100 Tips for Teaching Kids to Ski

What’s the best way to teach kids to ski? Should you put your child in lessons or teach them yourself? You could spend hours searching the internet for the best tips and tricks, but now you don’t have to! I’ve done it for you, compiling the best articles that offer over 100 Tips for Teaching Kids to Ski.

You’re welcome.

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How Skiing Strengthens Families

Last season I was pregnant with Baby L and missed the thrill of snowboarding. I missed gliding down the mountain, trying tricks and spending quality outdoor time with my tots. So when Sundance Mountain Resort opened last weekend Big E and I were there. Even though the snow wasn’t great, it was better than no snow at all. I’ll take what I can.
Skiing and snowboarding are more than just fun winter activities. They are activities that strengthen our family. Here’s how:
Skiing defines what your family is. Some people are soccer fanatics. Some families are music families. We are a Mountain Family and that includes skiing and snowboarding. My kids may never play on a school basketball team but they will all learn how to ski.

Skiing and snowboarding strengthen family ties even over multiple generations. Since I sat out last year, my dad took Big E and Little G skiing. He enjoyed it so much he made a goal to ski with my kids once a week this coming year. My kids are three out of thirty grand kids so to have that one on one time with him is truly something special. 
It encourages new skills. Studies have shown that couples who try new activities together have stronger, longer marriages. The same applies with the whole family. As a snowboarder, I learned to ski when Big E did so I could help him on the mountain. Learning new things puts me into an open state of mind, vulnerable, teachable and when I accomplish a new skill like parallel turns on a blue run I feel triumphant. I want my kids to feel that too. 
When new activities are tried together it creates bonding memories, helps individuals push their boundaries and puts us in a good mental place.
Seeing my kids conquer obstacles gives me opportunities to praise. So much of my communication with my tots revolves around getting them to do things – clean up, homework, get dressed, stop hitting your sister. It’s nice to just have fun together and have the opportunity to see them do something difficult.
Sitting on the chair lift forces you to talk to each other. My sister and brother-in-law have older kids, including a teenage daughter and tween son. What they like about skiing together is the one on one time they get with their kids who would rather be hanging out with friends. I’m not against trapping my kids twenty feet in the air to have some positive bonding time.

Skiing and snowboarding gives me a reason to love winter. Let’s be honest, shoveling, scraping, and driving in snow is not fun. Darkness at five pm is depressing. Cold weather is uncomfortable. Winter can be rough so having something fun that depends on cold and snow makes seasonal depression less of an issue.

We are a skiing and snowboarding family. Even when the snow doesn’t cooperate we will be out on the slopes, spending time together and enjoying the outdoors. If you’re looking for a way to create some positive connections with your kids try skiing together.

January is Learn to Ski or Snowboard Month!

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to ski or snowboard now’s your chance! January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and several Utah ski resorts are offering beginner deals including a $45 lesson, rental and lift ticket package from Brighton Resort.

Graphic from SkiUtah.com

When I first learned to snowboard it was through Brighton’s Ladies’ Day clinic. I signed up for the four week course with a bit of a rebellious attitude. Mountain Dad and I had been trying to get pregnant with no luck. “Fine,” I thought. “If I can’t be a mom I’ll do something else I’ve always wanted to do.” Thus started my love of downhill snow sports.

Now, years later, I’m in the opposite position. At seven months pregnant, skiing and snowboarding black diamonds is definitely not happening. However, I want my tots to feel the joy of speeding down the mountain, the wind in their hair and a smile on their faces so I decided I’d put on my skis for a little ride in the tow rope area. (I really hope my doctor, mother, and sister aren’t reading this).

Little g and I “skied” a little last year with her between my skis, flopping around like a rag doll while I hunched over her to keep her from rolling snowball-style down the mountain. It was a lot of work for me and she had no control on the snow. At three-years-old this season we have boots that actually fit her and she’s noticeably taller and stronger, although this photo doesn’t exactly show off her strength.

After trudging, buckling, zipping, adjusting, clipping in and finally lining up, we glided up the tow rope. “Weee!” little g exclaimed. “I skiing!” With her between my skis we maneuvered down the slope, me trying to teach her what a snowplow on skis felt and looked like. She didn’t quite get the concept, but she enjoyed the ride, smiling and laughing the whole time.
A second run was all we got in before she flopped exhausted on the snow. We had only gone one hour, but it was enough. (Luckily kids five and under are free at Sundance, and anyone can ride the tow rope at no charge, so we didn’t waste any money.)
Unfortunately on our way down to base our skis crossed, entangling the two of us in a mess of skis, boots and legs. The awkward position of being flat on the snow, leg twisted the wrong way under me and a toddler on top was enough to convince me that maybe my doctor, sister, husband and mother were right. Perhaps I shouldn’t try skiing while seven months pregnant, even if it’s on the very flat tow rope area. 
I still consider the afternoon a success as Big E got over his recent trepidation with the tow rope and little g got a taste of how fun skiing can be. If I can pass anything on to my kids it’s how to find joy in this life. For me that involves speeding downhill in the snow. 

For my tips on teaching kids to ski click here. You may also enjoy these posts:

Motherhood Moments: Here Comes 2015!

2014 was a great year to be outdoors and I’m sure 2015 will be too. Part of the fun of New Years for me is thinking ahead at who I want to be in the coming year, how I want to change and what I can do to make that change happen.

I’m not planning to run an iron man or travel to all seven continents this year but I would like to push myself to experience the outdoors in different ways. Kid friendly ways. I’d like to participate in an outdoors service project. See how far little g can hike on her own. Teach Big E to ride a bike without training wheels. Get both of my kids out on skis at least once a week throughout the season. My goals may not be huge but they’re important to our family. Being outdoors improves my mood, helps us all get some exercise and makes me more grateful for the world around me.

The number one game changer for our Mountain family this year will be the arrival of Mountain Baby in March. Ready or not, she’s coming in ten weeks. How will having a newborn affect our camping, hiking and outdoors plans? I’m not entirely sure.

So far it’s kept me from snowboarding this season, and I don’t imagine skydiving anytime soon, but growing a child, feeling her flutters and kicks has connected me to the cycle of life in a very intimate way. I’m excited to be a mom again and remember the tender beginnings we all had. I’ve already experienced the expansion of love that comes with welcoming a baby into the world. Like the Grinch I expect my heart to “grow three sizes that day” because special things start in small packages. It’s a miracle to be a mom and I plan to treasure the happy moments before the chaos overwhelms me.

So what will your 2015 bring? What outdoors plans do you have and how do you accomplish them with young kids in tow? Leave a comment and let’s start this conversation!

Happy New Year!

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