Summer is synonymous with family time and boating. There are endless activities on the water for kids of all ages. Having a few at your fingertips can keep the younger set happy and not just occupied. Keeping everyone happy and safe on their boating adventures will produce memories for a lifetime.
When are we going: Prepping for the Adventure
Every boater knows the prep it takes to get ready for a day of boating. It is about safety and the necessities. Rather than hear the chorus of “when are we going,” – get the kids involved in the process. Turn packing into a game! Make a scavenger hunt for each child. Give an age-appropriate list to grab the towels, sunscreen, PFDs, snacks, and more. Not only does this help with the prepping; It teaches everyone about the reason each item is needed. You can make a lesson out of looking at the weather forecast and explain the importance of planning. You can arrange one of our Carefree Boat Club Dockmasters to go over our safety pre and a post-boat float plan. These are all pre-boating lessons that will become natural for our little future boaters!
Inflatables and water toys are all the rage with unlimited possibilities on the water. Watersport tubes and wakeboards are still the go-to for thrills and family fun. These come in a plethora of shapes, sizes and for multiple riders. Inflatable toys have truly upped their game…from the 6’ swans to slides. Putting a slide on a pontoon or triton takes the fin to another level. Carefree Boat Club boats have an electric pump at their docks to inflate and deflate before going out, and most boats have a 12V plug to help inflate while out on the water. Floating yoga mats provide hours of fun on top of the water and can hold up to 6 people or more depending upon the mat size. The mats are a great idea to be on the water without being in the water – for those jellyfish-prone areas. Remember to wear your life vest when riding or playing on your inflatable or water toy. In most states, it is the law and always the safe thing to do. Our children learn by watching us. Make safety second nature.
It’s not the destination – it’s the journey
Map out your time on the water. Look online for local events and festivals by water: historic lighthouses, landmarks, and towns. Look up the history of your area by water. Make history fun to learn. Learning is not just for our kids!
I want to be a marine biologist
Marine life by boat! Who hasn’t been mesmerized or in awe of sea creatures? Check out your waterways for the types and seasons for various wildlife. Fish, dolphins, seals, whales, and even sharks! Tons of waterfowl too. Teach respect for our planet and the creatures we share the earth with.
Did we mention fishing?
I could spend paragraphs about fishing as an activity for kids. Catching your first fish and spending quality time with your parents. Many fish tales and lifelong memories have been held close to the heart.
To Infinity and Beyond…
The days and time spent boating with your kids help to create our future recreational boaters. I know that I remember my dad letting me stand behind the helm and steer the boat. Sure -it was probably in a no-wake zone. But the thrill of “captaining” the boat and the memory of my dad showing me what to keep my eyes on and how to steer the boat is still with me today. Discover Boating Sea Tow, and other recreational boating associations have computer activities to teach and spread the love of boating. I have said it before – our children are watching us. Showing how to be a safe passenger sets the base. Rules and laws are here to set us up to be respectful and safe members of the boating community.