Going kayaking with your kids can be a fun experience if you plan and prepare ahead of time. Remember to keep things simple at first and avoid surprises that could add unneeded stress. Discoveries along the way are of course encouraged!
Planning the Trip
Who Should Go
The range of people “right” for paddling is as comprehensive as the sea. However, be careful. Never carry a kid on the water unless you are sufficiently skilled—or you have an skilled paddler with you. For every child paddler, we recommend one adult be present until all members’ levels have been determined and you know and trust everyone in the group. If you have enough adults, your child can invite a friend or two.
Where to Go
Unless you’re an experienced boater, you’ll want to find calm water with minimal current. Start on small lakes, bays and slow rivers that are protected so you can develop your skills and reduce stress levels. With every trip, you’ll have more options.
- Select locations with lots of mixture.
- Before venturing into unfamiliar waters, it’s important to have a plan and be aware of your surroundings. This means studying tides, currents and boat traffic with your kids in advance. When you’re finally out on the water and conditions are as you expected them, your kids will be proud to point them out and you’ll all feel safer together.
- Knowing where the nearest restroom is will save you a lot of grief, especially if you have young children with you.
- To find a best place for kid-friendly paddling destination, You can vist my kayak guide website for more location. You may also try your local paddling organization, as well as for your state gardens council or park service sites. You can learn more about kayaking with kids at My KayakGuide.com
Length of Trip
Use caution when deciding how long you’ll be gone for on your first trip. This way, if you end up staying out longer than planned, it will be a win for everyone. Half an hour to an hour should be enough time for all first-timers, regardless of age. For babies and toddlers, a few moments sitting in the cockpit at the water’s edge may be all that’s needed.
A rule of thumb when planning a boating trip with young children is to keep the duration and distance of your planned trip shorter than you would if you were boating with adults. As a general guideline, the age of your child will dictate how much time you can spend on the water. Older children can handle being on the boat for longer periods of time than younger kids.
Build Skills Beforehand
Planning a trip that’s a few months out? Why not sign up for swimming and kayaking lessons in the meantime? Community pools often offer swimming lessons for a reasonable price, and kayaking is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy together. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the kids learn and become comfortable in the water.
Make working out fun for the whole family by incorporating your kids into your fitness routine. Go for long runs together and make up games like “crossings” where you pretend to paddle from one island to the next. Back at home, do strength-training exercises like weights, pull-ups, and push-ups with your kids to help improve your paddle stroke.