We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Snorkeling with a toddler?

Los Angeles
2 posts
Snorkeling with a toddler?

Has anybody ever taken their toddler snorkling? I will be on the Big Island in November with my wife and our toddler. We would love to take a snorkeling tour but we don't know if its possible with our toddler.

Thanks in advance for any info.

oregon
Level Contributor
1,426 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

The Fair Winds is a really big boat. We took a 4 year old this year and she is afraid of the water so her parents took turns snorkeling. You are there for a couple hours (Kealakekua Bay) so there is plenty of time.

Reedsport, Oregon
Level Contributor
4,067 posts
45 reviews
2. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

I can't speak for the boats on the BI but the boat we used in Maui had kickboards with windows in them I saw toddlers using with the help of mom or dad. If they don't offer them you can either rent them or buy them. We saw them at WalMart in Maui and they weren't too expensive.

Davis, CA
Level Contributor
21 posts
13 reviews
3. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

we are going on fairwinds tomorow with our 3.5 and 6 year old. so we will let you know on that.

we were at kahalu'u today with him and our 6 year old and both snorkeled ALLOT. key seems to be the entry... (6 year old wouldnt go in at two step) a nice sandy entry so it isnt wavy etc... they have snorkel stuff including floats of all types and the boogie board with windows for rent there.... saw turtles and all kinds of fish...

snorkel them in the pool at home with water wings on, hardest thing is to just get them used to breathing thorough the tube, and only through their mouth!!!

but in the end all kids are different... but I think practice makes perfect...

San Diego...
Level Contributor
161 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

The first time we took our youngest, we found that in addition to practicing with the snorkel (imperative!), a snorkel vest was totally worth buying ahead of time. They deflate completely flat, so it was easy to take in the suitcase, and he used it every time. It allowed him to basically float face down in the water, and focus on the sealife and his breathing. He just hooked his arm in mine, and I paddled and directed us around. The most important thing is that the child be VERY comfortable in the water, and relaxed. If he/she can do that, they'll have a blast. My son wants to learn to scuba dive now (he has a few more years :) ).

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,468 posts
125 reviews
5. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

not a good or safe idea.. even with a vest... ( many of which act to hold the head under water). till the child is over 5 to 6 depending on the dicipline level............Most boats will not permit 4 and under........ Do people do thingings like this.... yes but that does not mean it is safe......... The snorkel boats only supply noodles which are not attached to anything or one.

Go to a pool, with your child and try it out... Practice several times first... before you make a decision.. the ocean is no place to learn with current and surges.. If you and your child are both novices it is asking for trouble to take them in 30 to 100 ft deep water witn no shore or way out except the boat ladder.......

Someone mentioned taking littel kids to to place of refuge... or two-step...... Please this is a very advanced snorkel site where experienced adults get into trouble......... this is not a place for kids or novices........

Kahalulu bay is the place for children where they can stand up at many places......

Hawaii
Level Contributor
41,021 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

I'm wondering how old your child is? To me, a toddler is just what the word says, a child who has just learned to walk, not older than 2 or 3?

I think a child that age is ecstatic about getting in a floaty and splashing in the water, but snorkeling is a big much. Masks can leak and water can go into the snorkel, the baby ends up swallowing ocean water and with stinging water in eyes ... and then you would definitely want to have your child leashed to you as the toddler is defenseless against any kind of current and you will have your face in the water and doing that cannot watch your little one properly if drifting independently.

I like the suggestion of toddler being entertained on boat (if someone is willing to do the watching) while you snorkel.

The Pacific Ocean is vast and deep, no place to take chances with precious children for the sake of some fun, and obviously you have concerns that prompted you to post the question.

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,468 posts
125 reviews
7. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

As an after thought...........the equipment is all too large for small kids..... the mouthpiece on a snorkel is huge and nobody makes fins, vests and most important Mask that will fit.......... no swim goggles...

equipment fit and use is very critical not only for comfort but comfort....... go to a good dive shop and ask their advice of equipment..........

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
394 posts
27 reviews
8. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

we took our 19-month old grandson along on the Fairwinds snorkel boat cruise. We took turns staying on the boat with him. They also told us they had a playpen on board that they could set up if we wanted it. Everyone - including the adults, wore life belts. they also had kickboards with viewing windows in them, and viewing boxes which made it easy to see underwater without putting your head under the water. if your child is not afraid of the water, it is a beautiful place to see, and is deeper, so it is not as rocky as Kahalu'u.

Davis, CA
Level Contributor
21 posts
13 reviews
9. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

fairwinds today was great for both of ours... our very adventerous 3.5 YO paddled around in a vest and tube, looking through one of their boxes... our 6 YO used a belt and snorkeled great....

equipment is the toughest.... fins are easy, but mask seems an issue, as was said, most are too large.... if the kid is a good swimmer, let em at it at a safe place, kahaluu was great. use your parent spidey sense to guide you.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
394 posts
27 reviews
10. Re: Snorkeling with a toddler?

you can try and find a child size pair of goggles somewhere soon, while they are clearanced out for the season!