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The Norfolk Broads Forum / First Time on the Broads / First time taking my child to Norfolk
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Posted By Discussion Topic: First time taking my child to Norfolk

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mrsbimball
Feb-15-2015 @ 2:33 PM                           Permalink
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Hi, am new to the forum and was wondering if some of you lovely people had any tips on Boating with a 4yr old.
i myself have enjoyed many family holidays on the broads over the years but this will be the first time myself and my husband have taken our son, im very much looking forward to showing him how beautiful norfolk is but also a little nervous on how hes going to manage on a boat for a week boat-sail

Paladine
Feb-15-2015 @ 3:55 PM                           Permalink
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Hi and welcome to the forum. Your post has had lots of views but no replies yet, so here goes. It's many years since I've had to keep a 4-yr-old entertained, but first in my mind comes safety. A well-fitted lifejacket is a must. Some children don't like them, but if they see Mum and Dad wearing them as well...

Play to his strengths, what does he like to do? Plenty of colouring books/videos/games for when he gets bored feeding the swans and ducks (or it might even rain!).

A bit of self-help here. Just to the right of the log in/out button there is a blue-bounded search button. Click on this and do a search for the keyword 'child' and set the time as 'any time' and ask for posts, and you'll see lots of results which will give you more ideas than I've got for keeping him entertained, both on and off the boat.



“I can assure the House that the Broads will not be changing their name.”
(The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs...Hansard 2007)

FishersHaven
Feb-15-2015 @ 4:24 PM                           Permalink
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Its a great holiday for a child,  ours were endlessly fascinated by the ducks and never tired of feeding them. If you could tow a dinghy then that gives a close up view of the water and banks and the fun of learning to row. The girls particularly loved 'wild' mooring with the possibilty of waking up to find a row of cows peering in the windows, making teepees and eating meals in them (or on occasion losing the meals to cheeky ducks).
Places like Salhouse Broad were favourites for paddling.
Please watch when he is on deck, we have seen children playing alone on the stern or even using the curved roof as a slide when the parents would not know if they dropped off.
Oh yes, wellies, fishing nets and lots of gear to get muddy in if the weather is damp.

We love the Broads

mrsbimball
Feb-15-2015 @ 5:57 PM                           Permalink
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Thank you for your replies, and yes I agree with you both safety is our number one priority, we have already started showing him pictures of the broads and people in buoyancy aids and telling him how we will all be wearing one, we are going in april so will have plenty of wet weather clothes and activities just incase but I also like the idea of maybe geting him a small net on a pole to mess around with as fishing season will be closed,I havnt been to Norfolk since 2009 I really am looking forward to showing him how beautiful the Norfolk broads are.  

Trevor
Feb-15-2015 @ 6:43 PM                           Permalink
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Yes it is great for children. Our started when they were very young. Now they are 32 & 35 and still love it. We used to play an I spy game where we pick something each day and the child says when they see one, our grandchildren like to play kurplunk and uno now and they normally win as well.

Trevor & Deirdre

woodwose
Feb-15-2015 @ 10:43 PM                           Permalink
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Are you going North or South?

My advice is to stop and get off the boat as much as possible. There are lots of interesting places to explore. My grandchildren enjoy geocaching and there are lots of good ones in the Broads area which get you out and about with a purpose. Many villages have playgrounds for children. Do a search of the forum for this information.

Hope this helps.

Nigel

Maffman100
Feb-16-2015 @ 2:06 PM                           Permalink
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On top of what's already been said I would say it is worth planning
some of the boat activities as well. We have been taking our 7 year
old since he was 3 months old and he is now joined by a 3 year old
so we are well aware of the cabin fever that can set in!

Ranworth has a nice nature place to explore as does the river
opposite Salhouse. A 20 min walk from Gayes Staithe brings you to
another. Playgrounds of the top of my head are cotishall, Horning
and thurne dyke. The pub in Ludham (Womack water) and Acle
bridge are well equipped for children. Personally I would not rush to
book a dinghy-assuming you are outside of school holidays-you
might want to the check the weather as best you can before booking!
Great in the sunshine-not so great in the rain

There often some good events on which are worth a look:
Enjoy the
broads


Matt

Thunder syndicate-
http://flic.kr/g/fMF1K


This message was edited by Maffman100 on Feb-17-15 @ 5:48 PM

mrsbimball
Feb-16-2015 @ 11:36 PM                           Permalink
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Many thanks for all your suggestions and replies, we are visiting the northern part of the broads starting of at Stalham, we have been thinking of different activities to do eith him both on and off the boat and I must say some of your suggestions have definitely made the list ;-) one thing that has been planned is a visit to the Bure valley railway as my dad is also coming with us and trains dont really interest me its a boys day out Smile  
7 weeks to go and I really can't wait Smile

LINCAN
Feb-17-2015 @ 1:01 PM                           Permalink
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Blimey Maffman100, you started your family young!!

Coriolis
Feb-17-2015 @ 5:58 PM                           Permalink
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Hi MrsB, and welcome; hope y'all have a great time Smile

Reading through this thread I can only agree with everything but especially with Paladine's safety-first theme....for big kids as well as little ones

I slightly mis-read Fishers Haven's post and at first thought he'd suggested the dinghy be towed with junior on board....I've realised my error but nonetheless thought I say it's not a good idea.

A dinghy is the greatest way to introduce youngsters as it gives them a bit of independence (even if Mum's aboard at the same time!), but (even though we've mostly all done it) I wouldn't recommend anyone in the dinghy while under tow....you do see it about, but consider the consequences if something upsets the boat or an overboard happens (and anyway the Rangers will probably have something to say too).

Once upon a time we'd put some distance between ourselves and the irritating squawker by using a towline (up to 100 yards if he/she was really loud!) but that's not considered good form in 2015.

On the other hand, if you get a dinghy with sails, 4 is about the right time to introduce sailing and a lifetime of fun awaits Smile   He will show you how in about 10 minutes even if you don't know - just get out and do it

Have a fab trip..

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