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10 Tips for Canoeing with Kids

Planning on a Canoe trip with the family? You must check out these 10 tips for canoeing with kids first to help your trip be enjoyable and go smoothly.

Planning on a Canoe trip with the family? You must check out these 10 tips for canoeing with kids first!

My kids love an adventure. What kid doesn’t? There are some things that I may shy away from for safety reasons and depending on age but we always end up having fun. My kids are at an age now where we can actually go on more outdoor adventures and I don’t worry so much. Our latest was a canoe trip! Check out these 10 Tips for Canoeing with Kids.

10 Tips for Canoeing With Kids


Canoeing is great exercise and relaxation. Evaluate whether or not your child is ready. Can they follow directions? Do they know how to swim? Can they sit still for longer periods of time? These are all things you need to consider before you head out.


Like any outdoor outing you need the right supplies. For this trip you will need bug spray, sunscreen, water, snacks, etc. The life jackets and canoe paddles should be supplied by the canoe rental, unless you have your own canoe in which case you need to provide your own.

Dress Appropriately

When canoeing chances are you are going to get wet and muddy. I recommend wearing a swimsuit, water shoes, and a light tank top and shorts over it. That way if you do get wet or have to get out of the canoe, nothing is going to get ruined.


Use the entire canoe trip as an educational experience. Teach your kids about canoeing, paddling, the environment, and the wildlife. They will really love it all!

Plan Breaks

Canoeing is quite the work out. Pencil in breaks. Stop for snacks, or a mini-hike. Just stop paddling and let the current take you for a little while.

Don’t tip the canoe!

LOL You may not be able to prevent this one. I tell my kids if you have to duck, lean forward. Not side to side.  Communication is key.


THIS!! Canoeing is a HUGE lesson in communication with the others in your canoe. Talking about who needs to paddle and on which side, warning about upcoming obstacles, reminding others to lean forward and not to the side, these all help with a successful canoe trip.

Don’t go TOO far

Typically if you are canoeing you are going down a river or stream, which means unless you have a pick up person, you are going to have to turn around and go back upstream fighting the current. Don’t go too far; especially with kids in the canoe. That current takes some effort.

Water Proof Bag/Case

I am just throwing this out there because not everyone thinks of this. You will have your car keys and your cell phone. There is a chance you could end up in the water. Bring a water proof bag or case for your phone and keys. A large ziploc even works. That way your items will be protected and float if something were to happen. Trust me…it’s a huge tip!

Have fun

Don’t forget the whole point is to have fun! Sing silly songs, make jokes, and just have a great time!

I hope that these tips have helped make your canoe trip with your kids more relaxed and enjoyable for everyone!

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