One of the fun bonding activities for families are going to the beach. There are lots of things you can do there, such as build sandcastles, have a picnic, and go swimming. Aside from that, you can also introduce your kids to the underwater world. This is great, especially when your kids are interested in marine life such as in fish, sea turtles, and more. One of the best ways to introduce them to the beautiful world under the sea is by teaching them how to snorkel.
If your kids seem interested to learn how to snorkel, then you can definitely teach them. The best plan is to let them know the basics of snorkeling before you leave home and hit the beach. If you’re aiming to teach your kids how to snorkel, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are going to give you tips and tricks for your kids to learn snorkeling quickly.
NOTE: Always be very aware of safety and follow any rules for your area, the equipment you are using and your instructor or guide.
When to Start Teaching Them
If you are familiar with snorkeling yourself, then it will be a lot easier for you to teach your kids. It’s actually great to start preparing your kids how to snorkel while they are still young. To know whether they are ready, you just have to make sure that they are old enough to feel comfortable in the pool or in the water. Kids ages 5 or 6 can definitely start learning the basics of snorkeling easily and comfortably.
Introduce Kids to Different Snorkeling Equipment
The first step you can take in teaching snorkeling to your kids is introducing them to the different snorkeling equipment. While in the bathtub or pool, you can let them play with the snorkel and mask in the shallow water. This will help them become familiar with how to use them properly.
The snorkeling mask is the first piece of equipment your kids should learn how to use. Since they are excited to see different marine life underwater, the mask is typically the first gear they are likely to use. At first, it can be challenging to teach them how to not breathe through their noses. But they will eventually get the hang of it in time.
Another tricky part when teaching kids how to use a snorkel mask properly is the fit. If the mask is ill-fitting, pulls your kids’ hair, or water leaks into the glass, it will definitely be challenging for them to learn. To prevent these things, it’s best to get a snorkeling mask that has silicone mask skirts. These types fit more comfortably and usually provide a tighter seal compared to plastic ones. Also, before asking them to wear the mask, you might want to brush all of their hair back off their faces first. This will prevent the hair from being caught in the silicone skirt, which can be painful. Or better yet, let them wear a swim cap to avoid the tugging.
When the fit of the mask is comfortable for your kids, you can let them play with it in the water. Try to make them look for items in the shallow end. You can also let them practice body up, face down in the water, and then have them swim. Do these one step at a time, and they will surely get the hang of it soon.
After letting your kids become familiar with the snorkeling mask, the next equipment to introduce to them is the actual snorkel. Kids usually panic in the water when they breathe through their mouths. Therefore, they need to be acquainted with the snorkel as soon as possible.
When teaching kids how to use the snorkel, you need to provide them with the size that is fit to them and not adult-sized ones that usually have wider bores and are longer. Keep in mind that the lung capacity of kids is less than an adult’s. If you let them use a snorkel for adults, they will likely feel uncomfortable breathing, or they will breathe recycled oxygen that was not able to escape the snorkel itself.
Once you find a snorkel for your kids, let them play with it in the water. You can let them test it in three ways. First, let them try it out of water. After that, let them use it while standing with their face in the water. Then eventually, let them swim while using the snorkel. At each stage, wait until they become comfortable before moving on to the next.
Fins are only optional, and if your kids do not want them, or are not comfortable wearing them, you do not need to push them into trying. But older kids will likely love the added kick that fins can give them. When they become familiar with the fins, they will realize that it is easier to navigate the pool and eventually the open water.
If your kids find it difficult to wear the fins, you can ask them to sit on very shallow water to get them on easier. When at the beach, you can teach your kids on how to approach the water by walking backward while wearing the fins. Once comfortable, you can begin teaching them how to kick in the water until they become familiar.
Read Books and Watch Videos with the Kids
Another great way to help your kids learn snorkeling is through reading and watching videos. For example, you can let them watch videos of the type of fish they might see in the ocean when they go snorkeling. There are also lots of books out there about ocean life that your kids may find fascinating. By doing these, you will prepare them in advance, and it also helps them become more excited about the idea of snorkeling.
Have Lots of Practice
It’s actually okay if your kids’ first attempt in snorkeling won’t be that great. It’s because they still need to learn and be exposed to snorkeling a few times after their first experience, for them to be able to enjoy the activity entirely. The key is to let them practice more. When at home, you can let them continue playing with their snorkeling equipment in the bathtub. You can also visit swimming pools where they can practice swimming and snorkeling. So the next time you visit the beach, they will be more prepared to discover the beauty of the underwater world.
The most important part of teaching your kids how to snorkel is to let them have fun. This activity should not stress them out. Instead, it should be filled with memories of you together in the water. Show them that snorkeling is fun. If they see you having fun, they’ll likely have a good time as well.
These are some of the best ways we can recommend on how young kids can learn snorkeling. Once your kids learn, they’d surely love to go snorkeling with you and the whole family on your next trip to the beach.