The start of a new year means a clean slate: 365 days to explore more harbors, marinas, and boating events. If your resolution includes...
Below we've gathered a list of fun boating activities and games that you can play with your whole family to get them psyched about getting back on the water.
Pirate Ship Forts
Play pretend and build a pirate ship fort with pillows, cushions, and blankets.
Use a broom, old spinnaker pole, mooring hook, or something similar, as a make-shift mast, and tie or tape an old sheet around it to make the sail.
Pretend the ground is a roaring sea (instead of lava) and use stuffed animals as additional pirate crew members or creatures in the water.
Get dressed up by tying a bandana or old t-shirts around your head/face. Black or striped shirts/pants help complete the pirate look. If you're feeling adventurous, face paint or eyeliner is great for drawing temporary pirate tattoos.
Draw a treasure map, marking spots around the house where your pirate sailor can navigate to by hopping from cushion to another.
Buried treasure can be a
list of things! From their favorite sweet treat, to their favorite toy, the possibilities are endless when you're playing pretend.
Port and Starboard Obstacle Course
As a former junior sailing instructor, this was one of our go-to games when we couldn't get out on the water. Make practicing your port and starboard a little more challengin
g and fun by creating an obstacle course!
Use the biggest room in your house or play in your yard. Disorganize all the furniture in the room. Place cushions randomly on the floor, turn chairs upside down – just make sure there is no clear path from one end of the room to the other.
Find a partner, this is a two player game!
One person wears a blindfold while the other partner directs their blindfolded friend through the obstacle course by only using "port," "starboard," and "stop," voice commands. Keep in mind you cannot touch your partner to guide them through the course! Try something like, "Take two steps to your port and then stop."
Start the timer. For every obstacle that you run into, add 5 seconds to the final time. Whoever gets through the course the fastest, wins!
Knot Tying Relay
Put your knot tying skills to the test! This game is great for the whole family to get involved.
Everyone playing sits in a circle.
Make teams of two or more. One rope is given to each team.
Determine who on the team is going first, second, etc.
Decide a knot for each round of the game.
At the signal, the first player runs around the circle and returns to their place. They must then tie the knot correctly. After, the player passes the rope to their teammate on their left, who must untie the knot before starting around the circle. Each player takes a turn until the rope has come back to the number one player and she has untied the knot.
Legos are a great way to allow your kids some creative freedom. Task them with designing a new boat and see where it takes them. Plus, Lego just reissued its best pirate set of all time. As shared by Gizmodo:
...Black Seas Barracuda is the crown jewel of Lego’s original Pirates line that’s oft considered one of the best sets of all time. Thirty years later, the toymaker is finally reviving the ship with a new Pirates set inspired by a Lego fan’s creation. The Pirates of Barracuda Bay playset puts a unique twist on the ship, allowing fans to build a 2,545-piece shipwreck island where the Barracuda has presumably run aground, stranding its crew and forcing them to cannibalize the boat to build living quarters, a food and supply dock, and what appears to be one impressively fun jungle gym.
Even without this fancy pirate ship set (even if price isn't a factor, delayed delivery times might be), legos, building blocks, paper and straws, or pipecleaners and paper towels, are all fun ways to start building an at-home armada.
Boating Books and Movies
Check out our round-up of family-friendly flicks in our Top Boating and Sailing Movies blog post. We also pulled together a list of Boating-related children's books, which offers a great alternative when it's time put the screens down.
Play boating Jeopardy online or at home. If you have whiteboard markers, draw a traditional Jeopardy board on a whiteboard or your windows. You can also build your own Jeopardy game online for free with Factile., using categories like Parts of the Boat, Weather, Racing Rules, Signal Flags, Navigation and Knot Tying.
Have ideas for indoor boating fun-for-all-ages you'd like to share with your fellow boating parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and big brothers and sisters? Email me at email@example.com!
Be sure to check out our other blog posts to get an inside look at our favorite destinations, marinas, liveaboards, and tips for boaters. Join the conversation on Flipboard, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Rely on Dockwa to book your next slip or mooring and plan your next adventure.