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While everyone else is busy trying to have a hot girl summer, Jordin Sparks is busy keeping it cool, prioritizing family time in the water this summer.

The 29-year-old singer, actress, wife and mother is wearing a new hat presently, as she’s partnering with Kalahari Resorts & Conventions for #NationalWaterparkDay on Sunday, July 28. She celebrated the occasion in advance because, why wait?

“We went to the Kalahari Resort in the Poconos and it was so much fun,” she told me over the phone about her experience at the Poconos Mountains spot in Pennsylvania. “There was something for everyone. My mom went to the spa, we freaked out over the arcade, me and my husband, and DJ got to play in the little kiddie pool that was especially for his size. It was perfect, it was so much fun. I can’t wait to go back.”

And while the popular destination also has rope courses, miniature golf, and hiking aside from water activities, for Sparks, she loves to be in the pool and is actually quite the swimmer. She was on the swim team growing up, her husband loves to swim, her family as well, and she hopes DJ will be an experience swimmer, too. She’s also hopeful that her partnership will aid other children, who are underprivileged, in learning to swim as well.

“We think it’s really important that DJ start taking classes. Pretty soon we’ll start getting him enrolled into some,” she said. “I think that’s why partnering with Kalahari made so much sense. We made a donation to the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash program, which goes to the underprivileged communities and teaches kids how to swim. It’s so important because studies show kids who know how to swim not only do they develop skills for the future — motor skills and special skills — but they’re healthier and more confident. Who doesn’t want that for their kid?”

“Kids should be able to have fun around water but also be safe,” she added. “Things can happen in an instant and when you go on vacation there’s always some body of water, whether it’s a pool, or the beach or a lake — there’s something with water involved. So for them to be safe around water is the most important thing.”

But aside from trying to make playtime in the water fun and safe for all, Sparks is filling up her schedule with a Christmas film she has in the works, is prepping to shoot her upcoming Freeform series Unrelated, and is putting out new music. She recently released the EP 1990 Forever, a collaboration with singer Elijah Blake, and is presently putting together her own album.

“I’m currently working on my new project and I have some songs in the bank already,” she said. “I’m really excited and proud of them but I’m adding more to the project. I don’t have a date yet, but I’m hoping before the end of the year you guys will be able to hear some of my new solo stuff.”

Could an upcoming project as reality singing competition show judge be in the cards for her next, though? The star, who won the sixth season of American Idol when she was just 17, hinted that if all works out, she could be on one of the many competition series out right now.

“So the crazy thing is, I’ve been asked over the years if I wanted to be a judge and I felt like I wasn’t ready yet because I was still learning so much. I was like, I don’t want to be trying to judge someone else when there’s still so much for me to learn. But now, at this point, I feel like I’ve grown so much over the last 12 years that I would love to be able to sit down and be able to help someone in their own journey because I’ve been there,” she said. “I know exactly what they’re going through. I know how it feels and how crazy it can all be so I would love to do that. I had a meeting last week but I can’t tell you with who [laughs].”

And for the record, while some people groan at the fact that the shows are still going and claim that they don’t churn out successful artists, the “No Air” singer disagrees.

“I love the fact that there are so many opportunities for people to have a chance to live their dreams. I think that’s great,” she said. “I think that it can feel like it’s become oversaturated, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily because of how many there are and the feeling that you don’t really hear from [winners]. I think it’s because of the way we consume music and media now that people aren’t able to wait for an album. We consume it so quickly that we’re on to the next thing before they can even get their album out.”

“I remember during my season, I won in May and my album didn’t come out until September. That’s a long chunk of time, especially now,” she said. “It’s definitely different with the way that we consume it, but I do think that everyone has success in their own way. When you’re on TV, there’s a lot of eyes on you, and after you get off the show, you’re able to use that and do the things that you would like. Maybe it’s not on the scale that you would like, but you can get started, and it’s a great way to do it. I love them still, but I’m from them so I’m kind of bias [laughs]. I think it’s a great thing.”

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