Are you worried about your toddler spending too much time indoors and looking for ways to help them enjoy the fresh air outside? Paddleboarding is a fun activity that you might want to consider trying with your kids. Standup board paddling with a toddler is a growing trend of outdoor activities that your kids would undoubtedly love. However, before you set out to enjoy this activity, there are a few things you must know.
In this article, you’ll find some of the things you should know before you take your introduce your toddler to standup board paddling.
Benefits of Standup board paddling
Apart from being a fun and interesting activity to engage in, there are so many other interesting things about SUP boarding. For a family, it provides a great way of spending quality time with each other outdoors. With this, you can get enough sunlight, and fresh air, which is perfect for stressful times.
Paddle boarding also helps in promoting balance, increasing leg, arm, and core strength, as well as enhancing our endurance levels. Paddling is great for our shoulders and arms, and it improves physical balance significantly.
Another benefit of standup board paddling is that it is a great way of building confidence in kids. It gets them so excited, especially when they are able to stand securely all by themselves. If you are looking for a fast way to release stress, you might want to consider standup board paddling. Nature has a unique way of promoting our mental health, and a great way of enjoying the beauty of nature is on water.
Key Things to Know Before you Begin Standup Board Paddling with a Toddler
Tip: read this comparison of the best standup paddle boards for beginners.
Now that you know some of the benefits of paddle boarding, here are the key things you should know before you try standup board paddling with a toddler.
- Take time to make them comfortable with water: One of the unavoidable things with paddle boarding is falling off. The chances of falling off when stand up paddle boarding is even higher for kids than it is for adults. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your kid is comfortable in the water. The best thing is to teach them how to swim first. Once they can swim, their comfort in water would be up to par. Generally, it is best to ride on the same board with kids younger than five years old, and for older kids, you can let them ride on their own, but with a life jacket and other safety items.
- Start with Calm Waters: If you are taking your kid out to SUP board for the first time, it is important to start with calm waters. This applies not only to kids or toddlers but also to any beginner who is paddling for the first time. You need to ensure that the water is as calm as possible to allow the child to learn more, and also to reduce fear. If you want your child to enjoy paddling, then you need to ensure that they don’t fall off too frequently. The chances of falling off frequently is lower with calm waters.
- Don’t forget safety tips and paddling techniques: For older kids who already know how to paddle on their own, you need to ensure that they know all the necessary safety tips. Teaching them different paddling techniques will also come in handy. However, for toddlers, you don’t necessarily need to teach them this since they will be paddling with you, and they are too young for that type of information. However, you must know these safety tips, as well as the paddling techniques. One vital thing you shouldn’t forget is that inflatable SUP boards are always a better option to use compared to the hard boards. This is mainly because they are softer and safer. Also, with the inflatable SUP board, you can rest assured that your toddler won’t get injured easily.
As mentioned earlier, falling off the board is almost inevitable, and as such, you must be prepared for when this happens. You also need to be able to respond as fast as you can to help the toddler back on the SUP board.
- Provide emotional support: Your child would always rely on you for emotional support in everything they do, and you need to be able to provide this for them all the time. The reason for this is that it is a fast way to build their confidence in the sport. Patience is also a nice way to provide them with the type of emotional support that they need. For other kids, it is important to ensure that you’re not too pushy with them, especially when they are not progressing like you want them to.
- Make the activity fun for them: Not every child will turn out to be a SUP lover, but you can do things to make them enjoy paddle boarding. Whenever you notice that they are not enjoying the sport, take it as a sign that you need to do things to make it exciting for them. This is the most important thing for you to do if you want them to enjoy paddle boarding with you. One thing you can do is to make it not all about paddle boarding alone. You can let them get off the board for a swim and also do other things they enjoy doing. Another thing to do is take pictures to create memories of this precious moment.
Standup board paddling with a toddler is an exciting activity to do. However, you need to ensure that you’re doing it right. First, you need to ensure that you take all safety measures for yourself and your toddler. Also, remember that inflatable SUP boards are generally preferable for kids because of the lower chance of getting injured. Lifejackets for paddle boarding, leash, and other equipment are also important, and as such, you must ensure that they are readily available for use.