Skiing with children is undoubtedly the best type of family holiday, and for a good reason. Doing a little planning can pre-empt any difficulties that could arise. If you’re going skiing with children and want to ensure you can support them, then we’ve got all the tips you need for skiing with children.
SKIING WITH CHILDREN – HOW TO HELP THEM SKI BETTER
Dress them appropriately
Let’s start with kitting your kids out in the most suitable clothing for playing in the snow all day. One of our New Generation mountain mummies has perfected the art of dressing children for skiing.
Without sounding dramatic, the clothing you put your kids in on ski holidays will make or break their skiing experience. They will want to play for longer if they’re cosy and dry. They will only want to be outside for 5 minutes if they’re cold and uncomfortable.
Manage their temperature
We suggest wearing lots of layers so you can take a layer off if your children get too warm. Your kids won’t need as many clothes in the spring and will sweat if they wear too many. That will result in them feeling colder for the rest of the day.
Oh, and make sure you pick a jacket with a little zip on the left-hand sleeve, as that’s where your child’s lift passes will go. It’s best not to make a fuss and put it there, so they always have it. You don’t want them to go and lose it, so make sure you tell them it’s very precious.
Ski Trip Equipment Hire
If it’s your child’s first time skiing, the equipment is clunky, heavy, and like nothing, they have used before. The ski boots make them walk like robots, and younger children find it hard to carry their skis or keep their heads up with a giant bowling ball helmet on!
Make sure you sympathise with them and help them out where you can. We’ve got a Youtube video on how to walk in ski boots, which might be helpful to show to your kids.
Top tip: try a dress rehearsal beforehand to get them excited about all their new kit.
Family skiing: Be realistic
It’s unlikely that your kids will be world-champion skiers after just a few days. So make sure you’re realistic with what they can achieve. If you push them out of their comfort zone right from the start, they won’t enjoy the experience.
Manage Energy Levels
Taking a short break and having hot chocolate go a long way. Young children feel the cold four times faster than adults, so make sure you’re looking out for signs of them being cold. If they have gone quiet and aren’t interacting much, it may be time to take a break.
Older children won’t need as many breaks, but you can judge yourself. When skiing with children, we suggest taking some small snacks in your pocket as an energy boost.
Children skiing in Ski School
Teaching your kids to ski can be challenging. It’s a bit like learning to drive with your parents. Sometimes it’s easier to take a lesson with someone you don’t know! There’s a reason ski schools exist!
Instead of battling with your child, why not try them out in ski school? Before long, you’ll all be skiing together as a family in the ski resort. What are ski holiday dreams made of?
And the best thing is there is a wide variety of English-speaking ski schools in the Alps, so booking your child a ski lesson no matter their age or ability is relatively easy. Most ski schools take very young children aged 3 or 4.
Children’s ski level
You’ll be amazed by how quickly they pick up in ski school when they’re with a group of similar abilities. Children are like a sponge and copy everything their instructor does, so before you know it, they will get up after a fall, using the magic carpet themselves and clip in and out of their skis with no issues.
We recommend trying your kids out in ski school on your next skiing holiday. They may prefer private lessons over group ones, with more one-on-one attention. A couple of hours on your next skiing holiday can make all the difference.
Family skiing: Pick suitable terrain
Young kids must start on beginner slopes to build their confidence. We advise asking the instructor at the end of the lesson which slopes would be most appropriate for your child.
Many beginner slopes have plenty of interactive games for kids to enjoy. It’s vital to ensure they’re confident on the beginner slopes before taking them on the steeper terrain, as they will lean back in their skis and form bad habits.
If your child is working on their parallel skiing, if you take them onto terrain that’s far too steep they will just return to their snowplough. Start easy, and build up.
Family ski holidays: Focus on fun
Watching your children enjoy themselves is one of the most rewarding sights for any parent, especially if skiing or snowboarding is your passion – that you can now share the magical experience with them.
We advise playing in the snow with your kids to get them used to how it feels. By rolling around and being silly – they will realise that it’s ok to fall over and get snow on you.
With younger kids, you can skip skiing all the time. When children start skiing, it’s all about variety. Most parents try and push skiing on their little ones, but one of our top tips is to keep switching things up.
It’s ok that the snow can be slippy, and they must relate snow to having fun. Then you can head back to the ski area and introduce the skis/snowboard into the mix.
Fun family activitIes
Here are our top tips for some fun activities on your next family ski holiday:
- A mountain-wide treasure hunt
- A trip to the fun park
- Create a mini Olympics
- Stop for hot chocolates
- Have snowball fights
- Snowman building
- Go sledging – (Courchevel 1850 has the ultimate sledging track through the forest)
- Try ice skating – (check out the ice skating rink in Avoriaz)
There are plenty of fun activities for the whole family. You’ll be amazed by how much fun you can have in a relaxed atmosphere. This is vital for young kids, but as they age, they may want to start using the equipment immediately.
Suppose your child is having an absolute blast on your family ski holiday but isn’t in the perfect snowplough form. Do not worry. They will learn and get to grips with the technique over time.
As long as they’re in a safe environment and having fun in the ski resort, that’s all that matters. Children learn differently from adults, so we emphasise games, challenges, and adventures so that they learn whilst having fun.
One of our all-time favourite British ski racers, Chemmy Alcott, has two children, and she often shares snaps of them on her Instagram page. She is their biggest cheerleader, and it’s great to see them enjoying the snow together.
Top tip: Remember to give your kids water. It’s thirsty work, and they will need to stay hydrated.
Are you ready for your next family ski holiday?
Children’s group ski lessons are an investment that we take very seriously. Behind the fun, we know that you want your kids to progress and develop into competent ski experts!
Each course has specific aims and goals to prepare them for the next stage, and you can keep a record of your child’s success in their ski passports to help their progression each year. In group lessons, we also have medals for each level they achieve, and it brings us so much joy to celebrate their achievements each year.
Our carefully thought-out pathway will help your child become a competent and confident all-mountain skier. And they may soon give Mum and Dad a run for their money! Watch out!