Have you consider teaching your kids snorkeling? Expose children to the underwater world is a great experience for them.
Let me share with you my personal experience of how you can teach and plan a memorable snorkel experience with your kids. Just like any learning activity for kids, with some effort and preparation, everyone will have an enjoyable time together.
It is a rare sight in this part of the world for kids to snorkel. It is considered an “unsafe” activity for most parents.
Ideally, you should have some prior snorkel experience. My husband is passionate about the underwater world and had years of snorkeling experience.
What is the right age for a kid to snorkel is always the utmost concern for most parents. I was skeptical in the beginning when my husband suggested snorkeling for kids. I thought they may be too young.
I found out children are ready to snorkel at any age if you make the necessary preparation with them. My kids learn to snorkel at the age of seven.
Before the trip, do ensure your kids are comfortable in the water. Our kids were already learning how to swim. They felt comfortable in deep water. It is not necessary to know how to swim as long as one does not fear to be in deep water.
Entice the kids with beautiful pictures of the underwater world. Show them colorful pictures from books, magazines or even videos on what they can see under the water. If they have prior trips to underwater world, parks or aquariums will be better. Kids feel confident when they can anticipate what they can see and do.
You can do snorkeling as a short outing or part of a holiday vacation. If you are living in a place with easy access to snorkeling facility, then you can plan it as an outdoor day trip. Replace a swimming activity with snorkeling instead.
If there is no such facility available nearby, then include as part of a holiday vacation will be ideal.
My family did our snorkel as a day trip to an offshore island between Penang and Langkawi called Pulau Payar. It is about three hour’s boat ride from Penang. The snorkel facility is on a floating platform, which is about two hundred meters off from Pulau Payar. The other best part is that - they serve buffet lunch too!
The Snorkeling Floating Platform
Most snorkel facilities provide the necessary equipment. Select the appropriate size for the kids. Life jacket, goggles with attached mouthpiece are necessary while flipper is optional. Brief the kids and get them orientated on how to use the goggles with attached mouthpiece before entering the water. They have to learn to breathe through the mouth with the equipment.
Once they are at ease with the equipment, enter the seawater slowly. Depending on each kid, some will take it to the water immediately while others may take a while. Always stay beside them and never drift too far off. Do keep a constant watch out for them for safety purpose.
My kids prepare to get into the water from the floating platform.
My girl enjoys herself in the water.
Then, simply enjoy the beautiful underwater world with them. Observe different sea creatures swimming close by, beautiful corals on the seabed or bring some bread to feed the fishes. Learn to appreciate nature. Enjoy the thrill of baby sharks swimming close to you too!!
Sharks and fishes swimming in crystal clear seawater.
Snorkeling has proven to be such an enjoyable experience for my kids. We have gone back there the second time. I know we will be going back there many more times to come.
comments from a parent:
Really excited to read your snorkeling adventure at Pulau Payar. I wish to go there during this school holiday. Can you please let me know how to book? Are your family going there too this holiday? How I wish to meet you there. Your expertise n experience in homeschooling is what I wish to learn n find out more.
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