Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors with your family. And what better way to do that than kayaking or canoeing? It’s a fun and exciting adventure that will create memories your family will cherish forever.
However, before you hit the water, it’s important to be prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. We’ll share some useful tips on making your time on the water with your kids a fun and safe one.
Choosing the Right Equipment
The first step to ensuring a successful trip is to choose the right equipment. Kayaks and canoes come in various sizes, so choosing one appropriate for your child’s age and size is essential. Additionally, make sure the life jackets fit correctly and are comfortable for everyone.
Another essential piece of equipment is lighting. After all, it’s important to have proper lighting in case you or the kids want to stay out after dark or explore little nooks and crannies around the water’s edge. Rechargeable flashlights and rechargeable headlamps are great options for lighting as they save space in your fishing gear on extra batteries and have long runtimes.
Preparing for the Trip
Before hitting the water, preparing for the trip is crucial. Start by checking the forecast to ensure there are no storms or high winds during your outing. Dress your kids appropriately for the weather, and bring extra clothing in case they get wet.
It’s also important to bring plenty of snacks and water. Kayaking and canoeing can be tiring, so kids must stay hydrated and energized. Pack easy-to-eat snacks that won’t get crushed or soggy during the trip, like granola bars and trail mix.
Teaching Your Kids Basic Paddling Skills
If your kids are new to kayaking or canoeing, it’s important to teach them some basic paddling skills before hitting the water.
Start by showing them how to hold the paddle (with both hands, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) and where to place their hands (one hand on the top of the paddle grip and the other hand on the shaft, slightly lower).
Then, demonstrate the basic stroke (pull the paddle through the water in a straight line, alternating strokes on each side) and show them how to steer the kayak or canoe (use the paddle to make gentle adjustments to the boat’s direction by paddling on one side more than the other).
It’s also important to teach your kids about water safety. For example, make sure they understand the importance of wearing a life jacket.
One of the best things about kayaking or canoeing with your kids is the opportunity to explore nature. Encourage your kids to watch for wildlife like birds, fish, and turtles. You can even turn it into a scavenger hunt and have them look for specific plants or animals.
Another great way to experience nature is to stop and have a picnic. Find a quiet spot along the shore and relish some snacks while enjoying the scenery. Don’t forget to pack a garbage bag to make sure you leave no trace.
Having a great time with your kids is the ultimate goal of your trip. Keep the mood light and relaxed by playing games, telling stories, and pointing out interesting sights and wildlife. Consider bringing a waterproof camera to capture special moments. Remember to take breaks to stretch your legs and explore the shoreline. Encourage your kids to help with paddling and decision-making to make them feel like active participants in the adventure.
Spending time on the water with your kids in the spring is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen your bond while introducing your children to a new and exciting activity. So, pack your kayaks or canoes, grab your life jackets, and hit the water! With these tips, you’re ready for a fun and safe time on the water with the little ones this spring.