Ideas to keep under 8’s amused on a boat

If you are taking a sailing holiday with young children. It’s always wise to consider ‘what will children enjoy doing’ during your trip away. Luckily on a sailing trip, there are lots of things to keep them amused. Sailing with young children should be fun so here are a few of Enaviga’s favourites ideas to keep your children happy.

Before you set sail

Take a look at the RYA website. Here you can buy a variety of children’s books for activity/sticker/log book. Opt for the paper version rather than the e-book. Children can then diarise their trip with ease. 

Pack some playing cards, matchbox (or similar) for the fun listed below.

Check with your sailing company whether they provide children’s lifejackets. If you have your own that fit well and have room in your luggage. Always pack them. Your child will always feel more comfortable in their own lifejacket.

When you step on board

If your children are keyboard warriors stow the electrical devices when you board. If you can include all adults phones also, this will be a great start to your family fun trip.

Day activities

Are you planning to snorkel when on the water? If so you could pick up a local fish identification card from a local dive shop. These laminated cards will help you ID any fish spotted during your trip. If your children are too young to snorkel. You may be able to rent a body board with clear window. Your child can then lie down whilst you drag the board for them to see shallow fish and coral. Use the card to play fish bingo – who will be the first onboard to spot them all?

Involve all children in every aspect of sailing the boat. Whether you are skippering yourself, or have a captain. Let all children have a chance under supervision to ‘play’ Captain. You may ignite a passion that will be with them forever.

Whilst sailing with a young family, one game which keeps children still but occupied is ‘eye spy’. One person gives the first letter of the name of a part of the boat and everyone else has to try and guess what it is.

If you have a matchbox or similar sized box for each child on board. You can play the matchbox scavenger hunt. Write a list of items that you believe will fit in the box and are available to find. Challenge each child to fill the matchbox with as many items as they can from the list. The winner is those who find all the items to fit in the matchbox first.

When you moored near a beach, dinghy in with your children carrying a clear glass/plastic bottle. Let them scoop sand and water from the shallows into the bottle. Then sit and watch the sand move as minute sea creatures start to stir.

Evening activities

Depending on where in the world you are sailing, you may have long evenings onboard, as the sun sets early. A perfect excuse for a family games evening. Pack a set of playing cards and teach your little ones gin rummy. Have two children enjoy a game of snap. For younger children, you can use the cards to start a game of number recognition. The choices are endless.

After a day of sailing, swimming and playing, your children will be worn out and need a good night’s rest. Make sure you have some of the local tipple on board to enjoy!

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1 Comment

  • Just bookmarked this post! Some great ideas in here.

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