Snorkeling is one of the fun activities that can satisfy many different types of people in the world. It’s because something is calming about going underwater and discovering life under the surface. It is a great recreational activity or sport that is suitable for almost everyone. In fact, the whole family can go snorkeling together. But if you have younger kids who haven’t tried snorkeling yet, you might be wondering if you can already teach them or take them with you to the beach to try the activity.
Is there a minimum age to teach a child to snorkel? If you have the same question on your mind, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are going to know at what age your child should be for him or her to learn how to snorkel.
NOTE: Always follow any safety instructions for your equipment, your location, and guides. Make sure your child has solid swimming skills and make sure they never swim or snorkel with out adult supervision.
At What Age is a Child Ready to Snorkel?
In many towns and villages located near the ocean, almost all people snorkel, including young kids. But this is not the case in all places because not everyone grows up in the water. Children do not always have a great sense of understanding about the dangers under the surface. It’s because the sparkly sea and the beautiful treasures they can see under it can make them feel too relaxed and comfortable.
There is actually no minimum age when it comes to snorkeling. There are children as young as 3 years of age who can already enjoy and explore the underwater world. But typically, children around the age of 5 or 6 are generally accepted because they are mature enough to follow directions and instructions. But there’s really no exact age that will tell a child is ready to snorkel. If your kid is old enough to feel relaxed or calm in the water, then maybe it’s the perfect time to teach him or her the basics of snorkeling.
Before you take your child with you to go snorkeling, he or she must know how to swim. Your child needs to be comfortable and in control when in the water. Aside from that, he or she should have a proper understanding of water safety. Even if your child is not a great swimmer, he or she can still enjoy snorkeling with adult supervision.
Making Your Child Feel Comfortable in the Water
If you have a beach trip coming up and you’re planning to take the whole family for a snorkeling adventure, then you need to start preparing your child for it. More so if it will be your child’s first time to try the activity. Here are some tips that might help you make your child feel comfortable in the water.
- Practice at Home
A week or two before your planned trip to the beach, you can have your child practice getting in the water at home. It can be in the bathtub or in an inflatable pool in your backyard. The goal is to make him or her feel at home in the water. Teach them how to maintain their stability and as well as control their movement in the water.
- Practice in a Local Swimming Pool
You can also take your child to a local swimming pool with all the needed snorkeling gear for kids and let him or her practice there. You can help your child practice swimming underwater first. Once comfortable, you can then let him or her try swimming with the snorkeling gear on. It’s great if you can find a larger pool for it to be more like a simulation of the real deal.
- Introduce the Ocean to Your Child
Children can get comfortable with the water easily. However, they might face some issues when it comes to the ocean because there will be marine life like fish, plants, and more.
One of the best things you can do is to take your child with you when you go snorkeling, but not in the water yet. You can let them him or her hang out in the boat first and ask him to try dipping his head in the water while wearing the snorkeling mask. This way, your child will get a feel of what it’s like and will see the creatures underwater.
Snorkeling with Your Child
When your child is ready to go in the water with you, then you can guide him. Keep in mind that when you go snorkeling with your child, you need to be prepared for the fact that you won’t be able to engage in any serious snorkeling yourself. You must supervise your child every step of the activity.
Also, do not get your child into the middle of the ocean. Even if children can stay afloat, they might not have the ability to maintain their balance and control in the water for a long time. For kids, it’s better to let them snorkel near the shore. If they become frightened or uncomfortable with how close the sea creatures are to them, you need to get them out of the water immediately. If you feel that your child is struggling while snorkeling, it’s better to return to the surface first. Let him or her recharge, and then give it another try.
Your child’s first time to try snorkeling might not be very successful. He or she might get scared of the waves, the current of the water, or the sea creatures. But this doesn’t mean they should stop trying. Encourage them to keep swimming and snorkeling. Make them feel more at home in the water. With more time and practice, your child might be more excited than you when it comes to snorkeling.
Teaching your child how to snorkel is a great way to open a world of watersports for him or her. It is also an excellent bonding activity for the whole family.