Skiing is a great confidence builder for kiddos if you start them early on. Any child can learn to ski if they put in the time, have the opportunity, and have people in their corner cheering them on. Skiing is a pastime that the whole family can enjoy for years to come, generation after generation.
One of the most special things about skiing is that you spend just as much time on the slopes as you do going up the chairlift, allowing for some great time on and off the snow. This split equal time provides some stellar opportunities for tech-free conversations and quality time with your children.
Skiing is an activity that can be highly challenging to learn, but also rewarding beyond expectation. Keeping it safe and fun for your children as they delve into the learning process is key to their successful enjoyment of the sport. The ultimate family ski trip goal is to get your children loving skiing as much as you do. So how do you get your children up on their skis, loving the sport you love? Here are some tips & tricks to help your kids from losing interest in the sport, and keep them coming back for more.
Ski School is Fundamental
Ski school can be instrumental to getting your child on-board with the idea of skiing. With group & private lessons available, ski school can be an effective way to get your child up on skis and having fun on the mountain in no time!
Winter Park’s certified ski & snowboard instructors conduct extremely professional and effective lessons while keeping them fun and engaging for children. Placing your child in ski school may be difficult, but it is the best way to ensure your child learns properly. And if they learn properly, they are much more likely to enjoy their time on the mountain.
Hip Tip: Check out more information about Winter Park’s Ski & Snowboard School HERE.
Keep Them Warm
Skiing can get cold – downright FROSTY! If youngsters are falling over, spending time on the ground, or playing in the snow, they are likely to become very wet and cold – fast. Colorado can get into sub-zero temps and it is extremely important to bundle up, and stay warm. The last thing you want is your child to associate skiing with feeling helplessly cold. Minimize negative associations with skiing by dressing them properly, and set them (and yourselves) up for success!
Layers, Layers, LAYERS! Hand warmers, beanies, and balaclavas are all going to be helpful in keeping your child warm and comfortable throughout the day. Bundle them up in a nice puffy coat, long johns, and merino wool. These items are the best way to keep them warm, happy, and toasty.
Hip Tip: Check out our favorite kid’s outwear company Town Hall Co. HERE.
Get Familiar with Falling
Falling is part of learning! Even the best skiers & snowboarders fall down from time to time, and this is totally normal. If this is your child’s first ski trip, they’re probably going to fall down and that OK! Make sure they know that it is perfectly normal to fall, and the only important thing is to simply get up and try again.
When your children fall, definitely make sure that they’re OK, but definitely don’t make a big deal out of it, once you know they’re not hurt, get them back on their skis and try again. Mistakes happen, and this is all the more reason to put them in ski school, and around others learning that are also taking a tumble or two. Persistence is key!
Slow and steady wins the race, right? Same goes for skiing! Just because your child can’t do something today, doesn’t mean they won’t pick it up tomorrow. Children are fast learners, but it’s unfair to expect them to learn everything on their very first day. Going at a pace that’s comfortable for them is important for their evolution as a skier and learning to love the snow.
Hip Tip: Don’t be afraid to use an edgie-wedgie or a ski leash to help your kids learn! It’s cool! Everyone is doing it
Know their Limits
In that same vein, make sure you know what runs are suitable for your children, and which runs they will have the most fun on. Your child’s safety is top priority so taking them to a run that is out of their wheelhouse may have lasting detrimental effects to their learning process. Kids like to succeed and if they can’t make it down a run without constantly crashing, they’re going to get frustrated, upset and likely give up. Knowing where’s best to take your child on the mountain comes down to education, understanding your kids ability, and listening to what they want and need.
When it comes to learning how to ski, it’s true that a kid needs to get in plenty of mileage, skiing is all about muscle memory. However, pushing youngsters to too far and insisting they perfect skills too fast will prove exhausting and a turn off to the sport. New skiers tire easily using their muscles in ways they haven’t before, and taking breaks ensures they won’t overwork themselves.
Hip Tip: Types of breaks can be potty breaks, hot chocolate breaks, snack breaks, build-a-snowman breaks, people watching breaks, photoshoot breaks, and sitting around a fire and enjoying the view breaks.
Know their Triggers
Triggers are one of those things that can instantly create a negative experience for you and your children on the ski hill. Do you know your triggers? Your spouses? It is probably a good idea to learn your child’s triggers as well. A trigger on the ski hill could be anything from cold toes, low visibility, loud people, crowded slopes, or long lift lines. If a child takes a tumble getting off the lift then suddenly shouts something like, “I hate skiing, I’m never going again!” you can assume that the lift unloading fall was the trigger. If you can, identify it as soon as possible, and diffuse the situation by talking about it and helping your child to develop trust that the problem can be fixed, and they can enjoy skiing once again.
Explore Other Types of Snow Fun
A ski holiday is much more than just skiing. When coming to Winter Park, explore other things to do both on and off the hill. Have snow ball fights, go tubing, make snowmen and snow angels, you can even go hiking. The best way to get your children to love skiing is to create a positive environment around the whole holiday!