When your kids aren't splashing around in the water, they're probably lazing in front of the TV or listening to their iPods. Fed up with the tube-and-tunes routine? Encourage them to—gasp!—play a board game. Deep Sea-Opoly ($24.95) is Monopoly with a twist: Players buy bodies of water, catch big fish, and duke it out over the fighting chair. As kids play, they can flip over their deeds to get fishing tips and learn fun facts about marine life. Deep Sea-Opoly is for kids ages eight and up.
Late for the Sky
It's difficult to get kids excited about life at sea if they're suffering from the dreaded mal de mer, but children can be particularly sensitive to the effects of over-the-counter remedies. Sea-Bands ($7.99) are a good drug-free option. These soft, elasticized wristbands have a plastic stud that rests on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on the inner wrist. Applying pressure to this spot reportedly combats both nausea and dizziness. Sea-Bands for kids come in bold designs and can be tossed into the wash up to five times before they begin to lose their elasticity.
If you're the parent or grandparent of a child under the age of seven, it's likely that you know who lives in a pineapple under the sea. SpongeBob SquarePants, the cartoon sponge, is wildly popular with kids, which is why Zebco teamed up with Nickelodeon to create a line of SpongeBob rod-and-reel combos. These kid-size setups retail for around $15, have soft handles, and come with fish-shape casting plugs for practicing casts. And they float! Don't fret if your little one's tastes lie elsewhere: Zebco offers Dora the Explorer reels, too.
It's never too early to start building up that boating vocabulary. Nicholas Agro, the author of My First Picture Book of Boating Words ($9.95), is an avid mariner who believes just that. He used the book to teach his own son boat jargon. "When he first started speaking," Agro has said, "he already had a boating vocabulary!" The 24-page book features vibrant color photographs of important marine objects that are accompanied by their names. Why shouldn't "dinghy" and "nun buoy" be among your kid's first words?
Little Harbor Publishing
This article originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.