Clear blue skies, sunshine, warm sea and the prospect of exploring the colourful depths underwater make a pretty good idea of a perfect family vacation. There are so many fun things you can do on the beach with your kids but snorkelling seems to be one of those activities that everyone can enjoy together and that can bring you all new knowledge as well as new memories. All you need is a mask, snorkel, a pair of fins, a great snorkelling spot and a few precautions, and you’ll be ready to dive into this great sporting and educational adventure with your kids. Visit Faveable and check out which are the best full face snorkel masks.
Best age to start
Around the age of 5 or 6 is typically the best time to start and learn the basics of snorkelling. If your kids already swim and feel quite confident in a pool, it’s just about time to introduce them to the idea of snorkelling and the equipment. If you have older kids, teaching them will be even easier as they will probably be mature enough to understand how the equipment works, what the safety measures are and the basic techniques.
The choice of equipment
When it comes to snorkelling equipment, initially, you don’t really need to splurge on expensive stuff. It’s enough if you get a silicone mask skirt instead of a cheap plastic version because silicone gives a much tighter seal. You only need to make sure to clean the lenses before use as there might be a thin film left on its surface from the production and that will cause the mask to fog up. A clever hack to prevent fogging is to apply a light coat of toothpaste on the outside lines and the inside of the mask that you gently scrub away later using a brush and rinse it off. Also, most stores sell various types of inexpensive anti-fogging gel that you should apply right before diving into the water.
If you have older kids who’re already skilled at snorkelling, you could invest in a full face snorkel mask that allows deeper diving, has more flexibility in the nose section, maximizes breathability and reduces CO2 production. It also has a no-fog technology and fully enhances the snorkelling experience both for adults and older children. However, all this equipment might not be enough for your youngest ones. Since snorkelling doesn’t require much physical effort, your child could quickly get cold in the water, so the best option is to provide them with a snorkelling suit. It provides both thermal protection in the water and sun protection for the skin. It’s also very handy if your child happens to scrape against some rocks while snorkelling, so the suit will provide protection in that respect as well.
Learning the basics
It’s best if your kids learn the basic skills before you get to the seaside. They should get used to using snorkels and mask in the dry so they could practice breathing exclusively through their mouths. They could also try this in a swimming pool or even your bathtub! The idea is that they get familiar with these tools, the feeling of the mask on their face and the way of breathing. Once you get to the seashore, you should have them practice a bit in the on the water’s edge and in the shallow area, sitting or standing. However, be aware that it’s very important for them to learn the transition from a vertical position to horizontal as this might feel like losing one’s balance to beginners.
In addition, it’s essential that our children’s mask is of the appropriate size, including the mouthpiece. It must all be proportional to their physical size and their lung capacity. Otherwise, a mask that is too big will let water in and an oversized snorkel will bring in too much CO2 previously breathed into the snorkel, which is known as “dead space”. One more key factor to have your snorkelling adventure a full success is to ensure your child achieves floating balance. Proper stability allows the snorkeler to kick along and enjoy in the beauties of the seabed. For younger kids, you can use a waist belt and the older ones can get support from an inflatable board or noodle.
Once you’re fully equipped and ready to go, find a calm and secluded lagoon or cove for your first test drive. In such surroundings, your kids will be able to explore sea life without fearing big waves and swells. In addition, to make things easier and enable your kids to rest at times, bring along a board, life vest or pool noodles.
Great equipment, some preparation and your enthusiasm are all you need for a great snorkelling adventure with your kids!