If you are a parent that enjoys paddling, you may be wondering how to go kayaking with toddlers. The important thing to remember when kayaking with toddlers is that you must properly dress them for the type of environment you'll be kayaking in. You won't have to worry about getting your toddler a paddle, since toddlers are too young to be able to paddle. Instead, make sure your toddler has a nice-fitting personal floatation device and that he is comfortable and protected from the sun.
To go kayaking with toddlers, you will need:
- Appropriate clothing, such as a wetsuit, rash guard, etc.
- A personal floatation device (PFD) sized for a toddler
- Sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, etc.)
- A PFD to use as a seat cushion
- A kayak, paddles, a PFD for the paddler, etc.
- Get your toddler appropriate clothing for kayaking. The type of clothing will depend on where and what time of year you are kayaking. If you are kayaking in colder waters, make sure your toddler has a correctly-sized wetsuit and booties. If you are paddling in warmer waters, then you will want to give your child beach clothing like shorts and a rashguard (a lycra top that helps protect against the sun).
- Fit your toddler with a PFD. A good kayak shop will be able to help you with sizing a PFD. If your toddler in in-between sizes, then select a smaller size PFD that has a headfloat attached to the back. Also get a PFD that your toddler can use as a seat cushion.
- Protect your toddler from the sun's rays. Make sure you slather your toddler (and yourself!) with sunscreen and put a wide-brimmed hat on your child. Sunglasses are also a good idea.
- Seat your toddler in your kayak. Since your toddler is too young to do any paddling himself, you will want to seat your toddler comfortably in-between your legs.
Avoid going on longer kayak trips with your toddler. Your child could become bored or restless, and this is supposed to be a fun activity for both of you.