School holiday ideas for active kids II – snorkeling, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding

School holiday ideas

Further to our suggestions last term of Parkour, Indoor Rock Climbing, and Circus School, here are three more school holiday ideasĀ for your young athletes, great for the Aussie summer! – Snorkeling, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Our girls spent the first few weeks of this summer school holiday break with their cousins having a great time in these water-based sports!

Snorkeling – for the underwater explorer

What is it?

Snorkeling is the exploration of the underwater world through swimming.

What does it involve?

You use a snorkel to allow you to breathe with your head down in the water and goggles to view the underwater life whilst swimming on the surface. Don’t forget to spit into your goggles for a natural de-fogger! Flippers can provide an easy glide and the optional use of floatation devices such as a life jacket or “noodle” can assist young children or first timers, but are also great for all levels of swimmers to ensure feet aren’t dropping onto any coral beneath.

Key benefits

Snorkeling allows you to view the amazing underwater life and environment whilst not having to lift your head up intermittently to breathe. Depending on where you are, you can see the vast varieties of fish and colourful coral. It really is a unique experience! Although there are other alternatives to snorkeling like scuba diving, snorkeling is the most affordable and most family friendly!

Our experience

Over the years we have been lucky enough to have had many opportunities to snorkel around the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. A gorgeous destination for the school holiday period! It is always a fun and beautiful experience with each destination featuring its own unique coral, fish, and other sea life such a starfish and sea urchins. Swimming with turtles is always the biggest highlight for my girls! Snorkeling is a great way for the whole family to see and appreciate the natural and stunning underwater environment. You don’t need to be at an exotic location to snorkel, just head down to the nearest beach and enjoy the scenery!

Kayaking – for the water adventurer

What is it?

Kayaking is a water sport that uses a lightweight, narrow boat to move through the water.

What does it involve?

Kayaks are lower-to-the-water boats where the paddler sits on a low seat with legs extended in front and use a double blade paddle to propel. This is different to canoeing where paddlers usually sit or kneel on a raised seat and use a single blade paddle. Kayaks are designed to be faster and are great to zip around the waterways.

Key benefits

Kayaking is a great upper body workout as you use your arms to paddle. With proper technique, you also engage your core and test your fitness and endurance for those longer outings. There are single and double kayaks so you can paddle with friends and family. Kayaking is a great way to travel through scenic waterways and explore beaches and islands.

Our experience

We have been kayaking several times and in a variety of places from local beaches to the gorgeous waters around the Whitsunday Islands. Early morning paddles are great to watch the sunrise. Late evening paddles let you enjoy beautiful sunsets on the water too. Longer half day paddles allow you to travel to secluded areas which may not be otherwise easily accessible. You can explore and extend your experience by snorkeling at gorgeous destinations. You can hire kayaks by the hour at your local waterway or take longer half day or full day tours at your leisure.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding – for the surfing canoeist

What is it?

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is a cross between canoeing and surfing. A stand-up paddleboard is a surf style board. With the use of a long paddle, SUP has developed into a more recent popular sport.

What does it involve?

SUP originated from Hawaii as a form of surfing but is also now popular on flat water lakes and beaches. The idea is to propel yourself on the water using a paddle whilst standing on the long board.

Key benefits

Physical benefits include an upper body strength workout from the paddling and a test of balance as you keep standing upright on the board.

Our experience

My eldest daughter has been SUP a few times now and enjoys the fun on the water. The most recent experience was shared with a cousin where they managed to stand up and paddle on the same board! It’s a great fun school holiday activity to do at the beach and another energetic upper body workout! Again, you can usually hire SUPs at your local beach or waterway by the hour. They even host SUP birthday parties and you can do yoga SUP too!

School holiday ideas - Stand Up Paddleboarding

What do your active kids like to do during the summer school holiday period?

Check out more ideas for school holiday and family activities here.

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