Do not prep for a day of paddling with your kids the same you would with your friends. Keep the river time short, anticipate worst-case scenarios, prepare for a change of heart, and leave the expectations behind.
Anticipate that kids get:
Did we mention hungry?
Approach paddling with your kids the same as you would reading a book with them: you entrust teacher to teach your kids the A,B,C’s, you in turn reap the rewards of sharing a nighttime story together.