Want to keep your kids active this summer? Try water sports. You don't have to live near the ocean to enjoy some fun out on the water. We're within an hour of several lakes and rivers that allow us to get in some much-needed active family time.
From kayaking to paddleboarding and parasailing, there are so many fun water sports that you can teach your kids this summer.
Kayaking is fun – and you can do it on just about any body of water, from lakes to the ocean and river rapids (although you might want to save the ocean and rushing river trips for later).
Kayaking gives you a good cardiovascular workout, but it also helps build coordination and strength in the upper body (including the core).
If you're an avid kayaker yourself, you may just be the best teacher for your child. Experts recommend teaching kids about safety first and practicing on land before heading out on the water. If they're young enough, you can bring them in your kayak and show them first-hand how to paddle correctly.
Start with a calm body of water, like a lake, until the kids are comfortable kayaking on their own.
If you don't have the first clue about kayaking, there are plenty of schools that can teach your child. It will be even more fun if you join in, too.
Paddleboarding is another fun sport that you can do on just about any body of water. All you need is a good inflatable SUP (stand up paddle board) and a paddle that's just the right size for your child.
We had no problem finding kid-sized equipment when we rented our paddleboarding gear last summer. It seems like everyone is paddleboarding now, so you can either buy your own gear or rent from any local shop.
The tricky part is learning the proper stroke and how to steer. It also helps to learn how to get back on the board.
We found it easier to teach the kids how to paddle by having them practice while on their knees. Just like with kayaking, it's better to start on calm water. Here's a great guide on how to teach kids to paddle board.
3. Scuba Diving
If you live close to the ocean or are planning a beach vacation, the kids may love scuba diving. Instructors are usually easy to come by, and the kids will learn some important, helpful skills.
Scuba diving gives kids the chance to explore a whole new world. The ocean is a vast place with beautiful creatures at every turn. From tropical fish to turtles, there's so much to see underwater.
Diving may not be for everyone. If your child seems apprehensive about it, don't push it. There are minimum age limits in most places, so keep this in mind as well.
There's no better time than now to teach your kids to swim. In fact, swimming is the foundation of all watersports. If you don't have a pool or access to the ocean or a lake, consider the local YMCA. Some gyms also provide pool access.
There are many ways to teach your child how to swim, but if you're worried about doing it yourself, consider enrolling your child in a swimming class.