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Snorkeling with Kids
Snorkeling Destinations
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Snorkeling with Kids

Exploring the house reef at the Maldives


Photo by Boris Schmalenberger, courtesy of MTPB

Children are naturally curious. And thanks to recent films, Disney's In Search of Nemo to name one, that curiosity extends to the underwater world. Whether you explore shallow waters in search of a certain black and orange-stripped fish or gaze at marine life in the folds of coral reef, snorkeling is a great way to turn a family beach vacation into an adventure with kids. What's more, snorkeling is inexpensive and it affords family fun for everyone.

You need not be a professional diver to enjoy the underwater world. Snorkeling requires nothing more than a mask, snorkel and fins! Yet there are a few things you can do to enhance a family snorkeling trip. Selecting the right snorkel gear and introducing the kids to snorkeling equipment, one piece at a time, will ensure the excursion is enjoyable. Snorkeling near your children will make it safe and fun; not only can you help them identify fish you can assist them with difficulties such as a flooded mask. An adult should enter the water first. Not only will this enable a parent to assist the children it will help the little one overcome any residual fear. Make sure each child wears a secure life vest, no matter how well they swim.

Snorkeling is a rewarding experience for both adults and kids. Yet curiosity and the quest for an exhilarating experience can easily lead to a situation in which sea life is a risk. As tempting as it may be to bring home a souvenir of your child's first snorkeling vacation, it is prohibited to collect shells and coral in many tropical destinations. What's more, simply touching coral can cause the death of an entire colony.

Families partaking in a group tour will want to discuss onboard etiquette before they depart on a snorkeling trip. Teach the kids how to work out of their gear bag and avoid a sprawling mess on the boat floor. Be sure the tikes understand the importance of remaining seated when the boat is in motion as well as the need to keep out of the way of others. If you outing includes divers, allow them to enter the water first.
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family snorkeling trip. Get recommended reading lists and discover great books about the ocean for adults and kids whether you are avid snorkelers or land lubbers. Learn to identify marine life and read stories about the sea.
Music & Sound
Fish sounds and whale songs may not be music to everyone's ear but they are the melody of the sea. Discover the sound dolphins and whales make and find out how they use sound to communicate. Listen to whales groan, warble, whistle and churr and fish grunt, grind and grasp. And enjoy a few laughs with the kids before you depart.
Online newspapers are great family travel resource and a great way to introduce the kids to things that are happening today. Get the latest marine news and read about recent events at sea. Find out what scientists and researchers are saying. Discover hot news in marine conservation.
Kids' Stuff
Online resources make learning about marine life lots of fun. Find ocean printouts and color your favorite sea animals on the plane trip there and back. Get fun facts about fish and, in addition to finding out what fish look like, discover what fish eat and how fish keep clean. Explore the oceans, learn more about food chains, and discover the weird waters of the deepest abyss through games. Find out how to become a scuba ranger (kids 8-12) and embark on an adventure with Sergeant Major, Hammerhead, Puffer and Spinner. You don't need to be a professional scuba diver to find the underwater world fun.
Associations and non-profit organizations can be a valuable resource as well as means to get involved. Learn more about a few of the organizations involved in marine conservation and discover who's doing what to protect the world's coral reefs.
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Books for Kids about Oceans
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