Taking it Slow: Paddling with Kiddos

July has been a busy month for us. I’m not sure how you enjoyed your Canada Day (in case you don’t remember, it was that random Wednesday you likely had off in the middle of the week at the beginning of the month), but we decided to use the day to go paddling

We rented a canoe from MEC, strapped it to the roof of our old car, and away we went to Long Lake Provincial Park. Were we going to get far? Probably not. Was it going to be epic? No. Was it worth it? Totally. In my opinion, it is making the effort in the early years to show kids the joy of these activities that inspires them to love the outdoors!

While we weren’t canoeing to a campsite and we weren’t covering a large number of kilometers, here is what we were doing:

  • building communication skills  Okay, yes, this did include a bit of “No, no! Paddle on the other side. No, the other way.” I think that a day trip is a perfect place to practice the communicating that will be needed on bigger trips. While in the boat, you really need to be a team, and that can be challenging, but is pretty special once achieved!
  • practicing our strokes  Sticking near the shore in shallower, calmer waters can be pretty great for building kids’ confidence in the boat. Parents can get out and hold the boat while kids practice their strokes from inside the boat, kids can stand in the water and practice paddling, and everyone can develop a routine for getting smaller kids in and out of the boat.

  • picnicking  After all, who doesn’t love a nice picnic by the water?
  • swimming  Swim, paddle, paddle, swim. Be confident in the water, and your kids will be too! Throw rocks, splash, swim, have fun!


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