Snorkeling with children – age, practice and travel destinations
Children are fascinated by water. You can spend hours in the swimming pool or on the beach without getting bored. In order to give children a good start in the discovery of the underwater world, parents should pay attention to a few things. Here are our tips for snorkeling with children:
At what age can children learn to snorkel??
Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question with a rigid age limit. Every child develops both physically and mentally sooner or later. We would like to give you some requirements that a child should meet in order to be ready to learn to snorkel:
- the child should be able to swim and feel comfortable in the water
- You should be able to explain the basic theoretical principles of snorkeling to the child
- the child should have a certain feeling for the limits of his body
To name a rough age, the lower age limit of many manufacturers for children can be called snorkeling equipment. This limit is usually included 5 years.
Risks: appeal to parents
Snorkeling poses certain risks for smaller children, which parents should be aware of.
- Children cool in the water much faster than adults thanks to their larger heat exchange surface. Even in warmer waters of the tropics or the Mitterlmeer, you have to pay attention to this aspect. Look for signs of cold such as goose bumps, bluish discoloration of the lips or shivering cold.
- Children are curious and want to try everything. That is why children should be taught about dangerous animals, for example.
- Young children cannot use the strength to blow out a snorkel. Therefore, smaller children should avoid diving.
- Children have a less pronounced sense of time. It is therefore the responsibility of the parents to keep an eye on the watch and to regularly move the children to take breaks.
The most important thing is to keep an eye on the children so that they can help quickly if problems arise.
Practice: Teach children to snorkel
Unlike adults, children learn about practical experience, not theoretical knowledge. For example, a child must have swallowed a good sip of salt water to learn that the snorkel has to be firmly gripped between the teeth so that no water penetrates. Nevertheless, you should not fail to convey the basics to the children in short and figurative terms. Children should learn the following:
- The correct handling of the underwater world: do not touch animals, corals etc.
- The right breathing technique: long and deep breaths instead of shallow breathing. This applies to the prevention of pendulum breathing.
- The correct handling of the snorkeling equipment: putting on and using the diving mask and snorkel correctly
- The right locomotion: energy-saving movements, e.g. also handling flippers
After these theoretical skills are somewhat internalized, the little ones should have their first experience in the water. The best way for children to learn to snorkel while standing is to stand in the waist-deep water with a diving mask and snorkel and then dip their heads into the water. In this way the breathing technique can be tried out, but can be surfaced at any time if something is wrong. After children feel safe with this exercise, they can also experience snorkeling while lying in shallow water.
Where should children learn to snorkel??
The best environment is a shallow pebble beach with little swell, on which children can learn their first snorkeling skills in shallow water. Entry into the water from the jetty, rocks or boat should be prevented when you first snorkel.
So look for a quiet sheltered bay with little current, swell and rocks for snorkeling holidays with children.
The best travel destinations for snorkeling holidays with children
Snorkeling with kids Europe: Although the biodiversity of underwater animals and plants may be limited in European waters, the Mitterlmeer, for example, is ideal in many places for the little ones’ first snorkeling experiences. Here are some recommendations:
- Greece: the numerous islands of Greece are lined with great stone beaches where you can try snorkeling. The great underwater world of the island of Crete is particularly highlighted.
- Croatia: The Croatian Adriatic offers many beautiful reefs and small bays, where snorkeling is easy to learn and very safe.
- Canary Islands: The Canary Islands have pleasant air and water temperatures all year round. Many sheltered bays invite you to a family vacation with first snorkeling practice. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are particularly recommended.
- Furthermore, we can see the Mediterranean islands Corsica and Mallorca recommend.
Snorkeling with children in Egypt: The red sea is considered by many snorkelers to be the most beautiful snorkeling area in the world. The biodiversity is hard to beat. Here, too, there are many bays with calm water and family hotels with children’s clubs take care of the little ones. More about snorkeling in Egypt
Snorkeling with kids in the Maldives: Of the approximately 1200 islands, about a third are hotel islands, some of which have also adapted to vacationing with children. The crescent-shaped islands always have a protected bay where you can learn to snorkel. The most famous islands of this type are Angaga, Nakatshafushi and Athuruga.
Furthermore are Thailand and Indonesian islands like Bali a popular travel destination for snorkelers and also easy to combine with a family vacation. Nevertheless, we advise young children to stay in the Mediterranean.
The right snorkeling equipment for children
For the right snorkeling equipment for children, you can click through our detailed advice pages. Here are just a few basic tips on the most important items of equipment.
The snorkel set for children
Refrain from buying the set on the beach promenade or a toy store. These very cheap snorkel sets usually don’t even meet the slightest expectations, but are simply unusable. Better invest in a branded snorkel set.
Fins for children
Fins are already available from shoe size 27, but for the first experience we recommend not using fins but bathing shoes.
The snorkel mask for children
The new full-face masks are particularly popular with children because their handling is much easier than that of a snorkel set. The masks are available for children from 4 years old.
The UV shirt for children
The sensitive children’s skin should be protected against sunburn, especially in sunny areas, with the help of a swim shirt. Sunscreen is usually not sufficient to ensure reliable and lasting protection.
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