My family will go to St. Thomas and St John next week. My daughter, who is only 6 years old, would like to try "snorkeling". But she is not a good swimmer. All she can do is to put her face under the water and hope to see some fishes or reefs. We have purchased snorkel for her already.
Does anyone know where I can find a beach that is suitable for little kid to snorkel?
By the way, is there any natural store, such as whole foods, in St Thomas or St John? Thanks a lot!
On STT : Coki beach
STJ : Hawknest, Cinnamon
Bring crackers to feed fishes and they will come. A plastic page with pictures of local fishes and their names would be a great learning experience for the little one.
Have a great trip.
DO NOT FEED THE FISH! Any enviromentalist will tell you the same. I believe you can see fish at Coki without going out very far.
Life is a beach and I'm glad I've got mine.
ECHO! ECHO! PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE FISH! The fish, their environment and our fragile ecosystem thank you very much.
Pick up a float for your daughter and I'll bet she'll be swimming in no time. The Caribbean sea is very salty so very buoyant - the perfect medium for learning!
You need to go to Coki on a no-ship day, though, if you can. Or, at least no more than one. A friend went the other day, and said it was packed. You will often see the fish in the water just walking along the shore.
Secret Harbor is another good option. Aqua Action, the dive center there, offers programs specifically for kids.
Let us know how she likes snorkeling!
I'd like to reiterated, please do not feed the fish. One practical reason is that a swarm of fish will probably freak out your kid. She will see plenty of fish just floating with her face in the water. Also coral, sea grass, fans, etc.
Yes, as said before, DO NOT FEED THE FISH!!!!! Or stand on/touch the coral, or pull out the seagrass or squeeze the sea cucumbers
lol @ sea cucumber...reminds me of a joke.
A float or noodles will keep your daughter afloat. You can buy them in KMart.
Again, do not feed the fish, please.
Why shouldn't you feed the fish?
Why shouldn't you feed the fish?
thank you for sharing the information on not feeding the fish.
i have never tried to feed wild fishes before but it's good to know, in case i encounter someone who wants to do this.
best to you,
"do the best that you can in the place where you are, and be kind."
--- scott nearing
Thanks a lot for all the useful information. With you advices, I am sure my daughter will have a very good time....
Which beach is best for six year old to enjoy snorkeling?
On STT: Secret Harbour
On STJ: Fransis
The key to sucessful first time snorkeling is small steps. Trying something unfamialar in strange enviroment can be overwhelming for kids. Break the process into small steps, let her have fun, then add on something new.
Start before your trip. Encourage her wear just the mask (no snorkel, no fins)in the bath tub at home. Once you arrive on island play with her in the pool. Both of you put on masks and make a game of retrieving items from the pool's shallow end bottom. When at he beach start in the shallow water. Small steps. No drama.
Spend time with mask only. Little kids have trouble with the snorkel and fins. Once she's comfortable add on the snorkel then fins. or whatever SHE wants to try next.
Little kids may have difficulty maneuvering the noodles or floats. And if they panic and let go....not good. A better idea are "water wings", inflatables worn on the upper arms. (hint put on sun block, get wet, then slide on WWs) Remember water wings aren't a "life jacket" and you need to keep an eye on her. But water wings allow the kids to be in more natural and comfortable swimming position without having to hold onto oa cumbersome noodle. Again practice with WW in a comfortable enviroment before your trip and in the pool first--just like the mask.
Also, kids learn more from watching our example than from verbal instruction. Let her play. Have fun. Swimming and snorkeling open a whole new world for kids. So exciting to watch...
Purchase your equipment at home so she has time become acclimated. A trip to K-mart can eat up several hours of vacation time and you never know what they will/won't have in stock.
Personally, I wouldn't go to Cokki, kinda of a "party vibe", lots of people, drinking and smoking. Go someplace more laid back and kid friendly for her first time. Secret Harbour is much calmer both in and out of the water. Hawksnest has a steeper incline at the waters edge. Cinnimon can get a tiny bit rough. Salt Pond is good choice on St John, but you need to hike down, totally worth it IMO.
Nothing like "Whole Foods" or "Trader Joes" in the VI.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2012 11:49AM by blu4u.
blu4u, thanks for posting those excellent tips! I don't have kids, but I'm sure parents would find your tips very helpful. Good job!
You are very welcome. My babies are in college now. The fondest memories of their childhood are set in the VI. These experiences shaped their young lives and provide a life time memories for me. Trying new sports and adventure build kid's confidence and self esteem. Both my girls swim competitively for their respective school's collegiate teams. All those years of hassling with beach gear and sand EVERYWHERE paid off. Good god. I'm tearing-up....
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