Snorkeling is an excellent way to access the beautiful, mysterious realms of nature. The ocean indeed is a fantastic place to exercise your idea of discovery. And that’s not all! This sport also opens newer avenues of exercising, thereby keeping you fit and active.
As with adults, kids too take an interest in the sport from a very young age. The mystery, adventure, and lasting beauty of nature attract them to the core! But even before you let them try it, it’s very important to teach them the basics. Wondering how to start out? The following tip for snorkeling with kids will help you out!
Teach Them Swimming
Usually, 5 to 6 years is an ideal age for introducing snorkeling to your kids. At this point, even before you’d introduce the concept, teach them how to swim. You can do this by taking them for occasional trips to the pool. Begin slowly and let them be comfortable underwater.
One of the best ways to do this is by asking them to perform a front-crawl by stroking their arms up in the air and then eventually plunging it into the water. This will help your kids develop a healthy arm motion.
You can also try motorboating with them by holding your child under their arms and then walking backward along the water. Once you pick up some speed, the water itself will push your child in front floating position.
Finally, once you find your child getting more and more accustomed to the underwater environment, encourage them to take the plunge. Simply crouch along the shallow end, stand two feet apart from the pool wall and hold your kid so that they stand on your knees. At this point, your hands should support their waist. Remember, both you and your kid are facing the wall.
Finally, once you’re comfortable in the position, ask him/her to jump on your knees and grab the wall. As he does this, he’ll automatically learn swimming.
Enlighten Them About the Basics of Underwater
Once you find your child comfortable with swimming, gradually introduce them to underwater life. You can start with some ocean-themed cartoons or educational clips. There’s no shortage of materials. Whether it’s “Finding Nemo” or “Spongebob Squarepants”- your kids will love them all because of the interactive and friendly tone.
After working on the basics, make them a tad more interested in arranging for visits to the marine aquariums. Most of these places have excellent exhibits that your kids can touch and see. As they keep doing this from time to time, they’ll learn about the varied facets of marine line.
Another thing you can do is arrange for trips or “special camps” in the aquarium. This can be anything from “aquarium sleepovers” too short field trips where they’ll able to encounter and witness the aquatic environment.
Finally, once you find your kid getting interested in underwater life, arrange for your upcoming diving trip! This is probably the best tip for snorkeling with kids. While zeroing in on the destination, take suggestions from your child. Your kids will love it when you make them a part of your decision-making process.
Preparing For the Trip
After you’ve worked on the basics, it’s time to prepare your child for the trip. If you’ve taken them for visits to marine aquariums and made them watch interesting aquatic themed shows- it’s very likely that they already have a basic idea. But even if you’ve done that, it’s now time to give them hands-on exposure to the equipment.
You can start out by showing them an educational video about the equipment. Once kids have grasped a faint idea, take them to the pool/bathtub and make them play with the mask and snorkel. After they’ve touched and felt the equipment, make them wear it and get accustomed to breathing through the masks.
If your child doesn’t want to wear it at the very beginning, toss the snorkeling equipment on the pool/bathtub’s floor and let them get a glimpse of it through their mask. You can then practice by placing their face down under water, while they eventually get accustomed to the underwater environment.
You don’t have thread the snorkel through the loop on your child’s face mask. This will make them feel uncomfortable. So instead of the age-old way, simply tuck the mask in between your child’s face and the face mask. If your child suddenly panics during the practice session, it’s probably because they’ve haven’t mastered the breathing technique (through the mouth) yet. Due to this reason, it’s essential to let them get enough practice before you head for your much-coveted trip.
Snorkeling With Your Child During the Vacation
After you prepare your child/toddler with the basics, arrange for a trip in some relatively calm area. You can always try snorkeling in a well-protected lagoon or cove. This will give your child an idea about the presence of small sea critters without having to worry about swells.
Remember, the bigger waves can unnerve your child at the beginning. So make sure you start slow. You can also bring your water wings, masks, life vests and kickboards under the chest/armpit. This will ensure that your little one doesn’t get exhausted by trying to stay afloat during their snorkeling session.
Don’t let go of your child from the very beginning. It will make them feel uncomfortable. Connect with them by holding their hands in the water so that your child knows exactly where you’re venturing. Even if you get disconnected at some point, make sure you stay close.
Once you follow these guidelines, you’ll enjoy your travel with kids. Make them feel comfortable, ensure that they are safe and make it a point to live by the best tip for snorkeling with kids.
Remember, unlike adults, kids can get overwhelmed by the entire experience at the beginning. Do not be frightened, do not deter them either. Once they spend some more time and get accustomed to the underwater environment, they’ll soon be comfortable in venturing amid the deep blue oceans. Happy snorkeling!