Youth Programs and Activities

 

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 / 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

This six-week program teaches infants and toddlers between 6 months and 3 years old to roll over from a face-down or submerged position onto their backs to relax and breathe. 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 15 minutes, one-on-one, four days a week. Instructor: Mary Jo

Monday - Thursday  ▶ January 2-February 9 ▶ Times Vary ▶  Register

Monday - Thursday  ▶ February 13-March 23 ▶ Times Vary ▶  Register 

Monday - Thursday  ▶ March 27-May 4 ▶ Times Vary ▶  Register

 

Infant Aquatic Survival Swim - Advanced

This program is a continuation of the Infant Aquatics Survival Swim program and teaches the swim-float-swim sequence.  Instructor: Mary JO

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

Monday& Wednesday  ▶ Monthly ▶  4-4:15 pm. ▶ 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

Children with autism spectrum disorders are taught traditional learn-to-swim methods combined with sensory strategies matched to their unique needs. University of Kansas Medical Center health professionals teach the swim lessons. Individual and small-group lessons are available.

January 26-April 27  ▶  Thursdays ▶ 6:30-7:15 p.m. or 7:20-8:05 p.m. ▶ Register beginning December 9 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  Register

 

SuperKids 

Advanced swimmers learn correct freestyle breathing, streamlines, backstroke, and other swim techniques.  They'll spend 45 minutes on instruction and 15 minutes playing games.  Class includes two days per week, Saturday is a bonus day.

Monthly ▶ Register

Mondays and Wednesdays are 5-6 p.m. / Tuesdays and Thursdays are 4:30-5:30 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 ▶  4:30–5:20 p.m.   ▶   Register

 

Jump-Start 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. Recommended for kids ages 7+. Athletes must be able to perform a backbend from standing position and return to a standing position independently to participate. Instructor: Wendy, USASF Certified

Tuesdays ▶ Monthly ▶  6:15 - 7 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)

Saturdays ▶  Monthly ▶ 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.  ▶  Register

Wednesdays ▶  Monthly ▶ 4:30-5:30 p.m.  ▶  Register

 

Move with Me

Enjoy a special time with your toddler as you help guide them through stretching, tumbling, balancing, coordination circuits, and so much more with Coach Wendy. You'll look forward to seeing new friends each week! Instructor: Wendy, USASF certified

Tuesdays ▶  Monthly ▶  5-5:30 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

 

Zumba®  Kids

Develop a healthy lifestyle and mike fitness fun with Zumba®  Kids! This class includes dancing, mat time, and much more! Instructor: Maki 

Tuesdays ▶ Monthly ▶ 4:30-5:15 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

 

2023 Dolphin Swim and Dive Team Mandatory parents meeting May 2 at 7 p.m. at Merriam Community Center.

Additional information will be available in late spring. 

 

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 are available at Team Unify

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.

 

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 7-March 4 ▶  Register 

Saturdays  ▶ March 18-May 13  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶ March 6-22  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶ April 3-19  ▶  Register 

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays  ▶May 1-10  ▶  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 7-March 4  ▶  Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  January 9-25  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  February 6-22  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  March 6-22  ▶  Register  

Saturdays  ▶ March 18-May 13  ▶  Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  April 3-19  ▶  Register  

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays  ▶  May 1-10  ▶  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 7-March 4  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  January 9-25  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  February 6-22  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  March 6-22  ▶  Register  

Saturdays  ▶  March 18-May 13  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  April 3-19  ▶  Register  

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays  ▶  May 1-10  ▶  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 9-25  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶ February 6-22  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶ March 6-22  ▶  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  ▶ January 7-28  ▶  Register

 Saturdays  ▶ February 4-25  ▶  Register

Saturdays  ▶ March 4-25  ▶  Register

Saturdays  ▶ April 1-29  ▶  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. Call 913-322-5550 for more information. 

Workshops

Code Name: 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.  Ages 12+ Instructor: Cecilia

Tuesdays  ▶ January-April  ▶ 4-5:30 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  ▶ February 10  ▶ 5:30-7:45 p.m.  ▶  Register

Friday  ▶ March 17  ▶ 5:30-7:45 p.m.  ▶  Register

Friday  ▶ April 28  ▶ 5:30-7:45 p.m.  ▶  Register

Tween & Teen DIY: Polymer Clay Earrings

Have fun making your own jewelry! Pick your color and style as you learn how to roll and create polymer clay earrings. All supplies provided. Ages 10+  Instructors: Ingrid and Emily polymer clay earlings unassembled

Friday  ▶ February 24  ▶ 6-7:30 p.m.  ▶  Register

Kids DIY: Earth Day Up-Cycled Oriole Bird Feeders

Make every day Earth Day! Drop off your kids for this earth-friendly up-cycling craft session. They'll make oriole bird feeders and learn about the oriole migration through Kansas. All supplies provided. Ages 5-10 Instructors: Ingrid and Emilypainted bird feeders made from juice cartons

Saturday  ▶ April 22  ▶ 9:30-11 a.m.  ▶  Register