Do you have young explorers at home who want nothing more than to swim with Nemo or say “hi” to a sea turtle? If you do, your next vacation is the perfect time to introduce them to snorkeling and scuba diving.
All around the world, resorts and dive shops have special programs for families and kids so they can lean their love for their water-breathing buddies and the deep blue sea.
If you or your children aren’t ready to learn to scuba yet, snorkeling would be a great alternative!
Here are 5 of the best places to take your kids snorkeling.
1. Cottrell Key, Florida
Cottrell Key is only five miles west of Key West and it’s filled to bursting with shallow reefs, coral formations, and sponges. If you’re looking to spot some parrotfish, stingrays, group and sea turtles, this is a great spot to take your kids.
2. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If you’re interested in a resort setting where you don’t even have to leave in order to enjoy the fun, strap on your full face mask and head to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
This resort and the area surrounding it is full of ancient Mayan history and ruins. Guests at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort can dive into the unique location by snorkeling in a crystal clear cenote. These are naturally occurring underground springs. You’ll be surrounded by over 60 species of animals and 25 species of trees.
3. Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin
Snorkeling probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you think about Wisconsin, but Lake Michigan has some incredible spots to explore. Bailey’s Harbor is only 2 hours north of Green Bay and it offers a shipwreck snorkeling trip.
4. Kankakee, Illinois
Illinois is another strange place to consider snorkeling, but Haigh Quarry in Kankakee is a great place for divers and snorkelers alike. The quarry isn’t used anymore and for several years after its closure in the 1970s, it sat unused. Someone purchased the land in the late 70s and unplugged some of the pumps the mining company left behind.
In three years, the quarry was filled with spring-fed water and is now a great place to take kids snorkeling.
5. La Jolla, California
If your kids are determined to swim with sharks, this is the snorkeling spot for you. Here, snorkelers can see plenty of leopard sharks during their outing. There’s also no shortage of bottom feeders and rays alike.
How to Teach Kids Snorkeling
No matter where you take your kids snorkeling, you need to make sure they’re prepared. Five or six is the best age to start and the pool or a bathtub is the ideal training ground.
Breathing only through your mouth is a skill kids need to practice, so don’t put them anywhere they’re not familiar with right off the bat.
Start your child with the face mask before you ad the snorkel and make sure it fits well. Let them take it at their own pace and follow their lead, never push if they seem to want to stop.
When you try real life snorkeling in the sea, start off with a calm spot so as to not unnerve them.
Kids snorkeling is a great first step to get your little ones familiar with the water, it’s many life forms, and the possibility of scuba diving. There’s nothing quite as magical as interacting with your environment, especially as a child.
For more fun family ideas and tricks to save some extra cash for that snorkeling vacation, visit the rest of my blog today!