Skiing With Kids
Skiing can be so much fun. As such, you cannot blame parents for wanting to share their passion for this winter activity with their kids. But then, overzealousness can get in the way of them enjoying the snowy slopes. It is for this reason that we came up with these 9 helpful tips to help keep skiing with kids fun.
1. Dress Your Kids Appropriately
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is rather tricky. You know that the snowy environment is cold. This can make you think to layer up on your child’s clothes. The problem with this approach is that it may not be comfortable at all for kids. It will be quite difficult to move with very thick snow garments on the body. You cannot go super-thin, too, as this exposes your kids to the cold.
When we say dress your kids appropriately, we mean getting them the right ski clothes. You will need to invest in a good base layer. Synthetics work best. You can also get merino or smart wool if you want. As for the shell, you can pick down-filled ski shells. You can get a hooded softshell for your teen, too. Don’t forget the ski gloves, ski masks, ski pants, and ski boots. It is often wise to let your kids wear their sneakers from the parking area to the lift. Once you get to the skiing area, then they can put on their ski boots.
2. Spend Time Playing In The Snow
If this is your kid’s first time in a ski resort, don’t head straight to the skiing area for beginners. Let your kid enjoy the scene and have fun in the snow. Give your kid the chance to experience why you consider winter activities so much fun. This is true for children and families who live in places where it seldom snows. This is the perfect opportunity to let kids equate snow with fun.
Make a snowman and try to come up with the most handsome snowy fellow you can make. Join your child in making a snow angel. This will also let your kid appreciate the unique texture of the snow. You can also throw snowballs at each other like playing a game of tag. The whole point about this activity is to let your kid “warm up” to the feel of the snow. This will make learning how to ski a lot easier.
3. Get the Correct Skis For Your Child
What’s the use of having the correct apparel if you cannot get the right skis for your child? Choosing the right skis for your kid can be a hit or miss for most parents. You can choose a longer or a shorter ski depending on the characteristics of your kid. To do this, you’ll need to measure your kid’s height and weight. Use this information in choosing the right size of skis for kids.
If you have a cautious skier like an absolute beginner, then a shorter ski is best. It’s also good for kids who may be lighter for their height. Shorter skis are also ideal for kids who never ski fast or who love making short and quick turns. Longer skis are perfect for very adventurous children. They can ski fast without losing their balance.
4. Try A Dress Rehearsal Before Hitting The Beginners’ Slopes
It is ideal to have a dry run of the skiing activity in a safer, more controlled environment. Professional skiers recommend having a downhill dress rehearsal first before you and your kids hit the slopes. You can also take this opportunity to try on your kid’s apparel to see if they fit. Let your child wear them so you’ll have an idea if he or she can move unhampered.
Let your kid wear the ski boots and the skis. Encourage him or her to walk around with it so he or she will get the feel. You can also make an improvised slope inside your home. Carpeted surfaces can be excellent for gliding the skis. This should help make the first day on the snowy slopes less intimidating.
5. Be Choosy When It Comes To The Terrain For Your Kids To Ski On
Ski trails come with specific sections designed for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers. If you’re skiing with your kids, make sure you stay in green circles or sections as these are perfect for newbies. Don’t risk it by going to blue squares or black diamonds as these are for intermediate- and advanced-skiers, respectively.
There are many hazards in the ski area that your child may not be aware of. Large rocks may be hidden under a pile of snow. There may also be deep crevices and pockets they can fall in. Trees, bare spots, terrain variations, and the presence of other skiers can all undermine your kid’s chance of having fun skiing. It is inherent in you as a parent to be selective when it comes to the terrain your child will be skiing on.
6. Include Frequent Break Times In Between Skiing Sessions
We all have this tendency to get so excited the moment we set foot on the snowy slopes. We are so eager to show our kids the fun part of skiing. We often forget that their stamina may not be as great as ours. Hold that enthusiasm for a while. Remember why you are in this section of the ski resort. And that is to have your kid have fun skiing. This means you go at their pace, not yours.
It is for this reason that you may have to enforce frequent breaks in between skiing sessions. You may see kids having fun in the snow, but this is not a sign that they are not yet tired. Remember that the skiing area rests high up on the mountain slopes, not at the base. This means the air is thinner, making them tire a lot faster. Taking breaks every 30 minutes or so should be enough.
7. Focus On The Fun Part Of Skiing, Not The Technical Aspects Of It
These are kids; not professional skiers. Let them have fun with their skis. What you would like to build in your children is their interest in both the snow and the skiing activity. If you are too focused on the technical aspects of skiing, don’t expect your kid to look at it as fun. Let them ski at their own pace. You can show them how to hold the ski poles or balance themselves on their skis. You can also teach a few fun tricks with their skis.
This also means learning to accept the fact that falling flat on their bottoms is a part of the fun. You can laugh with them when they fall on the powder, but be quick to help them get back up. The point here is for you to create an experience that your kids will remember for the rest of their lives.
8. Enlist Your Kids In Skiing Lessons Appropriate For Their Age
Some parents think that they can teach their children how to ski a lot better than professionals. Well, think again. Unless you have the experience and the skills of a professional Alpine skier, you are not the best person to help teach your kid the basics of skiing. It may be cruel to hear this from us, but it is the truth.
The good news is that there are ski resorts that come with courses for different skill levels of skiers. Check the most appropriate beginners’ class for your kid. The trainers in these classes come with the correct knowledge and skills on how to make skiing for children more fun. There will also be other kids in the class. This can make learning less intimidating for your child. Plus, they will gain more self-confidence on the snow if they have someone of their age learning how to ski, too.
9. Be The Sherpa For Your Kids
There are different gears that you will have to bring with you from the parking area to the skiing area. Don’t expect your kids to carry their own gear. It will not be fun for them. If you do, they will think of skiing as hard work as they have to carry their stuff to an area somewhere in the lower sections of a snow-capped mountain. As such, it is important that you take on the role of a Sherpa for your children.
It is a must that you prepare for the activity. Engage in strength-training activities and cardiovascular endurance. You will be shuttling here and there, carrying all the stuff of your kids. In some cases, you may also have to carry your children in your arms. Get ready to assist.
Letting your kids have fun skiing seems like an easy task but it is also very easy to overlook certain things. Plus, the excitement of skiing can sometimes get the better of us. This can lead us to lose focus on what we’re here to do. Remember, this skiing activity is for you to share the joys of skiing with your kid.