Try something new this summer and fall: Kayaking…with kids!

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Perhaps many of you have already gone kayaking. Maybe you even own your own kayaks! My hubby and I are lucky enough to each own a kayak and have been enjoying this nice summer water activity for years. We have always gone alone in our single-person kayaks, but this summer we have decided to bring our kiddos along for the ride, too!

We have always enjoyed floating/kayaking down a river, but with children along that can be just a bit too long of a time commitment. So we elected for a lake for our first go!

We went to Lily Lake which is a small lake right outside Green Bay. You do need a daily pass for each kayak (only $5), which we felt was pretty small for a couple of hours of fun! They can be purchased here: https://www.browncountywi.gov/community/parks-department/general-information/purchase-pass/

There are also many other small lakes in the area you can try, listed here: https://www.browncountywi.gov/community/parks-department/general-information/boatinghuntingfishing/

Some helpful tips to make your kayaking day an enjoyable experience for all:

* Ideally, a tandem (two-person) kayak will be ideal if having a child with you under the age of 10. If over the age of 10, then your child may be ready to go solo in a single person kayak! Our kiddos are still very small so we had them sit near our lap in our single person kayaks and it worked out well. But if you are renting, go for the tandem kayak! The child will sit in the front and the adult in the back, as the person in the back is more in charge of steering.

* Be clear about the rules prior to starting out. Most importantly – safety rules: no standing, no leaning far over, keeping a PFD/life jacket (and make sure you research on this before purchasing one – it needs to be the correct size for your child’s particular weight/age) on at all times, etc.

* If going for a long trip, pack some snacks. Most kayaks have a nice waterproof area you can throw a ziplock baggie of snacks in.

*Dress for the activity! Swim gear is great; cotton – not so much! Also helpful: sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, a PFD/life jacket, and sunglasses.

*Take it slow! Usually, my hubby and I like to go pretty quickly down a river, but with kiddos, it’s nice to just take it easy and really enjoy the scenery. It is a great time to teach your kids about nature and try to spot some fish swimming around beside you, watch birds swoop into the water to catch some dinner, and explore some unique insects!

Hope you get a chance to get out paddling this summer or early fall!

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