Under the water: whether submerged in the depths of the beautiful ocean surrounded by brightly colored fish and curled, delicate coral reefs, or, exploring the murky surroundings of a nearby lake and watching the local fish whirl by, snorkeling is a fantastic family adventure. Kids will love the experience, all the interesting and fun things to look at and explore and parents can get some great one-on-one interaction with their children.
There are hundreds of reasons to introduce your children to snorkeling. Not only is it a fun family activity that promotes education, responsibility, excitement and communication, it offers affordable family entertainment. Children are naturally curious and the plethora of sights available under the water’s surface opens a whole new world of exploration. Offering the adventure of shallow waters can bring an inquisitive mind face-to-face with exotic fish and other thrilling marine life.
You can begin to introduce your child to snorkeling via the bathtub! Kids will think this is great, and it will give you the opportunity to familiarize them with the concept of being under the water in a safe, controlled environment. Start by letting your child become acquainted with the snorkel and their mask. Show them how to properly breathe through the snorkel and become comfortable holding their faces under the water’s surface while taking deep, steady breaths. It is important to make sure the snorkeling gear is suited for your child’s age and size. Make sure the face mask fits securely, but comfortably.
Move your next lesson to a pool. You can offer practice by letting your child swim around the pool, equipped with the snorkeling gear, while getting comfortable being under the water and learning how to happily observe their surroundings, while being aware of where mom and dad are. Always make sure your child has safety equipment. Whether it is water wings or a full-size life vest, having the proper security gear is vital to enjoying family snorkeling.
One of the greatest aspects of snorkeling is how cost effective it is. You do not need expensive, state-of-the-art snorkeling equipment. Remember, at this point, becoming a professional snorkeler is not in the game plan; you are there to have fun, so overly priced gear is not necessary to get the most out of an afternoon of snorkeling. A fun addition might be a waterproof or underwater camera. The disposable ones are relatively inexpensive and the camera can offer the opportunity to document and record rare family memories!
There are safety tips to be aware of when you are snorkeling with children:
• Be extremely comfortable with your own gear. Your full, undivided attention needs to be on your child. You cannot worry about ill-fitting equipment or safety gear when your concentration and focus should be elsewhere. Be sure your equipment is established and in good condition and that you are comfortable in it prior to getting into the water with the family.
• Have a game plan. Remember, little arms can become tired much quicker than yours. Be aware that children may need frequent breaks. Bring snack and water as they will grow hungry and thirsty in greater intervals.
• Protect exposed skin. Children can burn quickly and easily. Make sure you have applied a high SPF sunscreen to your child’s exposed skin before and during the snorkeling experience.
• Check weather conditions. Remember that weather, especially around large bodies of water, can be unpredictable. Check the forecast before your trip and always be prepared for sudden climate changes.
• Carry along a first-aid kit. While you never plan on an emergency occurring, with children you must always be prepared. Be sure to bring along a complete first-aid kit in case of the unforeseeable accident.
Snorkeling is an adventure! Exposing children to the mysterious and exciting world beneath the water is a wonderful bonding experience for parents and their kids. Remember to follow all posted safety requirement, and enjoy the chance to explore hidden treasure, strange new animals and maybe even a mermaid or two all while creating a healthy, educational and exciting memory for you and your children!