how to kayak with toddler

Guide For kayaking with Toddler, Its Seat Or Baby Carrier – kayaking for family of 3 or 4

I tell you that kayaking with a toddler is a blast, but at the same time, it is a thrilling and unforgettable experience any parent can have. But when the first time I took my toddlers out in a kayak last spring, I found myself quickly frustrated and questioning my sanity.

As with most parenting, I learned a lot from that experience and wanted to share what I’ve learned with other parents who want to enjoy some summertime fun with their toddlers (and rest assured that if you can learn to kayak with a toddler, anything is possible).

So, Here I am with the comprehensive guide that focuses on how to kayak with a toddler, prepare and equip for an enjoyable time out on the river together, and provides tips on how to succeed in making kayaking a family activity.

how Beneficial is kayaking for Toddlers

Kayaking can benefit toddlers, giving them a unique opportunity to explore the outdoors, develop physical skills, and foster a love for nature. Here are the benefits of kayaking for toddlers.

benefits of kayaking for a toddler
Benefits of kayaking for a Toddler

Introduction to Water

Kayaking familiarizes toddlers with water in a controlled environment, building water confidence.

Sensory Stimulation

Kayaking exposes toddlers to sensory experiences, promoting cognitive and sensory development.

Physical Development

Paddling a kayak enhances toddlers’ motor skills, coordination, balance, and strength.

Nature Exploration

Kayaking enables toddlers to discover natural environments, observe wildlife, and appreciate nature.

Bonding and Social Interaction

Kayaking fosters bonding, communication, and teamwork as a family or group activity.

Confidence Building

Successful kayaking boosts toddlers’ self-confidence and resilience.

Exposure to Water Safety

Kayaking teaches toddlers basic water safety, including wearing life jackets and understanding water conditions.

Appreciation for Physical Activity

Kayaking introduces toddlers to the joy of physical activity, encouraging an active lifestyle.

Besides physical health, kayaking can positively impact your toddler’s mental health as the peaceful natural environment will make them relax and happy.

Also, Kayaking can expand their imagination and creativity by having aesthetic views closer to nature.

Preparing for Kayaking with Child: How old should my child be?

Your toddler must be three to seven years old to enjoy the fantastic kayaking adventure. If you want your child to enjoy the moment and not be scared, then consider the following factors mentioned below:

  • Ensure your child is comfortable wearing a personal flotation device and other accessories.
  • If your child is scared to get into the kayak, build his confidence around water.
  • When my child was frightened, I started to let my child play in the water, letting them splash around. Which encouraged him to go kayaking, and you can try it too.
  • Besides swimming, you should also teach the children how to paddle so they can also take part in the activity.
  • Finally, look for a calm and less deep lake that should not be very dangerous or have high waves that may scare your child.

Safety First

Prepare floating devices and safety wears for the toddler, like life jackets, floating ropes, and a first aid kit. Also, apply sunscreen for children that will protect them from sunburn. Also, study how to kayak with a toddler to understand better what you should prepare.

Choosing the Perfect Kayak

Look for types of kayaks that are suitable for your toddlers and yourself. Here I gather a list of toddler-friendly kayaks to help you pick what you think is best for your family.

Multi-Seat Kayaks

With multi-seat kayaks, you can comfortably have a fantastic experience in the same kayak with your toddler.

There are simple and enough seats for the parents and kids, and sometimes it also consists of a space for pets.

Sit-In-Kayaks Vs Sit-On-Top Kayaks

Sit-in kayaks are better than sit-on-top kayaks as they have a space for sitting inside, and your toddler will be safer. However, sit-on-top kayaks are for adults and are used for fishing, etc. They are also unsafe for kids as they might easily fall from them.

Sit-Inside-Touring kayak is another type suitable for paddling with toddlers as it expands the floatation chambers. These are considered best for lakes, even for the oceans.

The following are the advantages of Sit Inside Kayaks:

It enables easy paddling and more efficient turning or moving.

They are effortless and do not require much strength to paddle.

Less exposure to sunlight.

Less windy and risky. Protective seat belts for toddlers.

Inflatable Vs. Hard Shell Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are portable and take less storage space which is best for family activities; however, due to their inflatable design, they are more likely to be punctured if you are not gentle with them.

Whereas, Hardshell kayaks are more suitable to ride with children as they are more stable and less likely to be punctured. However, they are not portable and take up much space, but it is a safer option when toddlers are along with you.

How to Dress Your Toddler for Kayaking?

Toddlers should be wearing something light and comfy so they can enjoy more. It would be better if the clothing is water resistant because they may get wet while paddling.

Moreover, always pack extra clothes for toddlers outdoors because children can get dirty or wet quickly. Also, pack a bathing suit for your toddler so they can swim if it’s not risky. The container of clothes should be waterproof.

How to Kayak with a Toddler | Tips and tricks

Here are some preventive things to avoid accidents while in the water. Preparing and preventing it beforehand is suitable for your toddler.

Tips & Tricks for How to Kayak with Toddler
Tips & Tricks for How to Kayak with Toddler

Slow Paddling

While paddling with your toddler, you should take it slow so they will not be scared. Also, speedy kayaking increases the risks of losing balance or sinking.

So consider sitting closer to the toddler would be best to stop them from sudden movements.

Make Rules for Toddlers

Kids might not be serious if you will instruct them to be careful. That’s why you can ask them to set some rules for kayaking in the water to make them more responsible and careful when they are in the water.

Set the following rules for children:

• No jumping

• No standing or leaning toward the water

• No trying to splash water

• Life jackets and safety wear must be worn all the time.

Check for protective Wearing.

Before getting on the kayak, you must check if the toddler wears protective jackets and accessories correctly.

Check if it’s locked and carefully look for any punctures or holes, as it will be riskier if you find some problems with the jacket while in the water.

Explore Suitable Locations for Kayaking

You should find a suitable calm place with small lakes, slow rivers, or streams for kayaking with children. Also, if you are not experienced, then avoid going to large games and look for safer places.

Local Destinations

Search for the nearest family parks or sanctuaries that allow kayaking, as the local lakes in the park would be much safer than open destinations.

Also, family Mark’s that allows kayaking is a better option for toddlers as they provide security and guide you thoroughly on how to kayak with a toddler.

Slow-Moving Rivers & Calm Lakes

To make it an unforgettable experience, it would be better if it’s safer, so you can enjoy it without fear. Search for calm lakes near your area that provide a suitable environment.

Also, lakes with minimal waves ensure a safe and enjoyable family experience.

If you want to kayak in rivers, look thoroughly for them and seek out slow-moving rivers. Shallow waters and minimum waves in the rubber are ideal places for toddler kayaking.

Protected Bays and Inlets

Explores areas with more security and are protected by organizations to ensure your family’s safety.

Larger coastlines can also be suitable if they have security and a more controlled environment.

Lake Without Wild Animals

Look for places that are considered to be protected from dangerous wild animals. Sometimes lakes and ponds may also have a risk of inhabiting harmful animals. So before going to any lake or pond, get all the information from our guide on the safer places

Conclusion | How to Kayak With a Toddler

In the end, I would like to say that kayaking with your toddler can give you a unique opportunity to create strong bonds and foster a love for nature and adventure from an early age.

And this is insane how my experience becomes a guide for new parents looking to get their kids involved in an activity they already love. There’s no greater joy than passing on the things you love to your loved ones, and kayaking seems great to share with your kids.

FAQs | How to kayak with a toddler

q. Can a 2-year-old go on a kayak? 

No, children must be three years or older to be able to ride a kayak.

q. Is kayaking hard for Kids?

Kayaking is one the unique and easy sports for kids. Paddling along with family is much easier for them.

q. How to kayak with a toddler?

Paddling or kayaking with small children can be easy if they are comfortable and not scared of water. If they like water, you can quickly go kayaking after taking precautions.

q. Is kayaking a better sport for toddlers?

Kayaking can be considered a better sport than others as it involves exploring new beautiful places, and paddling is also a very good aerobic exercise.

q. What time of day is best for kayaking with toddlers?

Choose a time when it is less crowded and has favorable temperature & wind conditions.

q. Water should be warm or cold for kayaking.

Water should neither be very cold nor warm; it can be a little warmer, or the water temperature should be normal.

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