Inflatable Kayaking and Kids

I don’t have kids, so I am not an expert on this subject. I do however have lots of friends with kids so have been around them a lot. While I like my peace and solitude while out in my inflatable kayak, I notice that kids just want FUN. Fun and adventure seem to be the name of the game.

I would think that owning an inflatable kayak would be a wonderful thing if you have children. I remember as a child that summers could get long and boring, doing the same old thing day after day.

I used to love the weeks we would spend up at our cabin on Okanagan Lake. We didn’t own an inflatable kayak at the time but I do remember going out in the canoe and splashing around in the water.

Inflatable Kayak = Summer Fun

The great thing about an inflatable kayak of course is that it is easily brought everywhere. Whether you are going on a family camping trip or a quick drive down to the water, an inflatable kayak will fit neatly in the trunk of your car and inflate within minutes when you need it.

I think kids like hands on adventure and kayaking on a lake doesn’t get much better. Besides all of the amazing wilderness sights and wildlife spotting, kayaking can be an opportunity to teach some valuable water safety skills as well.

Good Tips for Kayaking with Kids

If you plan on taking your kids out in an inflatable kayak this year there are all sorts of life adventures that you can share with them.

Here are a few educational ideas:

  • Teach them about the history of the area you are kayaking in. Some quick research online or usually at the Parks Board can give you all sorts of information.
  • Tell them what the waters they are kayaking in were initially used for and who used to paddle down the same path they are taking.
  • Teach them the proper kayaking strokes to make their journey more efficient and productive.
  • Teach them about the wildlife in the area and what kinds of fish populate the waters.

Now on to the safety tips:

  • Of course kids always need to be wearing a PFD. I have so often seen parents not wearing a PFD while their kids are. That doesn’t make sense to me. I would think the parents should be the role models so make sure you are ALL wearing a PFD’s.
  • Sun protection is essential. Have your kids decked out in the proper clothes and hats to keep their sensitive skin protected from the sun. While on the water the glare from the sun and the spray of the water can cause serious burns. Clothing should be in bright colors and will keep your kids easy to spot on the water or on the shore.
  • If you are paddling during the summer a pair of water shoes or sports sandals will work fine. If the weather is colder then some proper paddling booties will be essential.
  • Bring rain gear if there is even a chance of a few showers. Just pack it away into a dry bag so that it is on hand just in case. Having rain gear with me has saved my day more than once.
Other Essentials

Snacks and water are a must for any kayaking trip. I personally think snacks make any trip a lot better and I am fairly sure kids feel the same. Being out in the sun having fun can make time pass by very fast. Sometimes we don’t realize how long we go without water and then risk dehydration. Always have extra drinking water with you.

As far as paddling, it is up to you if your child should have their own paddle to use. Kids will WANT their own paddle because then they are actively participating in the adventure. You will likely have to do the majority of the work, but it is really great for your child to have fun paddling as well.

Have Fun!

Above all else have a really great time. Kids are great for making YOU feel like a kid again. They will likely discover all sorts of wonders that we adults would have overlooked. This can be an excellent time for bonding and for learning new things for you and for your kids. They likely won’t last in the inflatable kayak as long as you would if paddling solo, but you can be sure it will be a family adventure that will create many long lasting wonderful memories.

View our inflatable kayak reviews for tandem recreational flatwater kayaks to find the right inflatable kayak for your family fun.

Also if you have kids then you likely have far more insight than I do on this subject.  Would love to hear from actual parents on any great advice for kayaking that you may have.


  1. This is a great reminder that spring and summer are just around the corner!
    I look forward to getting back out on the water.
    Kayaking is a great sport – for all the reasons you listed. Have one that is transportable is perfect. Kids always enjoy it, and it build up some upper body muscles without them even thinking about it!
    Also teach them water safety rules at the same time – it’s a good opportunity to instill some good basic safety rules that apply any time you venture out on the water.
    Jane Warren, Publisher

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