During the long, hot days of summer parents often face the dilemma of finding activities for their children that are both entertaining and educational. Often what the kids want is not what the parents want for them.
Week-long courses for kids between the ages of six and twelve has become very popular with both kids and their parents. Every aspect of snorkeling is covered, from choosing the proper equipment for each individual to learning how to snorkel down to the oceans reefs to observe fish. A vast range of ocean-related topics and activities is also included, with lessons adapted to the age level of each student. A snorkeling textbook developed by the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) is provided for each student.
Each session begins with an introduction to the ocean and lessons on oceanography (tides, currents, etc.), the water cycle and how all of us are connected to the ocean through our need for water. Marine biology topics include the food chain, fish identification, and the ever-popular lesson on dangerous animals. Word games, puzzles, videos and other activities reinforce each days lessons.
Safety procedures and simple first aid techniques are also covered in the classroom. Environmental issues are addressed so that students learn to take responsibility to help protect and preserve our oceans. A lesson on snorkeling skills closes out the daily classroom session, then the students head to the pool to practice what they have learned.
The daily pool session is designed to teach students snorkeling skills a step at a time. After mastering mask clears, they will learn different types of snorkel clears, fin kicks, entries into the water, and surface dives. Basic concepts of scuba such as pressurization and equalization will be introduced. The pool sessions are wrapped up with games and activities using the students new skills.
Students will help in planning a Beach Day for later in the summer. On this day the entire family is invited to go to Laguna Beach so that children may demonstrate their skills in the ocean. In addition to snorkeling, they will learn about tide pools while observing the marine life first-hand.
An Advanced Snorkeling course is available for children who successfully complete the basic snorkeling program. Students will delve further into oceanography, marine biology and its delicate eco-system. They will learn more challenging snorkeling skills in the water and experience a brief introduction to scuba.