Trying to get a toddler to do anything right can be extremely challenging. Your child is at the age where their mind is focused on exploring all of the amazing new things they are learning and experiencing, and they don’t take well to instruction. If you have a toddler, you will be more than aware of how much work it is to do something as simple as getting ready for the day or eating breakfast, so you may wish to avoid even more difficult tasks to save yourself the trouble.
In the first few years of being a parent, you also have to give up many of the things you love to do. This is because a child, especially a toddler, needs a whole lot of time and attention. Because of this, you probably don’t have time to do all of the things you used to love spontaneously. If you are someone who used to spend a lot of time doing sport, you may have also noticed that you are working out less and feeling a lot more run down and unfit because of it.
But what can you do? You can’t exactly leave your child home alone while you hit the waves or take that scuba class you’ve always wanted to do. It’s not like you can even take your child with you if you wanted to, due to the age restrictions in place and the effects of scuba diving on the body. There may feel like very few options and no way to balance your own free time with childcare, but what if I was to tell you that there is an activity that you can do with your toddler to keep fit and entertained?
What is Kayaking?
Kayaking is one of those sports that you have probably seen a hundred times but never knew its name. What it is can be quickly explained by looking at its name, and the sport consists of using a double-ended oar to guide a kayak boat. Kayaking is done in several possible locations and has been a beloved sport for hundreds of years, as well as an effective mode of transport.
All it takes is a quick google, and you are bound to find dozens of companies near you that offer the kayaking experience and many bodies of water, such as canals, lakes, and oceans. If you do know what kayaking is, you may also think it is a ridiculous idea to do the activity with toddlers. We understand that at first glance, putting your barely cognitive child in a very small boat may seem like a bad idea. Still, kayaking can actually be extremely safe and enjoyable for children- if done correctly. Here are some helpful tips that will teach you how to go kayaking with your toddler safely.
Focus on your own skills first
Now, if you have never been kayaking before, it is not recommended that your first experience happens with your child in tow. If you already have plenty of experience in kayaking, you should be good to go. However, if you have little to no experience, you should take some classes first. This will allow you to get comfortable in a kayak and will also teach you valuable maneuvers that could make the activity a little easier. If you take your toddler kayaking, it is bound to be with an instructor, so you will still be able to learn things then. But, I’m sure it would be a lot easier to learn the basics without having to worry about your child or listen to an instructor over the sounds of laughs and screams. You could take one or two classes alone or with a friend or partner before you get your child involved, and that will give you less to worry about, so you can put all of your focus on your toddler.
A Kayaking Team
If you plan on taking your toddler kayaking with you, you certainly will not want to do it alone. Because of this, you should put together a team of people to take with you. The best way to do this is by inviting family along, or even friends who don’t mind hanging out with a toddler all day. Doing this is important for a number of reasons. First of all, anything can go wrong when kayaking, and you will not fare well if the only person there to assist you is three years old. Kayaking can also be quite challenging, and so it is easy to make mistakes, so you may need someone there when you accidentally kayak into some water shrubbery.
Not only this, but toddlers can be extremely annoying, so it would be helpful to have some relief, even if it is only temporary. Plus, kayaking with your child is a chance to make some valuable memories, and if you are there on your own, you won’t have the opportunity to catch some snaps with your camera. If you are in the market for a new camera for your kayaking trip, you should check out a dragon touch 4k review.
If you decide to take your toddler kayaking with you, it is important that you use all of the right equipment to ensure that the activity runs smoothly and your child is safe.
Now, your toddler isn’t going to be able to use the standard paddles that you can find at your local sporting shop. This is understandable, as kayaking isn’t exactly a sport that is targeted for people below the age of five. However, there are plenty of places where you can source paddles that will be the perfect size for your child. For a toddler, you should be looking to get the smallest paddle size available to you on the market, as your child won’t be able to handle the weight of some of the bigger models available. Really you should keep an eye out for paddles with narrow handles, as this will allow your child to get a firm grip on them.
Arguably one of the most important bits of kit that you can use when you are kayaking is a life jacket. No matter how shallow the water is or how confident a swimmer your toddler is, a life vest is a must-have. As previously stated, kayaking can be an extremely unpredictable sport, and anything could go wrong. You could be navigating yourself across the water and then unexpectedly tip, so your toddler must have a way to stay above the surface.
Where should you go kayaking?
Kayaking as an activity can be done on almost all bodies of water. Though this is the case, you really shouldn’t be taking your toddler just anywhere. For example, it probably isn’t the best idea to take your child kayaking in the ocean. This is because the ocean leaves you open to way more risks, which may be acceptable to deal with alone, but not when you have a child with you. If you are taking your toddler with you, you should stick to small lakes and even canals. If you stick to places like this, you will easily deal with any possible issues as you will be in shallow water.
Where to position your child
Many parents face an issue when taking their toddlers kayaking because they simply don’t know where to place their child on the kayak. Many parents make the mistake of placing their child behind them, believing this will shield them from any issues that may arise ahead. Doing this is actually a bad idea, as anything could happen behind your back, which puts your child at serious risk. You should secure them ahead of you in the boat and make sure that they are fastened. This will ensure that you can see what they are doing at all times, which means if they begin to struggle, you will notice. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that you can see exactly where your child is.
Preparation for safety
There are also some things that you should do before you even think of entering the water to ensure your child’s safety.
It is important to apply a generous layer of sun cream to your toddler before a day out kayaking. Even if the weather isn’t extremely sunny, toddlers have very sensitive skin, which can be harmed when indirectly exposed to the sunlight. It is likely that when you are kayaking, you will be spending a lot of time outside, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Even if your child isn’t helping paddle too much, kayaking will still be thirsty work for them. A toddler needs more fluids than an adult generally, and when they are exercising, they will need even more. Make sure you are taking frequent breaks to hydrate and have taken plenty of liquid with you.