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Family Paddling – The Kids and You
As summer looms in the not-too-distant future, inevitably we start to make plans…
for the kids and for ourselvse .
Love the water and looking for some fun? Maybe the kids are restless, talking about doing
something different for a change.
If that’s the case, consider taking them out in the kayak and opening the opportunities
for some true, hands-on adventures!
- First of all, you’ll want to make it a fun experience, one the children will look forward
to because of its novelty, challenge, and environment-friendly action.
Tell or read them stories; let them know some of the history of kayaking;
talk to them about the people who have paddled there
(on the same rivers, streams, and harbors) before just as you plan
together for the day ahead.
- Once the children are excited about the journey ahead, it is time for
the practical matters of preparation and safety.
Take them with you to the outfitters so they can get just the
right PFD and remind them of their responsibility to care for
and wear it on each trip.
Don’t forget to set a good example!
And, while you’re there, why not select a paddle that is just right for him/her.
(Remember – just because s/he may not be strong enough to stroke, this will give him/her
something to look forward to and help him/her feel a real part of the adventure.)
- Secondly, you’ll want to have them help you make a list of things to get ready –
proper clothing, a brimmed hat or cap, good foot gear, sunscreen.
Hint: if they help you make the list of things they’ll need, they are more likely to end up
with everything they need. A guiding hand will lead them in the right direction.
Here’s what you should weave into the list:
- Clothing that can be worn in layers because although the day may start cool, it may become hot
(and vice versa) so – shorts and long pants, short sleeve and long sleeve shirts.
Remember – bright colors are most visible and therefore most desirable for this activity
(no need to blend in and get lost in the environment!) A simple rain jacket may become handy.
- Whatever foot gear they select, may become wet.
It’s handy to have something dry waiting in the car.
- Kids love and want their “stuff” around them. Help them out here: they should be able to
carry what they want to take along – a simple waterproof camera, a book to read, etc.
- Help them select a waterproof container(dry bag) for storing their stuff.
You might want to remind them to take some healthy snacks along.
Hint: This is a good opportunity to remind them that we have to appreciate and protect
the area by policing ourselves, and not leave any trash behind.
You may be wondering how long this adventure should be?
Adults who have paddled before you recommend that the first few occasions you
should limit the time so it remains fun and exciting as the season goes on,
you may increase the time to 3-5 hours and, please , let the children agree before
hand how long the trip should be.
Remember that the journey of a lifetime begins with a few enjoyable moments!