Boating With Kids::Kids on the Puget Sound

Last spring Kellen went from perusing the boaters classified section of Craigslist to a serious buyer- faster than we maybe expected, but just in time for Memorial Day weekend and a kickoff to what would be an epic and amazing summer cruising the puget sound on a (new to us) boat.

Of course as Kellen’s main focus was getting together his fishing gear, I, on the other hand, had one thing in mind: how are we going to keep these kids entertained in a space with less square feet than one of their bedrooms?

Kellen and I wanted to spend many evenings relaxing on the boat, and luckily, we figured out pretty quickly it was one of the best ways to fit in family time with an activity we all could enjoy.

As entertainment goes, just being on the boat seems to keep our kids occupied in itself. They have fun helping dad “drive,” to dipping their toes in the puget sound, to helping mom BBQ and serve dinner right on the bow. For those times they get antsy, we lay on the small padded bow area together, snuggle under blankets, and read.

It’s pretty simple really. Boating has proved to be one adventure where we don’t need to pack much to have a really amazing time. That’s kind of the beauty of it!

But just in case you’re interested to know what is our *go tos* for cruising the sound, here are a few things I tend to pack every time we head out!

-A small cooler like this one is helpful to carry our dinner! A typical dinner for us on the boat is some kind of meat (steak, chicken, pork) and a bagged salad. I find the bagged salads the most convenient as a quick side dish for taking in the cooler. Sometimes I’ll grab another noodle dish from the deli or pack some precooked noodles from home (pesto is our favorite sauce!)

-a small propane bbq for cooking. We keep ours on the boat during the summer (careful not to leave propane canisters as they can explode if left in the heat).

-a lightweight set of dishes for serving. I’m actually still looking for the perfect set, but I’ve been eyeing these ones here. Along those same lines, these glasses are also on my wish list because nothing is better than enjoying a glass of wine while watching the sunset over Mt. Rainier from the water

-our “boat bin” (a big plastic Rubbermaid tub) which we always grab for the boat contains essentials like water, bags for garbage, paper towels, sunscreen, layers of extra clothes and a few good books for entertainment. I also like packing flash cards for the kids so we can work on reading skills while we’re cruising. Card games are also fun and lightweight, just have to make sure they get packed before dad hits the gas 😂

-lightweight sleeping bags. Ok, this might seem a little crazy, and we haven’t been adventurous enough to actually sleep on the boat over night, but boats are COLD sometimes and honestly nothing keeps me more warm than a good jacket and a down sleeping bag on the bottom. As long as we’re sitting, sleeping bags can get pulled up over our legs and torso and keep us toasty warm when the boat temps drop!

Other than that, we try to keep a pretty light load since we’re walking from our parked car and down to the dock! We keep the kids lifejackets in our truck and have them wear them all the way down, that way we never have to worry when they are around the water.

We are counting down the days to summer 2018 for more boating adventures!

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