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It’s no secret that when you start having kids, your whole life changes. That doesn’t exclude skiing. Your approach to a day on the slopes is entirely different than it was before kids came along.
You and your children will have a blast skiing together as a family. However, there are more things to take into consideration when skiing with children. Here are 14 tips to make sure you and your family get the most out of the day.
1. Set Reasonable Expectations.
Remember that, especially if it’s your child’s first time skiing, there are bound to be some physical and emotional bumps throughout the day. Patience and flexibility are key.
Don’t expect them to love skiing with the same enthusiasm as you do. It will come with time. So get the moguls and powder out of your head and prepare your mind for the joy and excitement your child will experience one the bunny hill.
2. Take More Breaks.
Skiing is physically tolling for all of us. The challenge is something skiers love most about skiing. However, it is different with children. If your child starts to get tired and shows signs of frustration, it is time for a break.
Be in tune with your child’s needs. You don’t want to end the day on a cranky note. It might be a good time to head to the lodge and warm up.
Tempt them with some hot chocolate or tasty, nutritious treat so their bodies can rest and they can return to the ski hill with renewed energy and excitement
3. Invest in a Sled! (important)
Even when you’re skiing alone, carrying all your gear from the car to the lift can be complicated and exhausting.
Skis come apart, polls get dropped along the way, and ski boots are uncomfortable and even dangerous to walk in. Now imagine doing all that with small children.
Rather than having to carry all your gear and theirs, put all the skis, poles, and backpacks in a plastic sled. If you need to, tie it down with bungees or rope.
This also keeps kids from getting tired out before they even start skiing. Not only do they not have to carry the heavy gear, but they can even take a ride in the sled too.
4. Wear Comfortable Boots
This goes for both you and your children. You can easily put ski boots on once you get to the lodge. Traveling from the car to the lift will be much faster and easier if your children wear their regular shoes.
As for parents, you’ll likely spend more time running up and down the bunny hill than you will be skiing. If it’s easier for you to ditch the skis as you help your child learn, then wearing comfortable, sturdy boots will be a better option.
5. Enroll Your Child In Lessons
Even if the lesson is only for an hour, instructors can give children some great tips for techniques that will help your child have more fun. They may notice things that your child could benefit from that maybe you never thought of before.
Hiring an instructor might be best for the relationship between you and your child as well. They will significantly benefit from your experience and suggestions.
However, some children do better learning from a stranger since they are focused on the lesson rather than the person teaching.
6. Focus on The Fun! ⛄
This is also where an instructor comes in. Let them teach the techniques, and it will leave you the opportunity to focus on the fun of the sport with your child.
None of us had ideal technique when we started skiing. Perfect form comes with many years of experience and even training. So if your kids are getting discouraged or even bored with skiing, try switching things up.
Take time to build a snowman or have a snowball fight and just enjoy the day together. If they have a fun day on the hill, they will be more likely to want to go back again and again. Returning will allow them to perfect their skills.
7. Rent, Don’t Buy.
In the long run, buying seems to be the cheaper way to go when it comes to ski gear. However, unless you’re taking your child skiing every weekend of the winter, renting is more affordable.
Kids grow, and their bodies change drastically over a season of skiing. Many resorts even have lesson package deals that include free or discounted rentals. Use these deals to your advantage.
8. Don’t Overdress Yourself or Your Child.
The idea of spending the entire day in the snow leaves us thinking that our children and we need to dress extra warmly. This is not always the case with activities like skiing.
Remember that skiing is an excellent form of exercise for you and your child and you will probably sweat a lot. Your best bet is to start with a moderate amount of layers. Then you can easily remove and replace them as you need. That way, neither of you are uncomfortable during the day.
9. Helmets and Goggles Are Must.
If children learn from day one of skiing that wearing your protective gear is required every time you ski, you will be less likely to fight about whether or not they need to wear a helmet when it becomes more necessary.
Helmets and goggles will also keep children much drier if it is snowing that day. They will be able to see better and be more comfortable on the ski hill as well. Most importantly, you’re keeping your child safe.
10. Pack Well.
Your children will be burning much more energy than usual when they’re skiing. Therefore, pack plenty of high calories, delicious snacks to keep their strength and their mood up while they’re on the hill. Other items that are necessary for a day with your kids on the slopes include:
- Goggle wipes
- Extra gloves and layers
- Read my guide on what to pack in a backpack on the slopes.
11. Choose a Family-Friendly Resort.
Certain resorts are especially suited to young children. Others not so much. If you are searching for a family-friendly resort, try looking for places that have large bunny hills or even more than one bunny hill.
That way, you can be sure that the beginner area is less crowded. Some resorts also have playgrounds or other activities for children nearby, so your kids can take a break from skiing when they need to but still of kid-friendly activities to keep them busy.
12. Avoid Hangry Children. Before you get to the slopes, make sure your children had a hearty breakfast or lunch that will keep them going. They’re bound to get wet and tired while they ski.
Why throw hunger in with it? The best breakfasts for kids on ski days include high protein such as eggs or peanut butter as well as whole-grain ingredients and fruit. Good snack options kids will love could consist of:
- PB&J sandwiches
- Granola bars
- Sliced apples
- Cheese sticks
13. Avoid Losing Gloves and Gear.
Losing a glove or scarf can result in a prematurely ended ski day for your child. That’s especially true if you didn’t pack extras.
The best thing you can do is prevent your child from losing the gear in the first place.
Many glove styles come with clips on elastic strings attached. Use these to your advantage and tie the gloves with your child’s coat or together. The string will be safely inside his or her jacket, and if they have to take off their glove for some reason, it will stay connected to the coat.
Instead of scarves, opt for neck or face warmers. The infinity style of these scarf alternatives makes misplacing the object much less likely as it cannot fall off or get caught on anything like traditional scarves.
14. Invest In the Best Socks for Your Child.
You already know how miserable the day can be if your feet get cold or even worse if they get blistered.
Don’t put your child through that misery by layering on multiple cotton socks. Make sure you buy them well-fitting, warm socks, preferably made of wool.
Skiing with children brings about new challenges you may not have experienced on the slopes before.
However, sharing your love of skiing with your children is something they will never forget, and it creates special memories for the whole family.
As long as you stay positive, have reasonable expectations, and prepare ahead of time well, your children will soon share your enthusiasm for the skiing.