time to take granddaughter paddling

And introduce her to the finer things in life.

Suggestions/advice/caveats for a 3 year old’s PFD? She will probably be around 40 pounds this summer.

The first few trips will be just short cruises in shallow flatwater, of course.

life jackets for little children often
have crotch straps, and they should. Crotch straps keep the jacket where it belongs, rather than floating up off the kid’s head.

I second g2’s recommendation.

get her a little paddle
and expect her to help by her hanging over the side and dragging it in the water.

My grandsons loved doing this at three.

and grab loop on the back of the PFD
for kids. I’ve got the PFD, a Piccolo and a kids paddle from ONNO. It’s great, 2 piece, adjustable and small blades.

Hope to get my 3 year old granddaughter in the Piccolo this year. She will be 4 in July. Have had her out in the canoe a couple of times.

If it’s warm enough to swim
With a safety person downstream toss her a throw rope and teach her how to hold on to it. Once comfortable you can run through the shallows to simulate swift water. To her it’s a game, but if she ever needs it she’s already familiar with a throw rope rescue without having to take a lesson.

Floating squirt guns are fun too.


Randy (AKA Pa-Pa)

Life Vest
All good suggestions. Take her with you to buy the pfd and let her pick the color. Have her write her name in it so it will be “hers”. She will be more likely to wear it all the time if she feels it is hers.

Mustang Li’l Legend Life Vest
From West Marine worked perfectly by keeping toddlers upright in the water during capsize and easy to scoop them out with top grab strap. It comes with crotch strap too.

Teach her to put on
her little personalized PFD the minute she gets out of the car at the put in. She will quickly learn to automatically make the association.

Get her colorful minnow net for playing at the water’s edge.

When she is about 5 years of age start thinking seriously about getting her a boat such as a Jackson Fun 1 and a lightweight Jackson kid’s paddle. Really, you’ll be amazed how young kids can begin paddling their own boats, and it’s a hundred times more fun for them than sitting, bored to tears, in the front seat of a canoe. Start them young and you’ll have yourself a paddling buddy for a lot of years. My granddaughter just turned 15 and she has been kayaking with me more than half of her life.