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Old 12-08-2012, 19:28   #1
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Ways to Engage Two Young Children ?

My kids are 2.5 and 6.5; both boys. We are about to take out 37' boat from Maine to NC. close quarters are fine; we all sleep together on land and the adjustment at sea is to being too FAR apart, not the other way around. Plus, she's roomy for her waterline.

My worries involve keeping everyone engaged and happy on a cruise like this. The little one is too small for board games, and the big one is too small for patience how do I rock this in such a way that my children DON'T say "no freaking way am I living on that thing with you all winter!"?

Sarah
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Old 12-08-2012, 19:39   #2
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Re: Ways to engage two young children?

Not sure about the youg one... but when I've had grandkids aboard for 1-2 weeks. We had a knot tying learning session, and boat nomenclature session (port, stbd, halyard etc) each day. at the end if they could tie the knots, they got a printed "seamanship" certificate! They all got a cert of course!
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Old 12-08-2012, 19:42   #3
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Cute! I've got lots of science in mind, and pinwheels, bubbles, kites, fishing, and nets. Hadn't thought of knots!
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Old 12-08-2012, 19:47   #4
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Re: Ways to engage two young children?

I like this sentiment - For you it is about the journey. For them it is about the destination. Someone told me that about my flying (which they weren't enjoying too much) and I started making the legs shorter and the downtime longer.

So - Under way I don't see it any differently than a wintery/rainy week. Whatever you do when everyone is housebound is what you do.

But the difference is make sure you have plenty of shore time between journey's. I just love seeing people explore a beach with their kids. Getting them to slow down and see the marine life in the tiniest of pools. Collecting crabs and making a little aquarium - not to long before release.

My recolection of the East coast towns was many were steeped in nautical (whaling) traditions and there are little museums and all kinds of things to explore.

And finally - When we got the boat I installed twin DVD players - one in salon and one in v-berth. You'd like to think your kids will get disconnected from tv but in reality it's 2012, ain't gonna happen...

Amazon.com: RCA DRC6272 Twin Mobile DVD Players - play two different DVDs!: Electronics

We wore out my little pony with the 4 year old. The advantage of 2 is they can watch different things.

If you can assure decent wifi connectivity you can use an iPad and iTunes. Loading up rentals when you have access and viewing them under way.

As for activities under way...

- Learn macrame
- Collect shells and make jewelry
- knot tying and rope work


Maybe others can add their own with a nautical theme.
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Old 12-08-2012, 21:09   #5
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Re: Ways to engage two young children?

The young one, bring along coloring books, crayons, some toys. The older one video games (gameboy)

The older boy is old enough to teach simple navigation. Start him out as "lookout" reporting other boats, ships, etc to the skipper. Let him use the binoculars and identify buoys by color and number, and pick out landmarks, like lighthouses, towers ashore, and so on. Teach him to locate them on the chart. You might even let him take bearings.

This is helping him learn numbers, and letters, and to read. Plus he will feel useful and helpful.
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Old 12-08-2012, 21:48   #6
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Re: Ways to engage two young children?

I'm sorry, but in western society arranged marriages are rather frowned upon especially when the betrothed are not even close to the age of consent.

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Old 12-08-2012, 22:56   #7
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Re: Ways to engage two young children?

We have a two year old onboard; she was raised on the boat. Her favorite things include going out on the paddleboard, playing in the cockpit with the winches, and futzing around with my tools and various boat items.

Every kid we know loves coming down to the boat, especially boys. My little girl:

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Old 13-08-2012, 06:49   #8
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Very helpful! My kids were not raised living on board; just day sailing. One likes to be out, one to get home. I think I will go for the Nintendo dsi and get a netbook, as the ipad is committed to navigation under way. Lots of shore time is a good idea; my husband and I were already talking about keeping water time flexible. Once we get there, we'll be coming home before returning to live at the marina for the winter.
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Old 13-08-2012, 07:14   #9
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Re: Ways to engage two young children?

What about fishing???

My youngest loved playing with the fish, Actually he spent most of his time playing with the bait.

But he could occupy himself for hours by flinging the the "hook", (when he was really young to prevent accidents I removed the hook, and just tied on a bobber, or a piece of bait, or a lure with the hooks removed).

Sometimes he would catch a minnow that wouldn't let go.

A piece of chicken on a string would bring in a crab;... that, he really found exciting, and gave mom something to eat for lunch. He and that crab would go tow to toe for hours until the poor thing finally expired, and ended up in the pot.

Feeding the birds was another fun pastime,....but get the washdown hose handy.

I severely limit electronic entertainment on the boat, unless for a really long trip. Once they get in the habit, it is hard to break.
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Old 13-08-2012, 09:02   #10
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Yes, oldest likes to fish and e are getting the younger child a rod, too. I know opinions differ on electronics; that's true on land as well as on sea! My older child LOVES computer, younger doesn't much care, so I try to have lots of options.
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Old 13-08-2012, 10:03   #11
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Yep, no electronics for us really either. My wife and I have our laptops and tablets (and Kindles), but the kiddo has none of that. She just recently, at age 2, got a kid's digital camera which I'm okay with because it's a tool for interacting with the rest of the world not something that allows you to dodge it.

Most kids, if exposed to a Sony PSP would rather play that then get splashed by waves on a paddleboard getting a little cold. Boat stuff tends to be less about immediate satisfaction and more about things you get via accomplishment. It's one reason I'm proud my daughter is growing up on the waterfront.
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Old 13-08-2012, 10:13   #12
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Re: Ways to engage two young children?

Our children were a little older when my wife and I took them on a year-long cruise that included two 2,600+ mile blue-water passages. We did not take any video games and we severely limited the amount of TV they could watch (since our video library was limited at best, this was almost self-regulating as they got bored with watching the same things over and over - we could almost never receive broadcasts from any shore-side stations).

What they did learn to love was reading (I realize that your children have limited reading skills currently) even more they loved having someone read to them. My wife and I would read aloud for hours and sometimes when we got tired of it, we'd ask them if they rather watch a video or have us read aloud more - they always wanted us to read more.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised at how inventive they became at finding things to entertain themselves. They especially loved to play with the dinghy but your children are too young to do that without very close supervision.

We found that cruising with our children gave them a lifetime of benefits much too long to begin to list here. Needless to say, it was defining for us as a family and now that they're adults, they talk about their cruising experiences fondly still.

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Old 13-08-2012, 11:43   #13
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We don't have any bluewater passages planned yet, although that's the goal. Kids are amazing, aren't they? I love the way they find themselves in the activities they choose. When we are not underway, they do like dinghy games. I'm looking forward to getting some safety netting and harnesses for them, so that our activities topside are not so anxiety-produing! The little one gets a touch sea-sick in the swell, unfortunately, but I know that sometimes kids grow out of motion sickness. I roll in the minority on computer stuff; options, rather than restrictions, work better for our family. I am excited to meet all these liveaboard families and seeing different approaches and lifestyles!
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Old 13-08-2012, 11:57   #14
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Re: Ways to Engage Two Young Children ?

teach them to sail. i was 7 and learned on a 36 ft gaff rigged sloop on hudson river--was FUN....and they will feel a part of the trip instead of put out by HAVING to be there and be bored.
i raised my son alone and sans help. is a challenge to keep them interested in things on shore--in a boat isnt hard at all--they love it.
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Old 13-08-2012, 12:25   #15
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Re: Ways to Engage Two Young Children ?

Thinking back to being a child on board I remember that my favorite past times were working with my Grandfather.

By six or seven I was, sometimes with some mild supervision;

Sanding and varnishing and painting.
Polishing metal
Cleaning the ports.
Handing tools when needed. Which I guess means he had taught me what they were.
Holding stuff when needed ; -)
Fixing snacks and lunch in the galley
Fishing, I LOVED that...
Steering (close supervision on that one until 8 or 9...)
Anything that made me feel like I was helping.

I would add to that now; learning on a handheld GPS unit would be well with in the skills of a 7 year old. Along with that charting and logging. Keeping his own log would be a good exercise in a lot of ways.

Learning and practicing knots was an excellent suggestion.

A small ocean kayak he could paddle around might be attractive as well. My daughter fell in love with kayaking about that age.

The little one is easy. Tie him to the boat so he can't fall off, give him galley bowls and cups and a bucket of water in the cockpit and he'll be busy for hours.

Have a wonderful trip ; -)
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