Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a fun activity that children can try out. This sport can definitely pique the interest of toddlers up to preteen children because it requires plenty of water, lots of energy, balance, unlimited tries and of course, loads of fun. Also, it’s a good way to take their minds and attention off from gadgets like tablets, laptops and smartphones. Children at the age of 2 to 12 have so much energy and liveliness in them that get wasted by the sedentary lifestyle promoted by exposure to games, applications and videos from gadgets. This sport is a way of constructively directing the pent up energy kids have in them. In a generation where most of our children are exposed to gadgets, it could be tough taking kids away from computer and mobile device screens, but if you could get them to start with SUP, the benefits can be great!
Make it Fun and Safe
Promoting this sport as fun and exciting is the simplest and easiest way to get your kids to be interested in this sport. Also, make sure that the activity is safe if you will be personally teaching your kids. Make sure that you are a competent paddleboarder yourself before bring them along to practice. Starting lessons may require you to take them aboard the SUP to let them get a feel of the ride. You have to be able to manage your weight and balance even with an extra passenger on board.
For the fun part, don’t be too serious. Just let loose and be silly to get the children into the groove. Splash each other, give them unlimited tries, make fun challenges and competitions, goof around and inject all sorts of fun things during the practice. Keep in mind to never force your kids to learn this sport immediately. If your kids think stand up paddling is fun during your first practice session, you have taken one big stride in accomplishing your goal. For sure, they’ll want to do it again and again.
Customize Their Gears
Once you have established a good base for starting your kids with SUP, it’s time to get them started with their basic gears and equipment. This can make the sport more interesting and engaging for the kids. Buy each of your children a kids paddle board that is large enough and buoyant enough, somewhere between 6 and nine feet long, depending on the height and weight of each child. An adjustable child-specific paddle that can be adjusted from 50 to 65 inches long can be useful for many years, so it is a practical choice to buy only one paddle for each of your kids.
Orient Them in Safety Measures
Teaching your kids on basic methods of keeping themselves safe is a basic lesson in responsibility and also showing your trust in them. When you make your kids feel trusted, they will be more engaged in the sport and take it seriously – two valuable lessons they can learn and bring with them when they grow up.
Give your children personal floating devices (PFD) and whistles when doing this activity. Emphasize to them the importance of wearing safety devices at all times and the importance of blowing the whistle when they get into trouble or get separated from you. This way, they can be responsible enough to wear their own safety gears or at least ask you to check the safety gears for them.
The More The Merrier
If somehow your children still aren’t that enthusiastic about starting SUP, try bringing their friends along to convince them to get into the sport. If your kids see that their friends are enjoying doing stand up paddling, your kids would also pick up their efforts in order not to be left out. You can get your neighbors or friends and their kids to go with you on a trip near the sea or lake and play SUP with everybody. Another alternative is to sign your kids up for children’s SUP classes where they can get to meet and be friends with kids their age and also enjoy SUP in the process.
Tap Into their Imagination and Creativity
Remember that kids are very imaginative and will see any activity more as a form of play most of the times. Don’t prevent them from doing so. In fact, this could be a good way to keep the interest and enthusiasm of young kids in the sport. If your kids can ride the paddle board without tipping over even if they can’t stand on the board, this is already a good way of developing their balance. Let them enjoy this feat by developing their imagination and sense of adventure. Let them pretend and play with the paddle board the way they want to or their imagination tells them to. They won’t notice they are getting a hang of the basics in SUP.
SUP is a fun and healthy sports activity that kids can get to enjoy not just in summer but all year round. The most important step is catching their interest and letting them enjoy their time practicing the sport. So be creative in advertising and promoting this sport to your kids. If they need demonstration and help, be always ready to oblige and be enthusiastic in doing so. Kids can sense genuine enthusiasm and effort in you, so do your best in sharing this fun activity with them.