Did you know that January is learn to ski month? In fact, resorts around the nation have deals on lessons, rentals and lift tickets. Many Nordic centers also participate too, so don’t overlook the chance to It is also a great time to try out Nordic skiing too For more info, head to: http://www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org/.
Here are my tips for a successful day with the kiddos on the slopes.
Pick a sunny day- Nothing can damper a ski day like frozen noses and toes. Sometimes a sunny day isn’t in the forecast if you plan your ski trip in advance. In that case, watch the weather and try to choose the warmest part of the day, be flexible with your timing and pack those extra layers. Hand warmers can work their magic on a cold day.
Layer up- Think of yourself as an onion (kids get a kick out of this). Dress in layers and peel the layers as you warm up throughout the day. Try to avoid cotton as it holds in moisture.
Pack extra clothes- This includes hats and gloves for additional layers, to replace wet gear and especially some for post skiing for comfort, dryness, and warmth for the ride home.
Try on your gear beforehand- If possible, have your little skiers get in their gear ahead of time. Make sure the boots fit comfortably and have them walk around the house in them. Tight uncomfortable boots are the first complaint you will get from your kiddo(s). Have them get the feel of wearing a helmet- a safety measure that also will keep them warmer.
Get in the right frame of mind- On the way to the hill (and beforehand if it is their first time on the slopes), talk about what they will see, what they will be doing, safety measures all in an upbeat tone. With that in mind, talk skiing up with excitement when you get a chance even while on the lift, taking a break in the lodge and packing up for the trip. If you show excitement, they will show excitement. Mind games can help keep the crying to a minimum. Focus on the positives to get your little ripper in the right mindset to take on a new adventure.
Bring spending money for hot chocolate- Take breaks while skiing and celebrate a job well done with hot cocoa! Take the off the snow time to talk about the great time you’ve had on the slopes. Pack snacks too for pairing with the hot cocoa or for fueling on the go while on the magic carpet or the lift.
Throw your ideals out the window- Great Expectations was a great book but put it on the shelf when it comes to a day on the slopes. It’s good to have goals for the day, but don’t hold yourself to them when it comes to having a fun day on the snow.
Take a lesson- We all know that kids often are better listeners when they aren’t being taught by their own parents. With that in mind, consider group lessons. The expense of private lessons isn’t worth it at a young age, but kids can greatly benefit from taking lessons with their peers. Consistency is key when it comes to both kids and adults. Plus, this will give you time to go hit those black diamonds while they are in good hands.
Have fun- The most important tip is to have a safe day of fun. A day on the slopes with little ones is far different than a day with your friends. But I have to say without having any tried and true expectations, it is more rewarding to see the smiles on your kiddo)s) faces when they fly down the mountain.
Happy Skiing and Adventure On,