When preparing for a family vacation to a snorkel-friendly location, you might be wondering if this is a fun family activity that you should all get involved in.
Can kids snorkel, and is there gear out there that will make it safe and easy for them to do so?
The answers are yes, and yes; it is possible to go snorkeling with your children.
Snorkeling as a family can be an enjoyable and unforgettable experience, but you will want to make sure that you have the best snorkel gear for kids.
Having great gear will ensure that they can have a safe, enjoyable experience, and you will be able to relax while snorkeling because of it.
Let’s talk about the best gear for snorkeling for kids and also cover a few important FAQs that may help on your journey.
Best Snorkel Gear for Kids
1. Cressi Junior Snorkeling Kit
Cressi is a brand that has been known for the quality and variety of their snorkeling and diving gear for more than 70 years.
This adjustable Junior Snorkeling Kit is an excellent choice for children between ages three and eight years old.
This well-priced snorkeling kit for kids is a good balance between the need for a reliable snorkel set and the need to get one at a price that isn’t going to blow your budget.
The quality isn’t top-of-the-line, but it is more than enough to be used all day by kids whether they are exploring the local pool or getting out in the ocean with you while on vacation.
The included mask has tempered glass for the lenses as well as straps that make it quick and easy to make adjustments as needed.
The snorkel is not a dry type, but it has a splash guard that helps to keep water out of the snorkel.
This semi-dry snorkel will make it easier for kids to use, and they will be able to learn how to get water out of the snorkel along the way.
The set also includes short fins that match the rest of the set in color, and all three pieces are placed in a matching net bag so that your child can keep their gear safe and organized.
Another great thing about this snorkeling set is that it comes in two different sizes that will fit different ages and face shapes very well.
A good fit is essential when snorkeling.
While any adjustable mask can be made to fit up to some extent with the straps, having a mask that has an appropriate size for your child’s face will make a big difference.
This set from Cressi is also available in nine different colors, so your child can choose their favorite.
If you’re getting a set for more than one child, they can each have their own color so that it is easy to keep gear separate and organized when you are getting ready to get in the water.
2. Promate Junior Snorkeling Set
Next up is the affordable Promate Junior Snorkeling Set that offers a completely dry snorkel that can be a game-changer for some children who like to get fully submerged when they are exploring the underwater world.
The Promate Junior Snorkeling Set is a high-quality product that is available at an affordable price.
This particular set only comes in two different sizing options and colors, but that doesn’t really affect how well the set works.
Still, it might not be available in your child’s preferred color combination at this time, and that can make a difference for some families.
The three pieces included with this set’s mesh bag are all high quality, and they each offer something unique.
The fins are open heeled and have an adjustable strap and easy-to-use snap buckle.
It will be quick and easy for kids to strap their feet in when they are excited to get going.
The tempered glass lens mask has a great skirt that seals easily, and the buckle has pinch-and-pull mechanics for easy tightening and loosening as needed.
The 100% dry snorkel allows for full submersion, and any water that gets in can be purged through a one-way valve.
3. Head by Mares Italian Collection Kids Snorkeling Gear
Finally, let’s take a closer look at the mid-range Head by Mares Italian Collection Kids Snorkeling Gear, which is another set of gear that can help your child get to go on their first-ever snorkeling adventure.
Mares has been making scuba and snorkeling gear since the 1940s in Italy, and they have merged with an American company in recent years.
They continue to ship out great, high-quality goods, and this particular mask set is one of the great options that they have for children, and it could be an excellent fit for your child.
One of the best things about this particular set is that the included carryall bag has a fun fish design that kids will enjoy carrying around and packing their gear into.
Additionally, the sets are available in two different sizes and eight different colors.
This makes finding the perfect size and color for each of your children easier than ever before, and they might even get excited about choosing their color!
Another great thing about this set is that it is effortless for children to use thanks to the quick-release systems.
The strap can be released without changing how tight it is.
The dry top snorkel and the eye mask are easy to purge of water when it does manage to get in.
Overall, the whole set is very simple to use.
Snorkel Gear For Kids FAQs
1. At What Age Can a Child Snorkel?
The answer to this question will depend on the child’s size, swimming experience, and overall motor skills.
However, most children can probably safely learn how to snorkel when they are around five to six years old.
Kids must be able to swim safely, maintain control underwater, and feel comfortable while in the water.
Additionally, it’s good if they have had experience in open water before and have an understanding of the potential dangers.
The best way to be sure that they are ready is to practice somewhere safe and protected, such as a private or local swimming pool where you can be there to teach and support them.
2. Is It Safe for Kids to Snorkel?
As long as your child has the skills needed to snorkel and you are prepared to be their support while snorkeling, it can be safe for them to snorkel.
Kids need to be able to swim on their own and with confidence to be able to snorkel; if they still cannot do this, it is not the right time to start snorkeling.
Additionally, kids need to be well-disciplined and ready to listen to your guidance when snorkeling.
Conditions can change rapidly when snorkeling, and you want to make sure that your kids will listen to you to make sure that they are kept safe.
Finally, you’ll want to be sure that kids have safety gear.
Having the right gear for them will help to keep them safe when in the water, and that is key.
3. Can Toddlers Snorkel?
In most cases, people will recommend that you do not try to snorkel with children younger than five years old.
Many boats that do snorkeling adventures in popular vacation spots will not allow children under the age of four on the boat or in the water at the snorkeling locations, but there will always be exceptions.
The key point, though, is that you need to be familiar with your own child and their skills.
Some children grow up in and around the water, and that makes them very comfortable with it.
If your child has advanced motor skills for their age and they are comfortable in the water, you might be able to start teaching them how to snorkel as a toddler.
If you do this, you should only have them snorkel with you at their side, watching over them to ensure their safety.
Every child is different; analyze your child’s skills in the water to make this choice.
4. How Do You Snorkel for Kids?
When you first get the idea to go snorkeling with your children, you might be very unsure about how to get started and what is the best way to snorkel together.
The key is that you should make sure your child can swim and is comfortable in the water.
From there, you will want to introduce them to snorkeling gear and teach them how to use it.
When it’s time to snorkel, choose a spot with interesting underwater scenery where they can still stand.
While your child can choose to swim around if they want to, the comfort of being able to reach the ground and stand will reduce the risk of them becoming scared or stressed.
Over time and as they grow more comfortable, you can venture into deeper areas to see other exciting things.
The process of learning to snorkel takes time, even for adults, so keep sessions brief to ensure their safety.
Finally, make sure that your children have wetsuits on if the waters aren’t warm enough and sunscreen to protect them from the sun’s rays while snorkeling.
5. How Long Can You Stay Underwater Snorkeling?
If your face is in the water, but the snorkel is still out of the water, you can keep your face in the water for prolonged periods because you can still breathe.
Depending on which type of snorkel you have, this might last even longer because dry snorkels, for instance, prevent water from waves from getting in the snorkel, which could cause you to need to surface.
If you can hold your breath, you will be able to stay underwater for as long as you can hold your breath.
This will be easiest with dry snorkels since they prevent water from getting into the snorkel, and most people can stay under for about two minutes at the most when using this technique.
If you have a semi-dry or standard J-type snorkel, it will be harder to be fully submerged because the water will come down through the snorkel.
This can make it uncomfortable to try to hold your breath.
Many snorkelers train to increase their lung capacity so that they can stay under for a long time, but most will surface frequently or remain at the water level so that they can breathe through their snorkel continuously.
There are many great options when it comes to selecting the best snorkel gear for kids, but you will want to make sure that you take time to choose out the very top option so that your kids can have a safe, fun experience.
All of these three snorkel sets fit that list, but among them, we have found that the Cressi Junior Snorkeling Kit is the best option among the top picks of 2020.
This set has a good variety of both color and size options, and it also is made to be more durable than other similar options.
If you don’t like that set, our next recommendation would be the Head by Mares Italian Collection Kids Snorkeling Gear.
It also has a great variety of color and size options, and it even comes with an adorable bag that your kids will be happy and excited to carry around.
Get your child a high-quality snorkel set, and you can have a great time out seeing the underwater world together!