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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 01-09-2009
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Keeping young kids (5-6) occupied while sailing

OK,

The summer in the NE will be there before I know... I can hope at least. So my question is. Besides the normal time wasters for kids, DVD, Nintendo DS. What can the kids (5-6) do on boat while sailing? As its a 6 knot event at best on our boat it's gonna take some time to get to an anchorage for them to swim.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-09-2009
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Flying kites off the stern. I would set the autopilot and my son and I would launch a kite. He would always get a little tickled when we would have to reel it in a little to pass under a bridge.
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Old 01-09-2009
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At 5 and 6 they are ready to be shown some of the things involved in handling the boat during passages.. while they don't have the strength required they can be allowed to "help" trimming sails, sit on your lap and "steer". They can be given the job of keeping a lookout (for whatever). While their attention span may not be really long, it's a diversion and it will get them thinking about sailing. If you get them involved and interested early they may sail for the rest of their lives.

Highly recommend that you encourage reading as well.. or even at this stage amusing themselves with whatever books work. They won't be 5 or 6 for long and if they enjoy whiling away a few hours with a good book your life will be easier (and theirs better) on many levels!
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Old 01-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
At 5 and 6 they are ready to be shown some of the things involved in handling the boat during passages.. while they don't have the strength required they can be allowed to "help" trimming sails, sit on your lap and "steer". They can be given the job of keeping a lookout (for whatever). While their attention span may not be really long, it's a diversion and it will get them thinking about sailing. If you get them involved and interested early they may sail for the rest of their lives.

Highly recommend that you encourage reading as well.. or even at this stage amusing themselves with whatever books work. They won't be 5 or 6 for long and if they enjoy whiling away a few hours with a good book your life will be easier (and theirs better) on many levels!
ditto
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Old 01-09-2009
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Well, let's see...

We give the kids binocs and have them take bearings. We let them bring Legos in the cockpit. We let them steer (with supervision) and trim the sails. We play with the radar and electronics to help them learn it. We talk about right of ways. We do let them watch TV some. We have started getting into fishing from the boat (a really good hobby for kids, btw).

As a few words of warning, we do try and plan our runs such that we hit an anchorage in time to swim and have fun exploring with the dink. I think that is very important as quite candidly, there is no way to keep them completely occupied with things non-electronic related for a really long time. Best thing may be fishing and the binocs so far. They really enjoy running around with them. We bought the kids their own cheap set this year from Walmart (about $20-30 a piece, I think). A good investment since you probably do not want your $1000 Fuji's or Steiners going in the drink!!

Here are my kiddos...

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 01-09-2009
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Agreeing with everything above..

But, also, don't underestimate how much fun it is for kids to just hang out in the Vee Berth.. It's like a little clubhouse for them, and something their size!

It's still fun with my kids, who are now 12 and 15.

CD .... let's see the video of your kids monkeying around on your boat again...

David
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Old 01-09-2009
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when all those good recommendations fail, crazy gluing a couple of fingers together will occupy them for hours.
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Old 01-09-2009
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This might be a good time to wean off of the "time wasters." Have them bring a few of their engaging low-tech toys. This is also a great time for reading, the adults can also set an example.

Being lookouts, taking bearings, watching for navigation aids, spotting other boats, looking for wildlife, dragging a fishing line, helping to coil lines and keeping the boat neat.

I like the kite idea, must try that myself. I do sail with families occasionally.

The vee berth play space is good; kids need their own space.

Jack
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Old 01-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djodenda View Post
Agreeing with everything above..

But, also, don't underestimate how much fun it is for kids to just hang out in the Vee Berth.. It's like a little clubhouse for them, and something their size!

It's still fun with my kids, who are now 12 and 15.

CD .... let's see the video of your kids monkeying around on your boat again...

David
Like this...

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 01-09-2009
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Almost forgot a great resource

Liza Copeland has a lot of experience. Check her SailNet article.

Jack
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