Planning your 2018 raft trip and trying to figure out what to do with the kids? Depending on the river you’re floating, you might be able to bring the kiddos along for a whitewater adventure. If they’re excited about tagging along, here are some helpful hints for easing them into the rafting life.

What to Expect

Show them YouTube videos of rafting trips similar to the one you’re taking. Let them know about how long the trip will take and give them quick defense tips for fighting off squirt gun wars from other boats!

Adult:Child Ratio

rafting with families

Taking the kids on their first rafting trip is exciting, but if you’re outnumbered, possibly overwhelming. Try to make sure there’s an adult for every child on the journey. When the waters get a little rough, each kiddo will have someone there to calm them down if necessary.

Teach Basic Whitewater Safety

Talk to your kids about what to do/expect in the off chance they end up out of the boat. Make sure they feel comfortable swimming, and remind them they’ll have a life vest. If your kids are older maybe even give them a shot at rowing the rig on calmer waters.

Know Your Kids Needs

rafting with families

In a perfect world, your kids will be entertained the entire time. Bringing water related toys can make or break boredom. Think squirt guns, buckets for sand along the shore, and whatever else can keep your kids occupied when the calm stretch of river lasts longer than their attention span.

Prepare for Scrapes and Bruises

Raft guides are always outfitted with a first-aid kit. But packing a ziploc bag of band-aids and some Neosporin is good to have for the little scrapes and bruises that happen along the way.

Depending on the river, a family rafting outing could become a fun tradition the kids look forward to year after year.