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Snorkeling with Kids
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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.
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