Enjoying Snorkeling With Your Kids | Sport Diver

Enjoying Snorkeling With Your Kids

Are you a certified diver with family members who don't dive? Are your kids too young, but you want to share your passion for the ocean with them?

Infants and toddlers are fascinated by aquariums and ocean-oriented toys, books and stuffed animals. Older toddlers enjoy playing with snorkels in the bathtub and may also like being towed around in the pool or ocean on a boogie board with underwater viewer. Many preschoolers are not competent swimmers until age four or five, but they can use a ''floatie'' swimsuit. This suit, which is like an old-fashioned bathing suit with Styrofoam around the middle, allows kids to learn to swim (dog paddle) with their arms and legs while floating vertically. Kids thus equipped can even be taught to use a mask or snorkel. This is the perfect age to introduce children to warm-water snorkeling -- they will exclaim over the dullest fish and most barren coral rock. Make sure that they wear a wetsuit or dive skin for warmth and protection. Tow a boogie board in case the child gets fatigued. By age six, your child can be a fairly competent snorkeler and swimmer. Now, practice and repetition makes for honed skills. Teach basic diving skills like mask, snorkel and ear clearing. Let the kids use their equipment every time they swim, even in the pool. Use weighted swim toys to add fun. You'll get a whole new perspective on diving while snorkeling with your kids, as well as some rewarding family bonding time.

For more information on diving vacations and resort camps for kids, check out Kids Sea Camp.

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