Floating objects are inherently unstable, so climbing into, standing on and jumping off them is perfect for children's core muscle development - a major issue for many who live highly sedentary, indoor lifestyles. Mucking about in boats not only addresses this issue, but also provides children with risk assessment and management opportunities while developing water confidence.
When starting out with the kids it is best to find calm water with little to no current. The lakes are a great place to begin, half an hour to an hour is sufficient for all first trips regardless of age.
The YMCA paddle hub on Yarralumla Bay hires out stand up paddle boards (SUPS) and single or double kayaks, and is a perfect opportunity for families to paddle to various picnic spots around the lake and check out the local bird life. For something extra special, why not pack a picnic lunch and paddle out to Springbank Island? The Canberra Yacht Club has boats for public hire.
As the lakes can get quite rough and water temperatures can drop to dangerous levels, winter paddling is not encouraged for those with little to no experience.
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