A day at sea can be a wonderful treat for kids and parents alike, but, as you might guess, the endless view of blue skies and water on their own is no match for a child's attention span. So, the next time you and your kiddos are out on the boat, try a few of these ideas, and make sure to come back here and comment your own take on the matter!
1. Teach them to tie knots
Yes, my first thought also was, "This sounds about as entertaining as digging holes in the dirt all day," but you'd be surprised at just how fun tying knots can be. To start, make sure you practice tying knots before you teach your kids; teach them the basics, like a square knot to start, and advance the type of knots as your children gain confidence in their own abilities. You can even make a game out of practicing their knot-tying skills! Write down the names of the knots they learned on a bunch of popsicle sticks or little pieces of paper. Have them pull a popsicle stick without looking, and test their knowledge by challenging them to tie each type of knot they pull. They'll have so much fun, all the while learning a skill that will serve them for life.
Here's a link to a really helpful tutorial for tying some basic knots: https://sailingorlando.com/sailing-knots/
2. Cook up something to eat in the galley
Your kids can be the perfect sous chefs when it comes to easy snacks to enjoy while onboard. When they're done cooking, they'll have a delicious treat to munch on! One classic: ats on a log! To switch things up a bit, here are some variations:
The log: celery, carrot, cucumber, banana, apple, pear, or pineapple.
The filling: peanut butter (or any other nut butter, for that matter), cream cheese, Greek yogurt, hummus, or mashed avocado.
The ants: raisins (or any other dried fruit that can be cut up into raisin-sized pieces), seeds, olives, nuts, blueberries, raspberries, or cherry tomatoes.
3. Mix in some (waterproof) games/toys
Whether it be a ball, frisbee, paddle set, water balloons/guns, or waterproof cards, promote teamwork and fitness with a game. Try out some games that don't require materials, too. "I Spy," for example, is a great activity to try, especially when you can see the shore. Alternatively, if you'd like to make toys the highlight of the outing, you are sure to benefit from a set of water skis, a wake board, a tube, or any other towable toy.
Here's a link to my favorite tube, just to get you started:
4. Blankets & books
Pack books to read, and maybe even blankets if this activity takes place as the sun starts to set. It's the perfect activity to wind down after all other available forms of entertainment have been exhausted, leaving your kids exhausted as well.
Comment some more ideas below, and I'm excited to hear about your experiences! Have fun at sea with your family!