Kayaking With Kids: A Beginners Guide

Kayaking with kids is an excellent outdoor adventure. Here are all the essentials for kayaking with them.

kayaking with kids

Photo by Imani on Unsplash

Once in a while, you need to let your young ones experience the pleasure that Mother Nature can offer. The cold and fresh breeze, the pristine and chilly flowing water, the unadulterated and ecstatic scenery–all of these things can really blow the minds of children.

It is for this reason why more and more families are getting interested in kayaking and similar activities. Each session can strengthen the connection between parents and their kids. The memories that can be created throughout the session can last for a lifetime. 

However, several things should be considered first before you take your little angels in a boating adventure. One way or another, it is your duty to ensure that their paddling session would be fun and safe. 

Check out these following guidelines whenever you are kayaking with your kids.

Prepare their safety gears

It is essential that your kayaking checklist will include all the necessary safety gears and amenities. If adults are required to bring one, then it is more imperative for your children to do so too. Their survival skills are still not honed yet, so it is essential that you prioritize their safety above anything else. 

There are a number of safety equipment that you can provide to your children. The first one is a personal floatation device, which should come in different sizes. Life vests and throw bags are also important as well. Bilge pumps should work on expelling the water out.

As early as now, you should already teach them how to use these things. Furthermore, you should instill discipline in them. Make them understand the things that they need to do if things don’t go on their way. 

Tell them not to panic whenever there are accidents. Train them how to swim and keep afloat in the water. Tell them to follow all the rules that are being imposed on a particular kayaking site. Any of these things can help them avoid any disastrous outcomes while kayaking.

Of course, kayaking is a safe activity, as long as you do it right. Don’t scare your kids. Just encourage them while teaching them the ropes.

Choose your kayaking grounds

Part of the safety procedure is identifying which terrain or area you should let your kids kayak. Honestly, as long as it is permitted, you can kayak anywhere. But then again, you can’t just make your kids play anywhere that proves to be risky. 

For instance, would you let your kid kayak on white rapids and surging rivers? Or would you allow them boat on a lake that is a notorious habitat of crocodiles and other known predators? 

The answer to these questions is an easy no. But if you persist in doing so, then there’s something wrong with you. As an adult, you cannot let them be exposed to risk just for the sake of fun. Yes. Seeking thrill is part of the adventure, but there are proper venues for that. Your kids are still too young to explore these challenging excursions. 

The best choice that you have here are rivers and streams that don’t have strong water flow. You could also choose a calm lake that is not being occupied by any creatures worth of concern. The ocean is a suitable venue, too, as long as the waves and weather are all friendly. 

Make the experience full of sunshine and fun. Don’t let young ones go with unnecessary compromises.


If your scheduled kayaking session with your kids is not yet tomorrow or next week, you might want to teach them the basics first. The fundamental techniques in kayaking can help them quickly adjust once they are on the boat already. 

If you are not that experienced in teaching how to paddle correctly, you should let them enroll in kayaking lessons instead. In there, your kids will have a better understanding of the dos and don’ts of kayaking. 

Ideally, including swimming lessons in the regiment is crucial as well. Since they are on the water, it is pivotal that they know how to swim. Taking a quick swim while in the midst of the tour is a good thing. At this point, they should know the basic swimming skills to fully enjoy the adventure. Of course, swimming is vital for their survival if the boat gets toppled.

Kayaking requires a strong body. Therefore, workouts should come into play, too. You can build their stamina by letting them join your jogs. When you are at home, make them do light pull-ups and push-ups. These exercises will strengthen their arms and core body. 

Pick the right kayak

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all when it comes to kayaks. One way or another, there are these distinct differences that make this kayak good over the other. 

Fortunately, there are kayaks that are tailored for children. These are those lightweight and compact units that offer durability and stability. Most of the time, the best kayak for kids are sit-on-top models because they don’t restrict mobility. It is easy to disengage from them if it gets capsized. When it comes to sit-in kayaks, you need to teach them how to do “wet exit” first.

Alternatively, you can purchase a tandem kayak. It is here where you can teach them firsthand the art of paddling. When you are in a tandem kayak, it is easier for you to guide them. You can immediately correct the flaws in their posture. Of course, being there for them would make them feel safer. Your presence can be a boost to their moral already. 

Besides, it is a lot more fun if you and your kids are on the same boat. There are a lot of good memories that can be created there!

Letting your kids experience the joys of kayaking is one of the best things that you can do as a parent or a guardian. You are not only teaching how to have fun but also appreciate the beauty of the outdoor world. As long as you give them the right training and equipment, your kids will be able to love this leisure until they grow old, too. Raise a new generation of paddlers now!

Do you have questions? Feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

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