#LoveTheBeach: Tips for snorkelling with children

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As part of our #LoveTheBeach campaign, we are highlighting various different activities that you can enjoy when visiting the beach. Whether you are jetting off for some winter sun or getting ready to visit a warm destination this summer, snorkelling offers lots of fun for all the family. Snorkelling with children can be a magical experience because there is so much to see beneath the water. So long as everyone can swim, this activity is also a very inclusive activity and it can be enjoyed by everyone together.

Snorkelling was a key theme in our recent travel feature at Dhawa Ihuru in the Maldives. This family-friend resort offers an excellent multi-generational destination for those seeking winter sun and some excellent snorkelling in the Indian Ocean.

snorkelling with children

You don’t have to fly half way around the world to enjoy snorkelling and it can be done in a number of places throughout Europe during the summer months. Greece, Sardinia and Croatia are among the many countries where you enjoy the activity.

If you want to start family members young and nurture an interest in snorkelling, here are our tops tips for snorkelling with children.

Safety first

Water safety is vital for young children. Even if they are competent swimmers, it is worth using a life jacket. This will help to keep them extra safe, but also allow them to relax and float on the surface, while looking at the fish beneath. Osprey has an excellent range of life jackets for children, which can be adapted according to age and size.

Get kitted out for snorkelling with children

In addition to a life jacket, it is important to get all of the rest of the right kit for snorkelling with children. Osprey Action Sports has an excellent range of snorkel sets for all of the family. The flippers are particularly easy to carry, thanks to the strategically placed holes, and the masks and snorkels fit well for all ages.

Practice makes perfect

Before venturing into the sea, it is worthwhile spending some time in a swimming pool to make sure that children are familiar with how to use a snorkel mask and flippers. Flippers are not essential at first, but they will help power through the water at a later stage. Swimming pool water is very still in comparison to most oceans, which means that children can get used to the equipment in an easy environment, without having to navigate waves.

Be organised ahead of getting into the sea

When snorkelling with children, it is important to have spare sets of hands on standby in the water. Having two or more adults is helpful. Before getting into the water, adults should have all their equipment sorted out and ready to go, so that it is working properly. The same goes for organising the equipment for the children. It is much easier to sort out any problems, such as the correct fitting of the mask, when on the shore.

Stay connected when snorkelling with children

When graduating to swimming in the open sea, it is a good idea to either have a Scoob that is attached to you (this acts like a buoy and usually has a handle that a child can also hold), or a lead that you can both wear on each hand. If the current is strong, this means that you are less likely to get separated in the water.

Read about the fish beforehand

When you start snorkelling with children, they don’t often know what to expect when going under the water. It is worthwhile looking at the different types of fish or other marine life that you may see ahead of a snorkelling trip to ensure that these are as recognisable as possible when they look under the water.

Hand signals are useful when snorkelling with children

If you are snorkelling in a tropical environment, it is likely that you will see lots of different marine life. Having hand signals ready for when you spot something can really help to make sure your child doesn’t miss out on any of the sights. You can develop your own simple signals for reef sharks, turtles, sea urchins or different kinds of fish.

Little steps at a time

Snorkelling can be overwhelming for children, so it is best to start off slowly. Find a lagoon or sheltered piece of water to try first, before building up to longer stretches of open water. Sometimes young children like being able to look under the water in their mask, while still standing on the sand. A gentle introduction will help to develop the skills and an interest, which can be developed over time.

Watch some snorkelling highlights on Sloaney TV

Osprey has an excellent selection of snorkelling equipment and it can be ordered online: Snorkel & Mask Sets | Free UK Delivery | Osprey Action Sports

Discover more about Dhawa Ihuru here: Luxury Beachfront Family Resort | Dhawa Ihuru Maldives

Shot on location at Dhawa Ihuru | Words: LT; Photography: SB | Models: LT, G, RH & MH