PADI diving courses for children

by Hagenz

Here, you will find the PADI dive programs for children of different ages at a glance.

Diving is a great hobby for children that will probably accompany them a lifetime. Of course, a comprehensive diving training is required to guarantee safety and fun. During a diving course for children the youngsters will learn not only the necessary skills and knowledge, but also develop a respectful relationship with nature and the underwater world.

Especially for children, the international diving organization PADI offers different dive courses - which one you choose, depends on the age and personal preferences of your child.

PADI Bubblemaker - for children age 8 and up

For this PADI diving course the children do not necessarily need to be great swimmers - still, they should feel comfortable in the water. The Bubblemaker course lasts approximately 1 hour and the fun factor is paramount.

In a maximum of 2 meters water depth, the children can try out scuba diving with an instructor in a fun environment. The course includes almost no exercises; the children can freely explore the underwater world.

Teach Your Child to Swim (Usborne Parents' Guides)

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Teaching Swimming and Water Safety (Austswim)

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PADI Seal Team - for young adventurers age 8 and up

This program lasts approximately 2 hours and is aimed at children who already feel very comfortable in the water. The Seal Team program is divided into two sections also called "Aquamissions":

In the first section, the children learn the basics of diving - different underwater exercises are demonstrated by the instructor and must then be repeated by the students.

In the second section, the children will carry out exciting missions under water - with each mission, the children learn something new about the underwater world and scuba diving.

PADI Junior Open Water Diver - for children from 10 to 14 years

From the age of 10 years, children can participate in a PADI Open Water Diver course. If they pass this diving course successfully, they receive a certification card valid worldwide, which identifies them as a Junior Open Water Diver. Once the young diver is 14 years old, this certificate will be changed into the regular OWD certificate.

The contents of the OWD course and the JOWD course do not differ. Nevertheless, for children under 14 years, some restrictions apply:

  • When diving, children between 10 and 11 years must be accompanied by a PADI Instructor or PADI Divemaster, a parent or guardian with a valid diving certification card. Also, they are not allowed to dive deeper than 12 meters. 
  • Children between 12 and 14 years of age must always dive with an adult with a valid certification card.


No matter which diving course you and your child choose, all PADI programs for children not only teach important knowledge and skills, but are above all great fun.

About the authors

The Hagenz are Angelica and Daniel Hagen.

Angelica is a certified translator for Italian, German and English with more than 16 years of professional experience.

Daniel is a trained chef and hotel manager; 15 years he toured the world as a branch manager and diving instructor.

Updated: 03/25/2012, Hagenz
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Hagenz on 09/09/2011

Jimmie! Why are you not a diver? I met wonderful diving families ... it's such a wonderful experience! If you ever come over here I'll teach you ;)

Jimmie on 09/09/2011

At age 10, my daughter did an exploratory dive with her dad in Thailand. She loved it! I sat happily at the pool while they explored the ocean. I am not a diver. But I am so glad she had that chance.

Hagenz on 08/25/2011

You're welcome!

ohcaroline on 08/25/2011

Thanks for sharing about this program.

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