Kayak Games for Kids

kayak games for kids

Setting up kayak games for kids to play will build the basics of kayaking in a fun way. They are even suitable for beginning kayakers of all ages.

The objective is to build confidence and learn to balance the kayak.
1. Sit on the back of the kayak with legs out on either side. Lean out on either side while paddling around.
2. Sit on the back of the kayak with your feet on the seat. Lean out on either side while paddling around.

Rock, paper, scissors with farm animals

The objective is to learn to go forward, back, make speed changes, and how to splash.

Here are your animals.
1-Chicken cluck
2-Cat meow
3-Dog bark
4-Horse whinny
5-Pig snort

Everyone starts on animal one and paddles around, clucking like a chicken. When you meet another kayaker in your group, play rock, paper, scissors. The person who wins gets to move to the next animal.

Find another paddler making the same sound and play rock, paper, scissors. Continue until all of the animal sounds are complete.

With each round, you are looking for the kayaker making the same sound, and you will play rock, paper, scissors until everyone is at the last animal on the list.

No winners or losers; people are just improving their kayak skills in a fun way.

Re-entering the kayak

When kayaking, there will be times when you will be in the water and need to get back into your kayak. This skill needs to be practiced, so you are comfortable. Learn how to do this for yourself and help others get back into their kayaks. Setting up kayak games for kids to help with this topic is very important.

These skills help develop balance, water confidence, rescue techniques for yourself and others.

Skills to learn:
1-Sitting in your kayak
2-Sitting on the back of your kayak
3-Kneeling in your kayak
4-Lying across your kayak lengthwise and widthwise
5-Standing up in your kayak

Move from task to task using rock, paper, scissors with the other participants and move through each level. Each level helps you practice your balance. If you fall into the water, get back into your kayak and continue.

Changing the paddling pace

Pace one-paddle at a slow speed
Pace two-increase paddling speed but not as fast as a sprint
Pace three-paddle as fast as you can

Have someone in the group shout out the pace, so you have to change your paddling speed frequently. Learning each pace level will allow you to gain strength and become familiar with the stroke needed to achieve each pace.

Find Your Rhythm

Paddle around in a circle as fast as you can. This provides exercise for arms and legs and helps find a paddling rhythm.

Kayak Basketball

Have two teams using a double kayak.

Take the triangle form from the Game Hiboom Floaty Pool Pong Game and place it on one side of the kayak. See how far you can reach to throw one of the balls from the game into the foam circles. Leaning helps with balance.

Kayak Ball

Use the colored balls from this game and aim them at the cockpit of your other player’s kayak. There are ten balls in the set, so each person gets five balls. The winner is the first to get the balls into the other person’s cockpit. You will learn how far you can lean before your kayak begins to tip. You want to stop short of turning your kayak over and landing in the water.

Fishing Net with Telescoping Handle Collection – Collapsible and Adjustable Landing Net with Corrosion Resistant Handle and Carry Bag by Wakeman Outdoors
Use a fishing net with an extension handle to collect balls that miss the kayak and get into the water.

Stohlquist Waterware Child PFD Life Jacket – Yellow + Blue, 30-50 lbs – Coast Guard Approved Life Vest for Kids, Support Collar, Grab Handle, Fully Adjustable with Quick Release Buckle

Each person in your group must be wearing a PFD (personal flotation device). One of your activities can be to learn how to put on the PDF correctly.

Other kayak games for kids you can play while kayaking are:

  • learning how to change positions in the kayak and not fall out
  • Throwing your balls to hit another kayak
  • Learning how to paddle in a circle
  • Flipping out of your kayak (on purpose), getting your kayak turned upright, and getting back into your kayak.
  • If you have different colored balls, use one color per team. Have team members take the other team’s balls out of the water.

Kayak Frisbee

If you played with a Frisbee on land, you can use some of the techniques you would use and apply them to the water. Determine an area and distance, decide if points are lost if the Frisbee goes into the water and how long the Frisbee can stay in a player’s kayak. Get a different color set for each team.
Activ Life Kid’s Flying Rings [2 Pack] Fly Straight & Don’t Hurt – 80% Lighter Than Standard Flying Discs – Replace Screen Time with Healthy Family Fun – Get Outside & Play! Made in USA

I Spy

Make a list of the possible animals, birds, fish, trees, or rocks. See who can complete the list first.


Have two people per kayak. Let each one stand at opposite ends. The object is to bob, rock, or wiggle enough to get the other person to land in the water.

Learn balance

How to fall into the water correctly
How to get back into the kayak once someone is in the water