Skiing is one of the most fun and healthy activities that will help you maintain your good physical condition and develop your muscles even further. This makes it one of the best winter sports for everyone from grown-ups to 3-year old kids. It is also one of the best opportunities for parents to bond with their kids while learning how to ski. In this article, we’ll show you how to teach your kid to ski so when you come back home, you and your little one will be richer with many amazing memories and fun stories that will last for a lifetime.
How Old Should Kids Be?
The age limit depends, but some ski schools offer lessons for kids as young as 3. You could check that information on their website before you go, but that shouldn’t vary so much, so basically, if your kid is 3 or older, feel free to take it with you on the track.
Things You’ll Need
Besides the ski equipment – skis, ski bindings, and boots, you’ll have to pay special attention to make your junior comfortable. If there is some problem like if the kid feels cold, there is a great chance the whole experience will be far from pleasant and there won’t be any desire to come back for more. To avoid that, you’ll need a proper outfit:
The ideal ski jacket is the one that will keep your kid warm while on the chairlift or while standing, but it won’t cause the sweating during the activity. The best option is an insulated, waterproof jacket that is breathable at the same time. You should also pay attention to the hoodie. If there is an option, go with the hoodless, because the collar will keep the air around the neck. If it can’t be removed, it should fit over the helmet. When it comes to length, the one that goes to hips should be your choice.
The three things you’ll be looking are insulation, waterproofness, and breathability, and should be waist-high. You could also get a one-piece suit.
Kids should wear long, wool underwear under their suit. This way you’ll add an additional level to keep them warm while preventing your kids from sweating at the same time.
It will not only serve as an additional warm item, but it will also protect the neck, ears and the lower part of the face from the wind and possible sunburn (it may happen even during the winter!)
Ski socks are ideally made of wool or the synthetic fibers-wool mix. The more the merrier and make your kids change their socks after every session. This way you’ll prevent blisters from forming.
The snow is one of the best surfaces when it comes to sun reflection, and it can affect the eyesight. To avoid it, visit your local ski shop and ask for the best ski goggles for kids. Most of the time, you’ll be able to purchase them along with the helmet.
Mittens Or Gloves
Make sure they are waterproof, they also should be well-insulated. If the temperature is really low, you should go with the mittens. If it is not so bad, the gloves should do the trick, but you should have them both in your backpack, just in case.
You may not feel it the same way you do in the summer, but the sun can still burn your skin, even when it is freezing outside. Don’t forget to protect your kids with the sunscreen. Here you can learn how to apply sunscreen correctly.
Should You Rent Or Buy Ski Gear?
This one is one of the main questions among the parents, and the answer is rather simple – it depends on you and your own schedule. If you plan to take your kids on a ski trip every year, then the answer is you should think about buying the gear. If this will be your first or second time on a ski track then it is a better option to wait and see does your kid love this sport.
Although, it is probably the best idea to wait even if you’re a ski enthusiast. There will be plenty of time to get their own gear, right now the main focus should be on fun and to get them excited about skiing. The rest will naturally follow. Buying them their own gear may cause them to feel forced, which is something you’d love to avoid.
When The Time To Buy Gear Comes…
Here is a short guide to help you get all the stuff you’ll need for the complete gear:
Learning will involve a bit (or a lot) of falling, control-losing or even crashing, so it is important to keep their head protected. Even if you could rent it, this should be an item you buy because you’ll know its condition. And plus this way your kid will get the chance to have fun and customize the looks.
The crucial part of your equipment, you should go as wide as possible because of the fact that the wider the skis, the easier is to maintain stability. The best length should be from chin to nose high. Also, check our guide on how to buy skis.
Some will have them already included, sometimes you’ll have to buy them, but it doesn’t matter, because you’ll have to make sure the bindings are intended for youth. If you buy used bindings, get them checked and readjusted if needed. Remember, the DIN level is directly connected to the user’s weight, height, age, skill level, and technique, so it is important to properly set it up.
Your kid should feel well in boots. If something doesn’t feel right, leave them. Test the boots by having your kid to put them on, bend knees and push forward. The boot should flex. Also, the boots should always be tried with the ski socks on.
For the first period, you won’t need them. The key is to learn how to properly maneuver and make turns. Once your kid masters this, then it is time to use poles, but not before that.
How To Start
Kids skiing lessons should be interesting, fun, but also challenging. Be careful not to overdo it, though, because if you make it too hard, you could discourage your kid from further participating. With these tips, starting shouldn’t be so hard:
- Keep it fun! Remember, kids still learn how to be human beings, so any activity you try to teach them should be done the way that will keep them entertained and encouraged, so they are eager to learn.
- Move around on the skis to slowly gain the feeling. Take a short snowy walk on skis. This way your kid will get used to it and learn how to move them the easiest and naturally.
- Learning some ski games or being creative is more than welcome as it will take things to another level and raise the fun part. Also, singing can help.
- Turning is everything! Remember, the key is to teach your kid how to ski. For the proper turning, you’ll have to know that it starts at the feet and goes from knees and hips, so the skis are basically just the tool. Practice until they master it.
- Another interesting game is to make your kids mimic your movements and to try to repeat what you do.
- Be creative! Basically, any interesting game your kids love to play at home can be used in this environment to get them excited and keep that spirits up for as long as you’d love.
Even on the snow and in a completely different environment, kids will still be kids and they may lose focus or become interested in something else really quickly. That ‘s why you should, above everything else, be extremely patient and steady while working with them. Overreacting or pressuring could be counter-effective and create a real nightmare for you and your kids.
As mentioned above, kids tend to easily lose focus, so you’ll constantly have to think about new ways to keep things interesting. Don’t forget, you’re there to make the first steps, and those are always the hardest. Do your best to cheer on your kid and to praise them when they succeed, yet without letting their head and morale drop when something doesn’t go according to plan.
Have (Responsible) Fun Yourself
The bottom line is – this activity is not about the skiing – the main aspect is on your relationship with your child and the quality time you’ll be spending together. This should serve you like a chance to create many amazing memories and to set the groundwork for some future trips when your kid will be older and way more interested in what you’re doing and what’s going on.
DIY Or Ski School?
If you have some experience and know how to ski, you could teach your kids the basics. On the other hand, if you’re also a beginner, it is a nice idea to start taking the lessons together and to grow together. It will without a doubt be a completely new experience for everyone included.
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Teaching kids to ski is an important task that should be done quite seriously. This article will help you make the first steps, so once the time comes to step on the snow, you know what to do to make that experience worth the effort, yet keeping the fun intact.
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- How to Teach Kids to Ski, rei.com