Are you looking to pass on your love of kayaking to your children then here are some expert tips for introducing kids to kayaking.
Expert Tips for Introducing Kids to Kayaking
Kayaking is a fun sport and activity for people to enjoy. For those that are new to the sport, there are always going to be things that you should consider and learn as a beginner. This is especially true for kids, as they will have a different learning experience than adults trying to get into kayaking. Here are a few tips to help introduce your kids to kayaking.
Kayaking Is All About Having Fun
First and foremost, kayaking is an activity that you want to do because you enjoy it, regardless of what age you are. Nobody is going to force you into getting out on the water with your kayak and paddle. Although this applies to everyone, you want to make this a clear point of emphasis to kids especially. This is because whenever they are learning something new, it can be disheartening to not get the grasp of things right away.
If you are learning in a big group with other kids, or even if it’s a single parent or instructor teaching, they may look at someone else on the water and get upset that they aren’t able to do things that they see others do with ease. Make sure that when you are kayaking with your little person that they are enjoying themselves and understand that it is a learning process.
Have patience when teaching and learning to kayak. Although it may look easy, there are many aspects and techniques that you need to go through to ensure that you are safe on the water. Rushing through techniques can create bad and dangerous situations down the line. For kids, remember to celebrate small progress to keep them engaged while out on the water. Again, you want to reiterate the joy of the experience.
Play Games Or Draw Away Their Attention
When you are trying to learn how to kayak, practicing may seem like the best way to learn but that can be boring. Consider changing things up with games and activities while you are out on the water, even breaking up your practice sessions for different onshore activities. Children have a shorter attention span, and if they are stuck practicing that same repetitive motions, they may lose interest and ultimately not want to spend any more time out on their kayaks. If you are playing games while out on the water, it helps take their mind off of the different kayaking techniques they need to use and allows them to naturally maneuver, providing them the chance to problem solve on their own. This will help instill the skills and techniques much faster and develop those habits.
Take Them To Get Their Own Kayak And Gear
If you are trying to introduce your kids to kayaking, make sure to involve them in different ways. One helpful method is to take them to get their own gear and keep them involved in the decision-making. Have them choose their own equipment, go through things like paddles, helmets, jackets, and clothes to get them both comfortable and feeling great about how they look in their new gear.
Make sure that you have them choose their own kayak, looking at the differences between inflatable and hardshell, considering what they feel most comfortable in. Look at the size of the different kayaks, and have them sit in them or try them out. Go over key differences between models, outlining what the benefits of each are. If you are unaware of the information yourself, partner with a guide or expert regarding the equipment in order to provide useful and informative education to help solidify the entire process for your young ones.
Avoid Undesirable Situations
When you first start out kayaking and want to develop that love and passion in your kids for the water and water activities, it is important that you consider avoiding certain conditions and situations that would be less than ideal. These could be things like if the weather is bad, accidents and emergencies occurring on the water, or if you are simply having a rough day and are in a poor mood. This is important because, at an early developmental age, certain memories stick with you.
If you create negative memories for your kids, even ones that are not directly associated with kayaking itself, but perhaps a bad memory of their interactions with you or a group while out on the water, this could stick with them in the future, making them want to avoid the kayak all together.
Kayaking Is A Great Group Activity
When it comes to kayaking, it is definitely a case of the more the merrier. At a young age, you want to encourage the opportunity for your kids to make friends, learn how to socialize, and build relationships. If your children have friends that are also interested, this will make their love and passion for kayaking much deeper and easier to get into or stick with in the long run. Organize group outings or have them take classes together. If your children don’t have friends that are into outdoor water activities, don’t worry.
There are plenty of camps and classes that you can take, and they will definitely find friends that share their interests. This will translate in the long run, as you want to go out on outdoor adventures. It may feel awkward to be that one kid that is out with their parents and their friends on the water, especially when you are not at the same level. Having a few kids your age to progress and learn together is a great way to stay engaged.
Kayaking is one of the most fun activities you can take part in while out on the water. Whether you are by yourself or out with others, it is something worth jumping into. For parents that are passionate, it is obviously something that they would like to involve their children in. just remember to emphasize the joy of the experience and always keep it a fun activity, and you will find that your kids easily gravitate to getting out on the water.