Long Island, New York Scuba Diving

Our Long Island Scuba diving adventures and events

Monday, April 11, 2005

Getting Your Kids Into Diving

I took my 3yr old little girl down to the Port Jeff ferry dock today. It was a beautiful sunny day and we strolled out onto the boat dock and enjoyed the warm rays. Hand in hand we gazed at the beautiful calm water and peered over the edge to find we could see very clearly to the bottom which was close to 20 feet in some places. We both got a kick out of that. I swore I would be in the water ASAP and I told my daughter that daddy would be diving the next day. My daughter told me it was too cold. She paused and then as she looked into the water she said she wanted to go diving too. As you can imagine my heart melted. I told her she needed to grow up a bit and she replied she would go on a “baby dive”. I half laughed but then I thought to myself, “She is right”. Why can’t she go on a baby dive? Why shouldn’t I encourage her curiosity. Afterall, it’s what my father did for me.
Our walk had now brought us to the little fueling station at the end of the dock and I decided we should sit down out of the wind and let the sun really warm us up. The ferry happened to be pulling out and my little girl was pretty amazed by the enormous ship. As she watched the ferry I started to think of how I could get her to see underwater. Then it struck me. I remembered an old oysterbox my neighbor had given me. He is one of those original old timer Long islanders and they used to use these oysterboxes in the old days before dive masks were a convention. Essentially, an oysterbox is a four sided wooden box with a glass bottom that is sealed all around to keep water out. You use it by pushing the glass bottom under the water and then look down into the open end as you walk in waste deep water. The glass works just like a scuba mask and one can see very clearly to the bottom and into the water like peering into a fish tank. There is no reason a 3 year old could not look into the oysterbox and watch hermit crabs, minnows and pipe fish as they swim in the shallows on a summer day. In fact, I would call that one heck of a baby dive. I can’t wait to get her in the water this year as we will be adding yet another fun thing to do at the beach.
I guess the point of this was to talk about how to get your kids into diving. But amazingly, diving is just the extension of a curiosity of the natural world. If you can get your children to recognize and appreciate the natural wonders around them in a fun and relaxed way then they are sure to follow you to the next level.

2 Comments:

  • At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Matt,
    I am a strong believer that young kids should get into some kind of hobby starting young. Whether it be, playing a sport in school, or fishing or hunting. since we are on a scuba diving page, i should also mention scuba diving for kids is great. I feel no matter what your kids are into, it will make them well rounded and take aim to life.
    As a kid, my father got me hook on bow and rifle hunting for deer. Growing up, i picked up small game hunting and diving.
    Now that I have two daugthers and a nephew between 1 1/2 to three years old. I just want to make a point, lets get our kids into something. take them out, to the beach, to the park. I feel as parents we can open the door.
    My daughter is 2 and is already chattering about hunting. when i am setting up my dive gear she chatters " I wanna go diving." its cute, but it feels good.
    thanks for your time

    SAR Boy

     
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