24 Ways To Get Your Children To Love Boating
Small children like to know there
are lions and saucepans in the sky,
and an older child may be interested
in Orion, Pegasus, Andromeda, and
the mythology surrounding them.
11. Let them prove their strength
and agility. Tow a line with a fender,
body board, or raft at the end, and
let the kids go for a ride – wearing life jackets, of course.
12. Towing a line is the easiest way to
fish, and few things are more exciting
than pulling in a tuna or mackerel halfway
through a quiet day at sea. Leftover hot
dogs make splendid bait for bobbing with
hand lines off the transom while at anchor.
How Do You Get Your
Children To Enjoy Boating?
Send us ideas that helped your
children or grandchildren love
boating. Also, if you have a great
photo of yourself with the kids
to accompany your suggestions,
e-mail us a high-resolution ver-
sion at Letters ToEditor@BoatUS.
com and identify the people in
the photo. We’ll use the best
tips in an upcoming issue.
13. Bring snorkeling gear, and con-
sider getting your child a wetsuit;
the longer they enjoy being in the
water and staying warm while doing
so, the more they’ll love boating.
14. Be sure to have fish-identification
books aboard, such as the excellent vol-
umes by Paul Humann. Learning about
the fish and wildlife we see enriches the
experience of snorkeling and boating.
15. An overnight passage is the per-
fect time for learning constellations.
16. Try a quick sail in the dinghy
to the other shore and enjoy a picnic and exploration on the beach.
17. Circumnavigate the island, land
on it, and maybe even camp out.
18. A sailing dinghy or sailboard can
be a much-needed challenge that’s easily set up and nearly indestructible. How
about races, or desperate sea battles?
19. An inflatable kayak allows older
kids time for quiet exploring alone
and away from the mothership.
20. A journal full of leaves, receipts,
postcards, sketches, coin rubbings,
and so on, is fun to make and to show
to friends when the trip is done.
21. With all the water involved with
boating, watercolor painting occupies
time nicely and cleans up quickly.
Our girls paint all over each other
as a prelude to a thorough bath.
22. Modeling clay is fun for smaller
children, and when not in use is wonderful for keeping bowls and cups
from sliding off the table. Just roll out
a long snake, wrap it around the base,
and press it onto the table. No slip!
23. “How do you like to go up in a
swing?” recites Emily as she swings
from a little bosun’s chair hanging
from the boom. When she’s bigger,
we’ll tie her swing to a halyard and
the boat will be her jungle gym.
24. Bring a few small games. Dominoes
are fun to spin and a challenge to
build with, and are even fun to play
for all ages. Cards, too, are good for
everyone and provide a variety of different games in one little deck.
8. Take tons of photos. You never
know when a great picture might make
you want to repeat the experience.
9. Include the children in handling
the boat, looking for buoys, and
learning how to read the chart.
10. Man-overboard drills were
a favorite with my sister, brother,
and me. We’d throw in a life
jacket and practice retrieving it.
Danielle Zartman picks the best kids’ boating books. Check out her list online.