If you’ve run out of activities to do with your young children, you should try kayaking.
Because not only is it great during the summer months (when you typically have more time to go out)…
But it’s also a great way to spend time in nature and teach your children to not fear the water.
Of course, you will need to take a few precautions to make sure this all goes smoothly.
In this article, we’ll give you 14 tips on how to kayak with young children.
1. Choose a Stable Kayak
Choosing the right kayak is essential when kayaking with young children. It is important to choose a kayak that is stable and easy to maneuver. A sit-on-top kayak is ideal for young children because they are more stable and less likely to tip over.
Pro tip: if you’re a single mom and you don’t have much strength to paddle for you and your kids, you may consider getting a kayak with motor.
2. Wear Properly-Fitted Life Jackets
Wearing life jackets is important for everyone when kayaking, but it is especially important for young children. Make sure that your children wear properly fitting life jackets that are approved by the Coast Guard.
Here’s an article on how to make sure the life jacket fits your child.
3. Pack the Essentials
When kayaking with young children, it is important to pack the essentials. Beyond the obvious stuff like bringing water, snacks, and sunscreen…
You want to make sure that you also bring extra clothes in case you get wet. Of course, this may be less important during warmer days, but it’s best to be prepared.
4. Start Small
If you are new to kayaking with young children, it is best to start small. Choose a calm and shallow body of water for your first trip, and stay close to shore (more on this below).
5. Practice Safety Drills
Practice safety drills with your children before you start kayaking. Teach them how to put on their life jackets and what to do in case of an emergency.
6. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Stating the obvious here…
Sunscreen is essential when kayaking with young children. Make sure to apply sunscreen before you start kayaking and reapply it every two hours.
7.. Check the Weather Forecast
Check the weather forecast before you start kayaking. Avoid kayaking in bad weather, such as high winds or thunderstorms.
If you plan to use a river kayak, make sure that you’re on a calm, class I river with no current.
8. Stay Close to Shore
Stay close to shore when kayaking with young children. This will ensure that you can easily reach the shore in case of an emergency.
Trust me, you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of the water.
9. Use a Tandem Kayak
A tandem kayak is a great option for kayaking with young children. It allows you to paddle together with your child and keep them close to you.
That said, if your child is less than 2 years old, he or she can probably fit just fine on a single kayak.
10. Teach Your Children About Wildlife
Teach your children about the wildlife that you may encounter while kayaking. This will make the experience more educational and enjoyable.
11. Take Breaks
Take breaks often when kayaking with young children. This will give them a chance to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and have a snack.
12. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important when kayaking with young children. Make sure that you bring plenty of water and encourage your children to drink often.
Remember that there aren’t any shops on the water – so be sure to bring more water than necessary.
13. Have Fun!
Most importantly, have fun! Kayaking with young children can be a wonderful bonding experience that you and your children will cherish for years to come.
Kayaking With Young Children – FAQ
What is the best kayak for young children?
A sit-on-top kayak is ideal for young children because they are more stable and less likely to tip over.
Do young children need to wear life jackets when kayaking?
Yes, it is essential for young children to wear properly fitting life jackets that are approved by the Coast Guard when kayaking.
What should I bring when kayaking with young children?
Make sure to pack the essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and extra clothing. Also, bring toys, games, books, and other activities to keep your children entertained.
Can I kayak with my infant?
It is not recommended to kayak with infants as they do not have the ability to support their heads and necks.
Is it safe to kayak with young children in bad weather?
No, it is important to check the weather forecast before kayaking and avoid kayaking in bad weather such as high winds or thunderstorms.
Kayaking With Young Children – Conclusion
In conclusion, kayaking with young children requires a lot of preparation and planning, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience.
By following these 13 tips, moms can ensure the safety and comfort of their young children while kayaking.
So, grab your kayak, your children, and head out to the water for a day of adventure and fun.
Want even more tips? Check out more kayaking articles here.