Can you go canoeing with kids?

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Written by

Lian van Doorn

The sun is shining through the windows and the kids are super eager to go out. “Mum, dad, can we go out now?”. You can’t say no, because let’s be honest, what’s more fun that a family outing in the great outdoors? The question is, where to? A good tip: go canoeing!

Building a LEGO tower, watching a film at the cinema or playing a game on the tablet.... Is all of that fun? Sometimes, yes, but at the end of the day, children love the outdoors. There’s no such thing as ‘indoor kids’. All kids love romping round, and rightly so. Playing outside is good for their brains, muscles, overall fitness levels and even for their emotional development. And on top of that, it’s super fun and exciting.

You won’t put a smile on every child’s face with a hike, but a cool outing might just do the trick. Canoeing is the ideal solution: the kids can look for water snakes, paddle against the wind, catch water bugs with a bait net, enjoy a little swim... Now that is an adventure! And an educational one too. Do your kids know what a thistle looks like? Or that a spider has eight legs, not six? Let them do their thing and become mini explorers.

So pick a canoeing route, spend quality time with your family and make memories for life. You’ll see, once you’re on the water, your children will be instantly entertained. Fun is everywhere. No tablet or film can compete with that. Actually, it’s a full-HD film right before their eyes: dragonflies zooming past just a few metres away, clouds floating by, reed belts crackling all around... So sit back and relax. Whoa, not too far back though, or you’ll end up in the water (or maybe you should lean back and fall in on purpose, to give the kids a memory to treasure forever).

4 tips for canoeing with kids

Time to plan a canoeing route. Get ready for some fun, fun, fun! These tips are guaranteed to make it an unforgettable one:

1. Pack a bag with… a magnifying glass, a bait net and binoculars (fun for the kids), sun cream, water, food, swimwear, water shoes and a change of clothes. These are all useful supplies while canoeing. And why not add a volleyball or badminton rackets for a little fun during your breaks?

2. Choose a canoeing route with lots of variety. That’s lots of fun and educational for the kids. Go for a route along fun little gems, peat streams and peat pits, through green tunnels in marsh forests and along hay fields and reed beds.

3. Take along a waterproof bag. Handy for your car keys, phone and spare clothes. At least your belongings will remain dry, floating on the water surface, if something goes wrong...

4. Spend a few hours on shore. Small sandy beaches, a small field with a picnic table... Find the perfect spot to moor and enjoy a break. Time to eat those sandwiches and that fruit salad you brought along. Or maybe you prefer a tasty ice cream? Then stop at a village and race to the ice-cream parlour. The first one there wins!

Lian van Doorn

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