Kid's and diving

With their natural curiosity and affinity to learn new skills, children can make some of the best scuba divers. If you need scuba diving lessons for kids information, here’s a quick overview of the programs available to young people and what age kids can learn to scuba dive.

When to start scuba diving lessons for kids

Bubblemaker & Seal Team Programs

A good way to determine if your child is ready for scuba diving in open water is to enroll them in the Bubblemaker or Seal Team program first. The Bubblemaker program is a one day experience program in a pool or confined water for children eight and older with a max depth of  two meters/ six feet. The Seal Team program is a more extensive pool program for kids eight and older that covers basic scuba diving skills in addition to fun activities such as taking underwater photos, practicing buoyancy and learning environmental awareness.

Junior Open Water Diver Course

PADI’s Junior Open Water Diver course is similar to the adult certification program and prepares kids to become full-fledged divers when they are of age. To begin the program, students must be at least 10 years old and be able to swim. Students as young as 10 years old can utilize our eLearning program Open Water Diver course online (minimum age requirements may be higher in some locations due to local laws and regulations).

To ensure that young divers don’t exceed their limits, the Junior Open Water certification comes with restrictions. Divers 10-11 years old must dive with a PADI Professional or a certified parent or guardian, and dives cannot exceed 12 meters/40 feet. Divers 12-14 years old must dive with a certified adult and dives cannot exceed 18 meters / 60 feet.

Junior Advanced Open Water, Junior Rescue & Junior Master Scuba Diver Courses

After receiving a junior open water certification, young divers twelve and older may continue to increase their experience and certification levels (see list below). In these courses, dives may reach a max depth of 21 meters / 70 feet.

  • Junior Advanced Open Water: Ages 12-14
  • Junior Rescue: Ages 12-14
  • Junior Master Scuba Diver: Ages 12-14

After the age of 15, depth and buddy restrictions default to those of a regular PADI Open Water Diver. Divers who were initially certified as a junior diver and wish to receive a new card that simply says “Open Water Diver” can order a replacement from their PADI Dive Center or PADI’s website. The new card will automatically be printed without the word “Junior” based on the diver’s age when the card is ordered. There is no special action that needs to be taken during the order process to receive a card to get a card without the word Junior on it.

Contact your local PADI Dive Shop to register for any of the programs above. If your child participates in the Boy Scouts of America or Scouts Canada, inquire about merit badge / award opportunities.

If you have an ocean-loving family, Kids Sea Camp is a great way for all your family fishes to spend an unforgettable week. Check out the video from PADI Staffer and proud dad David Espinosa of his daughter’s first scuba experience. This was filmed at Kids Sea Camp in Bonaire at Buddy Dive.

For more information about scuba diving lessons for kids – read our Youth Programs on PADI.com.

Scuba Diving Lessons for Kids - Proud Parent of a Scuba Diver

Ready to book a family scuba diving holiday of your dreams? Contact a PADI Travel representative, and we’ll help you pick out the best destination for your kids to learn to dive. 

Free transport

Our daily excursions start with the pickup and transport from your hotel or from a pickup point. Our service covers all areas of the Prefecture of Rethymnon.

Photo service

We offer professional photos of our divers, guests and underwater life for more than 10 years. You can take these lasting memories with you on a USB stick. 

Memory certificate

At the end of the day, just before leave and during our final meeting you will receive a memory certificate from your "journey" with Kalypso Dive Center.

Multilingual staff

Carefully selected, multilingual professional staff - we speak more than 10 languages - will make sure you have safe and enjoyable dives.

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How to turn a DSD into a unique dive experience?

How many certified divers took their first scuba diving steps through a PADI Discover Scuba Diver? Anybody wonders why this first experience changed their lives?

Most divers I talked to explained their DSD was a great experience. Thanks to the dive centre and dive instructor, passing their passion for diving, a new diver was born. The correct environment, information sharing, atmosphere and good preparation turned the Discover Scuba Diver in a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of them.

Both my wife and I started in the same way years ago. Thanks to the great time we became so passionate about diving that we completely changed our lifestyle. From the discovery, we went through recreational diving to become so passionate about diving, to decide to swap our traditional jobs for a life in the diving industry. Even after we took this big step, we still remember our DSD years ago.

How to turn each Discover Scuba Diver (DSD) into an “I-love-scuba-diving” experience:

  • Organise each DSD as if it was a first date: Understand the DSD candidate does not know what to expect!
  • Be prepared: Follow a fixed DSD circuit and routine, but leave room for a personal touch.
  • Adapt to your customer: Accept people are unique, give them room to absorb scuba diving at their own pace.
  • Be passionate: share your passion for scuba diving with your guests before, during and after the dive.
  • Take your time: Remember the experience does not stop getting out of a wetsuit.
  • Help them remember: a picture says more than a thousand words, help them organise some pictures or a video as a permanent souvenir.

I fully agree there are a thousand more points to be added, but these six definitely help making a DSD something unique!

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