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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Canoeing with kids
      Entertaining Children     



06/08/2020 03:05PM  
I'm taking my 6 year old up with my dad (Captn Tony) in a couple weeks for her first trip and wanted some ideas on things to bring to entertain her while we are camping and canoeing.

She enjoys camping and fishing but she can only fish so much before she is going to want to do other things.

What items have you brought on your trips to entertain the kids?

A couple of thoughts I had were:

1. Arm floats so she can swim in the lake
2. A cheap float tube to swim with

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06/08/2020 04:43PM  
Bring some card and dice games for in the tent or by the fire.

A small blow up inner tube is awesome for swimming but ... my daughter preferred just to have the life jacket on and swim around.

S'mores at night, have them make everyone some.

Do some hikes around camp even if there is no trail. Kids love exploring and finding the odd things in the woods.

If you have a long paddle I found getting them their own kid paddle to help along with a bag of crackers for them to munch on... something they will want to eat too not health crackers :) Not for the long canoe ride at least.

Give them their own tools too... like a compass and show how it works, and their own headlamp or handheld light, their own chair, kid binoculars, that kind of stuff.

Have them help with dinner ideas and then have them help make the food.

I guess involve them in everything and make it seem like they have all their own stuff to feel like they are contributing.
06/08/2020 10:48PM  
Like the previous post mentioned, include them as much as you can. A small backpack, a kids paddle, any gear that the can call "theirs" was a huge hit for us. We also had great luck playing Uno in the tent as far a games go. My wife would read a few chapters to them from a book to help them wind down at night and that helped quite a bit. Have a blast on your trip, the fruits of you labor will be cherished forever.
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06/09/2020 08:41AM  
You don't need to bring anything "special". I always suggest having kids portage something even if it is a day pack with a pillow and stuffed animals, a few books and some cards. Their life jacket is fine for water play. There are sticks, rocks, sand, spiders, frogs, trails, mushrooms and fish to explore. Most of all, this is time to connect with children without distractions and is quality time of the highest order!

As kids progress, I like the idea of a special gift each season-compass, carabiner, new bottle, paddle, map case, knife, firestarter kit and so on. Helps them learn a new "skill" each season and build their own gear and confidence.

Tip-be sure they have plenty to snack on and the right cloths to stay warm and dry.

Have fun and let us know how it goes.

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06/09/2020 06:05PM  
Not trying to discourage further comments, or say you shouldn't bring anything but, I think you'll be surprised....

Kids are pretty resourceful.
you'd be amazed how much mileage they can get out of the things they find.

06/09/2020 09:49PM  
Building fairy houses was always a big draw for our kids. Then, we took and let them take endless pictures of them with our camera. That activity ate up hours of every afternoon. Card games, such as UNO were a big favorite. As they got older we introduced them to cribbage and more expansive games.
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06/25/2020 12:45PM  
We have a boat making contest. They make small boats out of leaves sticks and bark and then the contest is to see who's floats the best. Then to see who's can sail away the fastest. When they were 2 years old I brought them a spoon and a small plastic cup and they played with that for a long time.
06/25/2020 02:59PM  
Boat building is a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. If there's a sandy beach, such as on Horse, my kids still really enjoy writing and drawing pictures in the's the little things!
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