Safety Comes First

Just as seat belts keep everyone safe in the car, life jackets (also known as PDF’s) save lives on the water. Teach your kids to buckle up; it’s the law. Also make sure any life jackets you used last year still fit properly. If they’re too small, see if local officials or a boating organization will accept them as donations, for loaner programs.

Reds and Greens Guide Your Way

Speaking of safety, inform your kids about the meanings of red and green aids to navigation. Before long, they’ll have “red right return” committed to memory.

Reading Clouds is Essential

Cloud formations tell us just as much, if not more than, the TV weather forecasters. Turn identifying the different types of clouds, and whether they signal caution, into a game.

Charting a Course is Cool

Pull out the paper or electronic charts and plan a trip together. It’s a great way not only to get your kids more involved, but also to teach them about how far your boat can go. Additionally, you can teach them to set the waypoints on your GPS.

Fishing is Fun

Countless fishing fanatics first learned to cast in their backyards as kids, aiming at soda cans or other common household items. Find out which fish frequent your local waters. Print images for your little ones to color. Have your older kids educate your family about keepers vs. ones to throw back.

Being on the Water is Calming

Especially in these days of stressful upheaval to our regular lives, teach your kids that the sense of peace and calm that comes with being on the water is second to none.

Water-sports Are Wonderful

Our best advice would be to start with tubing, then kneeboarding, and work your way up to the more advanced water-sports.