I know for most of the world winter is over. Everyone’s thinking about spring and enjoying the sunshine. But at our home we still love the snow, especially since I know we only have a week left to enjoy the downhill slopes.
Spring is the best time to teach young kids to ski because the weather is sunny and warm, making the snow soft and slightly slushy. Next to powder skiing, it’s my favorite time on the slopes too. The crowds are nonexistent since everyone except the serious skiers are caught in spring fever. The weather is either warm and sunny or pounding fresh powder in a spring storm. It’s the best time.
A few weeks ago I wrote about taking two-year-old little g on the slopes
for the first time. After that dismal beginning I vowed not to try it again, but being cooped up inside while the snow melted outside inspired me to take the risk again. It was worth it.
This time Little g, in the smallest skis and boots available at the rental shop, laughed and squealed with delight as we went down the slopes, instead of crying the whole time like last time.
I positioned my skis on either side of hers, controlling our speed and direction while holding her up with my arms. “Faster mama! Weee!” she cried as we slid down the slope. My attempts to have her slow herself down or even stand without leaning against me were futile.
She did not grasp the idea of making a triangle or pizza slice with her skis (turning the tips toward each other to stop) and all she wanted to do was “GO!” Although her ski abilities continue to be sketchy at best, we were able to do three runs with me hunched over her, carrying her, and finding the safest path down.
I consider it a triumph that we could even go at all. skiing with one young kid is tough enough, but two is extra difficult. It is only possible because Big E took a lesson at the beginning of the season and through practice is now able to handle any challenge a beginner or intermediate run can dish out. Since he can handle his own stopping, starting and shuffling all I have to help with is jumping onto the chair.
Skiing aids can help. I forgot our Edgie Wedgie which would help little g’s skis stay in good position. Next year I’m looking forward to using a hula hoop to teach her self balance, assuming I could learn how to ski backward well enough that she could hold one side of the hoop while I ski in front of her down the mountain. You gotta remember, I’m a snowboarder at heart.
Of all the skiing aids available, however, my favorite is candy. I bribe my kids to get their skis on, or do a good run or stop crying, whatever it takes to keep us all happy.
Mostly I want my tots to have fun skiing. Having children is a constant lesson in patience, but I’m okay with little g taking it slowly as long as it lets me get out and enjoy the outdoors.
Tips for Teaching Tots to Ski
- Go when the weather is warm and everyone is happy. I like teaching kids on sunny spring days after we’ve all eaten and taken any necessary naps.
- Invest in lessons. My first time skiing with Big E left both of us tired and frustrated. After a lesson he was able to stop and go on his own, leaving both of us much happier. Little g is too young for lessons this year.
- Skiing aids can help. Edgie Wedgies, hula hoops, child harnesses can all keep kids from careening out of control, but don’t forget the easiest of all ski aids – bribery. My kids like chocolate.
- Focus on fun. Forcing someone to do something they don’t enjoy is torture for everyone. Have the number one goal be for everyone to have fun.
- Take it slow. Skiing with tots takes more time and patience than skiing alone. Sometimes taking a break to have a snowball fight or eat a snack is the fastest way down the mountain.
Here’s a link
to a similar post I wrote last year.