When yachting in Phuket with children and young people you have to prepare for every eventuality. The weather may turn and you may be stuck inside, or in the brilliant warm sunshine you may find little ones getting a little bored. This is why you need a selection of the best on and off deck toys for your young ones to pick up whenever boredom strikes. Catamarans are fantastic for children because there is a large amount of deck space.
So for on deck you have your traditional board games. Uno, scrabble, monopoly, etc. whatever takes their fancy. These are great for family time too when yachting, but can also be a tool to keep the little ones amused for a few hours. Cards and Yahtzee are also great to have handy – being small and compact they are perfect for the confined space of a boat. Splash is a card game with fun facts about sea life – so worth checking out.
Bath toys also work on board a boat. There are great mock fishing kits that you can get for the under-fives who may wish to feel involved if the adults are partaking in a spot of fishing. Things like soft toys which absorb the water or are water resistant are also great fun for the little ones.
Books are also massively under-rated. There are so many fantastic novels that are based on the sea – pirates and adventurers galore will have the kids’ minds running wild with possibilities whilst on board your yacht. As well as novels you can ensure the boat is well stocked with factual books about the nature around them, the waters which they are travelling on, and wildlife both below and above water. Kids love animals, and love learning about their new surroundings. Failing that there is always the good old activity book filled with puzzles and word games which is another easy little pocket activity. The ‘Little Skipper Boating Guide’ is a mixture of fact, fiction and fun for little ones to get to grips with being on a boat.
You must also bear in mind that the children will also want things to do when on land on a stopover. Here the board games and the books may also come in handy if you are in a restaurant or such like. But if you are venturing outdoors you may want to think of some more physically active toys to pack like a bucket and spade, or a kid friendly camera, maybe even a helicopter or something remote controlled they can play with. Water filled toys such as nerf guns, animal shaped water squirters, and the like will also be a favourite with the smaller ones aboard. Although they may not be the adults’ favourites. Kids love splashing about, and it will be something that is on their mind when surrounded on all sides by the tempting water. So toys such as these are a safe way for them to enjoy playing with the wet stuff.
For the really little ones, hand puppets are a great idea. You could get pirates, and sailors, and seagulls and act out scenarios for them to teach them about safety on the water, and what to do in any number of scenarios. These again, are reasonably small toys and so will not take up much of that precious room on board your yacht.
As well as the above on board options, there are of course an impressive array of off board toys for you to consider. As well as the adrenaline inducing extravagance of big boy toys such as jet skis, lampugas, reed surfers, jet packs and flyboards which may be a great option for the adults and young adults on board, there are options for the smaller sailors among your crew.
Remote control toy boats are often a favourite with smaller sailors as it gives them a sense of inclusion and responsibility on board the vessel. Drones are also increasingly popular with younger users, with adult supervision and now there are a number of models which are used for selfies which come back to the person using it automatically – great for kids.
As well as the tech side of off board water toys there are the more traditional options such as inflatables. Now you can get inflatable paddleboards, and surfboards as well as the more common donut rings and lilos. There of course are also inflatable toys such as whole inflatable band gear sets with guitars and drums and trumpets. Thing about getting an inflatable ball or two as well, and research the kind of games you can play with them on and off deck before setting off on your journey.
There is absolutely no reason for even the smallest of shipmates to be bored on board. With good planning, simple ideas, and a positive energy there is plenty that can be done to keep the little ones amused, and plenty of deck toys and water toys out there to help you on your way.
Photo credit: richpotpourri.com, tripadvisor.com, aliexpress.com