3 yr old in canoe?

I dont think my grandson can wait any longer to get a ride in my canoe. I got a lifejacket for him and know of a shallow lake only 2 to 3 feet deep with a sandy bottom I could take him in.

What precautions should one take with a 3 yr old?

Sounds like fun. Make sure the water
is warm enough and stay where you know the bottom.

keep it short and get a little folder
chair that sits on or near the bottom of the boat for him to sit on.

If you can stand up in the water

– Last Updated: May-10-15 9:55 AM EST –

I don't see a problem. I took my grandkids before they were three but there were other family members in other boats along too, deeper water.

I have a telescoping paddle I carry for emergencies. I gave it to the grandkid to "help" paddle. He loved it. Granddad to granddad, It's the best $20 you're ever going to spend. They sell them everywhere that has boat stuff.

Google "kwik tek telescoping paddle"

Edit to add
Ditto what others said about a shifting weight in the bow. Leaning over one side or the other, turning around to talk to you, playing with the puddle at his feet. Don't expect them to remain motionless. Though he should be able to stay at his seat for an hour plus if he has a paddle. Mine drags the paddle and even puts in a stroke every so often though usually it's a reverse stroke, then bang the paddle on the gunwhale to get the water off.

Almost no limit…
Take a look at what Lynne (an inexperienced canoeist) got up to with Tobey:


Or here, when he was 2:


Main thing - don’t try and get the little one sitting down / still - at 3 years of age a youngster should be clambering from end to end of the boat, past you, over bags, on thwarts and whatever.

If in doubt… go out with others. We might prefer a solitary pursuit… but seeing canoeing as something others also do is always good - and if the others are competent, you’ve got a rescue / recovery team to hand.

Ps. I’m assuming lots of dry clothes for changing at regular intervals, plus loads of snacks… and the means to cook up some pasta after 30 minutes of “adventure”… and the usual emergency kit - including a tarp to provide an improvised shelter.

The child will be fine
At 2 our child was doing week long Boundary Waters Trips

Our grandson dtarted riding at two and we gave him his own paddle

He liked to hang over the side and drag the paddle in the water

At that age they won’t stay in a seat

If you are not comfortable with a shifting 30 lbs don’t do it. It’s much more about your skill than the right age

Ours were started at half that age,
prior to the “terrible twos” and development of the ability to move very quickly. An early start enabled them to learn the “rules” while they were not yet old enough to evade them. But a 3 year old will usually be fine, as long as he accepts serious warnings.