Is there really anything better than a day out on the water? Boating with kids can be an adventure, but with these tips, you’ll be sailing smoothly in no time!
Prep kids with safety tips. Avoid getting on-board and having to tell your kids to put on a lifejacket and sit down and don’t touch that. It’s already overwhelming for them. Prep them by talking through safety tips on your ride to the dock, prior to getting on the boat. This allows them to absorb the information without the distraction of the boat. When at the boat, don’t just tell them not to do something, explain why it is dangerous and have them make that connection to boat safety. It will stick in the long run!
SUN PROTECTION is key! One tip that cannot be stressed enough! SPF clothing should be worn by everyone in the family and sunscreen should be applied twice as often. Water reflects the sun’s rays up at you, so remember to lather up areas like under your chin.
Let them help! Keeping kids involved in the boating process not only keeps them busy, but helps them feel like not everything on the boat is off limits. Let them roll up one of the lines to put it away, turn on the blowers or watch the stern to make sure you don’t nip the dock. Having them help gives them pride in boating and promotes active listening.
Plan on some ‘on deck’ meals. If you’ll be out on the water during mealtimes, make sure you pack some meals for the kids that are easy to eat on board. Cereal and cut up fruit is a great go-to for breakfast on longer boat trips. Don’t forget to keep hydrated! Lots of watermelon, cucumbers and water for all.
Remember to unwind. If your kids are smaller, being on a boat (especially if it is one they are not familiar with) can be sensory overload. Having a small, familiar toy that they can tuck away and play with for a few minutes will recenter and ground them. Boating can be exciting for the whole family, but remember, that a few moments of rest is good for everyone, parents too! Don’t forget to pack a bottle of Gooseneck wine for your unwinding time!