Tips for Boating with Kids

Boating is a great way for the family to spend time together. But, as parents well know, kids often need to be constantly entertained in order to avoid boredom. This can be tricky when you’re isolated on your vessel out on the water. But we have some ideas that will help you keep the kids entertained while boating. They can also be fun for the parents too. With that in mind, here are some tips for boating with kids.


The Indian River Lagoon is the most biologically diverse estuary in North America featuring over 2,200 different species of animals and 2,100 different plant species. Among the animals that are likely to be seen when boating on the lagoon are the Florida manatee and bottlenose dolphin. With all of these diverse animals and habitats, there is lots to explore.

In addition to the diversity within the lagoon, the 156-mile long waterway also has 137 spoil islands to explore. While these small islands are often in use, you can use your imagination to pretend that you are exploring uncharted territory which will make the journey more exciting. Your kids can pretend to be Lewis and Clark as they explore these islands.


During your boating expedition along the Indian River Lagoon, plan to stop for a picnic on one of the 137 spoil islands. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket with your kids’ favorite meal and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the island. As you dine right along the water, your kids can play on the island or in the water within easy view of you so that you can watch them without even getting up.

Fishing Expedition

The Indian River Lagoon is home to 685 species of fish making it one of the most ideal places for a fishing expedition. Whether you want to find different spots along the 156-mile stretch of water or drop anchor and fish in one spot, you’ll have the opportunity to catch several different types of fish.

Another animal that calls the Indian River Lagoon home are clams that are present along the estuary. Your kids might enjoy seeing how many clams they are able to collect throughout the day.

Have a Scavenger Hunt or Treasure Hunt

One of the cool things about boating on the Indian River Lagoon is the wide variety of plants and animals that call the lagoon home. Use this variety to your advantage to make the trip enjoyable for the kids by creating a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt. You can make it so that you have to stop at several destinations along the lagoon and collect certain objects to complete the hunt. These objects can be those found in the water or those that may be found on the spoil islands such as sea shells or sand. Make sure you come prepared with a list of what they’re searching for and something for them to put it in so you don’t have to come up with something on the spot. This is an event you might enjoy taking part in as well.

Try Water Tubing

There are several water sports that you can take part in on the Indian River Lagoon like water skiing, wakeboarding, and wakesurfing, but most of these sports are much more suited for adults. One sport that your kids can take part in no matter their age is water tubing. As the boat pulls the tube across the water, you can go as fast or slow as you want to create a rough or smooth ride. A major advantage to water tubing is that two people can ride on the tube at one time. So if young children are going on the tube, you might want to consider sending an adult along with them.

Boating is a great summer activity for the whole family to take part in. But sometimes kids can get bored if they’re not constantly entertained. These tips will ensure that boating with kids is easier as they will have a wonderful time on their boating adventure. They’re also good ideas for the parents to take part in too ensuring that the whole family can enjoy their day out on the water. If you enjoy boating but aren’t quite ready to make the purchase, consider joining 321 Boat Club.