Summer is getting closer and that can only mean one thing, more time in the Great Outdoors! And what better way to do that then kayaking with your children. Kayaking is a wonderful activity that teaches individuality, strength-training and teamwork. With kayaking you can either cruise down the river or paddle around the ocean. However, when you decide to partake in this fantastic activity, it provides a great opportunity to bond with your children. The following article provides tips on making the most out of your kayaking experience with your kids.
As with any new endeavor, it’s of utmost importance to consider your safety first. There are many safety items to keep in mind when preparing for a kayaking trip. Make sure you have a properly sized life preserver. You could easily find the correct size depending on the weight of your child.
Beyond gear, make sure your child is adequately skilled to maneuver the kayak. Kayaks are relatively easy boats to control, once you get the hang of it. However, they do require a bit of practice. If possible, find a large pool or calm lake to take a kayak out to practice. Alternatively, you can use a double kayak to better assist your child to get them used to the feel of the boats.
There are many different types of kayaks you can settle on for children to get started an inflatable may be better since its easier and portable to use and there are many great models to choose from.
Make Learning to Paddle Fun with Games
Paddling at first can seem repetitive and boring for kids. However, learning how to paddle need not be an arduous chore. Spice up paddling lessons by making simple games out of them. For example, when teaching the forward and back paddle, you can play the paddle race game. For this game, everyone needs to be in their own kayak. The game is simple. First, create some distance between you and your kids in the water. Then, have your kids race each other to your boat using either the forward or back paddle. Whoever reaches you first wins!
Another fun game you can try is the whirlpool game. This game is great for teaching sweep strokes and also requires everyone to have their own boat. Ideally, you would have 6 or 7 boats, but 3-4 will work just fine. Have the boats get in a circle. From there, have them all sweep stroke from the outside of the circle. If coordinated properly, a whirlpool effect will start in the middle!
Choose the right location – Ocean vs River
You can place a kayak into virtually any kind of body of water. The two most popular locations to kayak are either in an ocean or a river. Ocean kayaking provides a great opportunity to get used to the boat. You’re not moving in any general direction like you would on a river, so you’re basically just moving around at your leisure. However, keep in mind that some oceans can get choppy our wavy, so there’s more possibility to capsize. For that reason, make sure you kayak only in areas that are heavily lifeguarded and have clear boundaries.
Another very popular kayaking experience is river kayaking. These trips are usually planned as day long trips starting off at one entry point and ending several hours later at a drop-off one. These are great trips to spend summer afternoons catching some sun and building upper body strength. However, keep in mind not all is smooth sailing, as you may experience rapids or rocks along the way. Therefore, make sure you have the skills necessary for your children to get the most out of a river kayak experience.
Kayaking with your children is an incredibly rewarding experience. You get to go on an adventure that teaches valuable lessons like teamwork in the great outdoors. You have the option of taking the boat anywhere, and can decide whether the ocean or river is the best place for you. Better yet, choose both! As long as you stay safe, practice, and keep the learning fun, riding kayaks will be sure to do its job at bringing you closer to you and your family.
Great blog and great advice, will definitely use your insight!
Thank you so much for the interesting article. I, too, am getting my kids used to kayaking a little at a time. Mostly we swim in the parks when the whole family is on vacation.