Kayaking with kids can be a fun and even life changing activity. When kids are engaged in physical activity and have the chance to explore the great outdoors with a loved one, they will soon find that they are becoming passionate about their new hobby. In case you need more convincing, have a look at the eight reasons to get kids in kayaks.
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Develop new skills
From the first time they paddle, to the first time they launch a kayak on their own, kids will be learning several techniques and skills required to kayak. Along the way they will be learning from whomever they are kayaking with. Some of the skills they will develop include, (but are not limited to):
- Balance- From stepping in and out of the kayak to keeping the paddles aligned correctly, balancing might seem clumsy at first, but in due time kids will soon be smooth and effortless in their balancing act.
- Paddling- Learning proper technique takes some time and effort, but once kids learn how, it is like riding a bike in the sense that you do not forget so easily. Learning how to paddle will become a life-long skill.
- Persistence- Practicing things such as paddling, steering, and control (or even how to un-flip the kayak) are skills that will develop overtime. Kayaking will teach kids that with practice and refusal to give up that they will soon reap the benefits of their hard work.
Whoever is attending the kayaking trip, whether it is a group of school mates or a family outing, the memories made will bring those in attendance closer together. Spending quality time together as friends or family will give a sense of togetherness and of course, fun will be had.
During a kayaking trip you will experience all the thrills and excitement kayaking has to offer. Not to mention the relaxation and good times that are shared will have them looking forward to the next trip before you know it.
Exploration and adventure
Since kayaking is such a versatile sport, there are boundless places and opportunities for kayaking. Kids will see the world in ways they never have before, especially if you kayak in an area that can only be accessed by a kayak.
Searching for that secret spot or finding a cave or calm inlet will show kids the joy of kayaking. The sense of adventure and chance to explore are what kayaking is all about, and what kid doesn’t love a new adventure?
Growing healthy and strong
Kids are constantly growing and when they can add a vigorous exercise such a kayaking to their lives, their bodies will develop and grow healthy and strong. There are several health benefits to kayaking. A few examples of the many health benefits for kids are:
- Reducing the chance of obesity in later years
- Reducing the risk of diabetes
- Excellent muscle development
- Developing denser bones
According to a study done on children’s bone density, data showed that participating in organized fitness and/or sports helped children build higher amounts of bone density. Having dense bones combats osteoporosis in later years. (Shaw & Snow, 1995).
Not to forget that mental health is also positively affected. Children who suffer from depression will see the benefits of the increased levels of physical activity. This is turn helps to lower their levels of depression. (Morgan, 1994).
Honing problem-solving abilities
Kayaking will enable kids to use problem solving skills. When you are kayaking, there are many opportunities when you will need to think clearly, re-evaluate your plan, and make a new one. When you are faced with an unknown log or branch, or there is a large rock ahead, you will need to act quickly to keep yourself safe and find a solution.
The more time kids spend out on their kayak, the faster they will be able to recognize and solve problems that arise on the river. These problem solving skills will transfer to their day to day lives and you will recognize that they are thinking critically and logically.
Learning risk vs award
Kayaking is an interactive learning experience that will teach kids real life lessons, in a fun way. While kayaking, kids will have to face their fears (or nerves) and rise to the challenge to try something new. Learning to kayak will help kids evaluate risk as well as how to balance that risk with reward. Since kayaking is such a fun experience, many times kids won’t even realize they are learning.
No matter the age of the kid, there is always an inherent need for playtime. When they are out on the kayak, the world is theirs. Kids will have the chance to play on their own, away from the structured school and home environments which gives kids an exciting new outlet to discover play.
In the kayak, they can have a quick race or play the popular kids game ‘I Spy’, just to name a few. Regardless, kayaking presents a plethora of opportunities for kids to play and simply enjoy being a kid.
Creates awareness of the natural world
Once you bring a kid into the natural world, they will become aware of the significance of the environment and those who live in it. Being outdoors allows for learning about wildlife and eco-systems and the important roles every living creature plays.
Children who are exposed to the natural world from a young age have a better understanding of its importance and they develop a desire to protect the world around them. Giving kids an appreciation of natural wonders will stay with them their whole life.
Kayaking is a healthy, fun, and engaging way to bond and explore and kids will develop a wide range of skills and techniques. The knowledge gained from kayaking helps kids learn about the natural world, as well as themselves. Luckily for the kids, they will be having so much fun they won’t realize they are learning along the way. Getting kids into kayaks will prove to not only be beneficial for the short term, but the skills and enjoyment provided through kayaking will stay with them their whole lives.