Your kids may have caught the water bug already when they want to spend more and more time in the water. That’s no surprise actually since there’s so much fun to be had while dripping wet and making splashes while on the pool or even just in the bath tub.
Among the first water activity that you can teach them is snorkeling. But what will be their experience like when snorkeling for the first time? Will it be a wonderful adventure which they can’t wait to do again? Or will they experience fear and danger while in the water?
It totally depends on how you prepare them for the watersport. Snorkeling can be regarded as a simple and easy water activity that anybody can participate in. There are some people who think that it’s very easy as bringing in some gear, jumping in the water, and then watching fishes and other marine life right away.
While this is partially true, your children need to understand the basic rules of snorkeling first so that they’ll be safe in the water. By being prepared, you and the kids will definitely have more fun with the activity.
What’s the ideal age to teach snorkeling to children?
Ideally, they should be at age 5 or 6 when you start introducing them to snorkel equipment.
Basic snorkeling skills for children
Let them play with the mask and snorkel on the bath tub or the shallow part of a pool at first. Once they feel comfortable wearing these, you can start teaching them how to position the mask properly. Teach them how to put the mask without the snorkel on their face. If possible, go for a silicone mask so that your child will not feel very uncomfortable while wearing it. Make sure that water does not leak by picking a face mask that fits well.
Next, let them get used to breathing while wearing the mask. Instruct them to take a deep breath first so that the rubber will stick to their face. Then let them inhale and exhale calmly so that they’ll be able to adjust the air with their breathing. Be careful not to have any strands of hair left inside the mask though because this can cause water leakage.
When they get comfy with the mask, put on the snorkel and let them play with it freely. To put them at ease, you can just tuck the snorkel between their face and mask instead of threading it through the loop of the mask. Let them practice a lot on shallow water so that they won’t panic when out in the ocean. If they do panic, that’s a sign that they have not mastered the skill of breathing through the snorkel and mask thoroughly.
Lastly, remind them to relax and enjoy the activity but not to stretch themselves. Give them an ideal time to snorkel such as 10-15 minutes straight and then rest for 5-10 minutes before doing it again. After all, snorkeling should be a great bonding activity for the family instead of being a chore.
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