a.m.   ▶   Register  
Ages 5 – 10 

Kids Ceramic Camps

Enjoy this two-part camp as we go over all aspects of hand-building with clay. Be prepared to come home with wonderful sculpture art! Space is limited, so register today. Face masks are required. Instructor: Matt and Ashley

Monsters and Fairy/Gnome Houses

Learn about pinch pots and scoring and slipping clay together as we will make cute little monsters. Then, we’ll create tiny garden houses to attract gnomes and fairies!

Glazing Our Masterpieces

We’ll paint and glaze our art pieces from last week. Kids will learn how glaze works and about the firing process with the kiln. Stop by the community center on June 19 to pick up your masterpieces! All supplies included.

Saturdays June 5 & 12  ▶    1 - 3 p.m.   ▶   Register  
Ages 6 – 12