What a River Trip Can Teach Kids

River trips are a lot of fun, but for kids, they can be super educational, too. Take kids down the river and they’ll come away with a wealth of knowledge sure to serve them well as they grow.


It takes a team to get a raft loaded into a river and ready to head downstream. Once afloat, it takes a team to steer a raft through rapids and around rocks. If you’re doing an overnight trip, it takes everyone coming together to set up camp and cook. On the off chance your boat gets stuck, teamwork kicks into high gear in order to get free. When you think about it, rafting is a master class on teamwork and a super fun way to teach your kids how important it is.

Love of the Outdoors

Rafting takes playing outside to a whole new level. In a river’s pristine outdoors, kids experience the pure joy and excitement of splashing through whitewater on a little rubber raft. They might see wildlife or the Milky Way, igniting a wonder and appreciation of nature and turning them into future stewards of the environment.


Test your kids’ abilities on a raft trip. While they might be timid and nervous to start, a day on the river and trying new things is powerful at boosting confidence levels.


Teach your children a bit about history or let your river guides teach them. Each river has a tale to be told and your local river guide will know all about it. Let your kids connect with history and explore it hands-on from the sight. This is sure to intrigue them a lot more than a trip to the library or even to a museum.

A Whole New, “Cool” Vocabulary

Guides use tons of special words to communicate with each other on a river trip.  Some new vocabulary your kids might learn include “Chickie Pail,” which is a metal bucket guides use to gather water and wash dishes.  “PFDs” are personal flotation devices, or life jackets. A “duckie” is an affectionate nickname for an inflatable kayak. “Sand stake” is a metal post used to secure the rafts and dories to the sandy shores. Oh, and we couldn’t leave out “groover.”  That’s likely the first one your kids will pick up on…it’s the bathroom.

If you and your kids Leave No Trace and Care for Colorado, your kids’ grandkids’ will be able to enjoy the EXACT same rafting trip that you do.  Learn how.