A perfect activity in this Okanagan heat is paddle boarding. We are always looking for things to do with and without kids and this works out great for us. We are currently in our third summer with our paddle boards which means our girls were two when we got them. The first couple times we just stayed close to shore with no expectations. Our girls calmly sat between our legs on the boards and took it all in, eventually starting to hang their legs off the edge to drag their feet in the water. Then as they got more confident they started standing up hanging onto us, and now they have even started paddling us around from time to time.
We always bring these essentials:
- Good fitting life jackets
- Lots of water (our Hydro Flasks keep it ice cold on the hot days)
- Tons of snacks and sometimes lunch or dinner depending on our timing
- Sunscreen and hats
All of these essentials go into a dry bag and get attached to the netting on our boards.
Sometimes we can be on the water for hours and other times it gets shortened. Both waves and wind can play as big issue for us. Paddle boarding is much more fun without the big boats racing around creating swells that almost knock you off your board. The girls have also started expressing their dislike to the rough waters so we prefer to stick to earlier or later hours when the boat traffic is more minimal.
We went on an overnight walk in camping trip and brought them along which allowed us the ease of jumping on the lake at any given time when the water was smooth like glass. We find it to be very soothing on the boards. Even the girls just quietly take it all in and enjoy the movement through the water. It seems to be an incredibly calming activity for our entire family.
If you are looking to get out paddle boarding with kids for the first time I would suggest going with little expectations, start small, close to shore in very shallow water and try it out. Once you get more comfortable then venture out further. Kids are unpredictable and move around a lot meaning a shift in weight can throw your balance off resulting in you and/or your child falling in. We always strongly recommend wearing a life jacket at all times. And finally, just have fun, that’s what life is all about!