There should be one goal and one goal only when teaching your kids to ski. That is to have fun as a family and take the time for your children to learn to love the snow as much as you do.
Think back on everything you’ve done with your children, you are likely to see that the most fun and the most learning occurred when you structured things to suit your children.
So here’s a list of things to do before even letting them loose on the snow.
Dress them warmly and appropriately for the conditions. Don’t skimp: children get cold quickly and sometimes are not aware of it until it’s too late and you have a sad, crying child on your hands, at this point it doesn’t matter how much hot chocolate there is, they’re not going to cheer up.
Make sure you layers their clothing, from the base all the way to good quality ski coat and pants, then you can help them regulate their temperature and also help them learn how to look after themselves in the outdoors.
Sometimes it’s prudent to check out season-long rentals for good quality gear from resorts or ski shops. Don’t forget children grow fast, clothing and kit become redundant quickly and on the ski slopes is where they’ll need professionally sized and fitted gear.
Ski trips are one of the most important events for planning ahead. However, if you forgot and find yourself renting trip to trip, try and collect the rental gear the afternoon before to reduce your stress on the day.
Make the first day on the snow about play with your children (Or Child). You don’t need your skis and poles; the day is about fun and your child learning what it feels like to be moving across the snow. Tow them by their poles, laugh, play, and tumble and take many breaks, so they don’t get cold and overtired. It’s not a race to get them swooping down the slopes.
After a few days of this, think about enrolling them in beginner classes. Depending on where you are, the classes could be small and to a specific age or even of mixed ages. Let them build their confidence, it will blossom, and soon you will be trying to keep up with them!
You can encourage them with videos of others skiing; it will help them get used to the whole idea; this is something they can watch between trips as well as before they even start. Make sure you make time before you leave for them to demonstrate what they have learned. This is important as it helps them build strong memories and lets them know that you value what they’ve learned, the effort they’ve put into it and that you care about them.
If you have arranged lessons, arrive early; remember you will be one of many sets of anxious parents and children. The instructors will have experience dealing with children and adults in various states of nervousness. Always check in with instructors after a lesson, get feedback, find out if the class is a right fit or if your child needs something more or less challenging.
If you don’t have a handle on the vocabulary, you soon will, the children will repeat what is said to them, especially fun new words to do with the activity they are learning, and you’ll pick it up as well. Be ready to hear them talk nonstop about what they have achieved and hope to do next time.
It is important to remember is that a handful of lessons will not make your child an instant expert. Choose trails and slopes carefully as something too hard will crush your budding skier’s confidence and could possibly turn them off of skiing.
Ski with them rather than off ahead doing your own thing. This is your chance to build an exciting yearly (or more often) event that everyone looks forward to; there’s not a lot more you can ask for family time.
If you have any comments then please drop us a message on our Outdoor Revival Facebook page
If you have a good story to tell or write a blog then let us know about it on our FB page. We’re also happy to receive article or review submissions and we’d love to hear from you.
We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
Outdoor Revival – Reconnecting us all with the Outdoors.