Are you eager to introduce your kids to the thrill of skiing but short on time? Embracing the winter wonderland and teaching your children to ski over a weekend may sound like a crazy goal but we are here to tell you that it is achievable. At Outdoor Family, we understand the demands on busy families. Thus, we’ve curated a comprehensive guide to help you kickstart your child’s skiing journey within the span of a weekend. You will be swooshing down powdery trails as a family sooner than you think (but maybe save the black diamond trails for next year 😀 )!
How to break it down in one day? Here our recommendation for how to accomplish this awesome family achievement in two days:
Day 1: Preparation and Introduction
- Start with a Gear Check: Ensure your children have properly sized ski boots, fitted skis, and helmets. Visit a rental shop or local store ahead of time. Familiarize them with their gear and check out a few gear items we would recommend as aids. (Check out the bottom of this article)
- The Lessons Begin: Now, it’s time to kick off the skiing adventure for your little ones. You have a choice – take the reins and teach them personally or enroll them in professional ski lessons. While the guidance of a professional instructor is an excellent way to start, don’t hesitate to be their personal instructor if you’re confident in your skiing skills. For those brave souls opting for the latter, explore our tips at the end of the article to ensure a successful teaching experience.
- Balance and confidence are two of the key elements for instruction Day 1
- Lunch Break: Don’t forget to give your kids a break and get them something to eat and something warm to drink. Everyone will start to get a little worn down by the end of the first day and frustration may increase as well as patience decreasing.
- Continue to focus and reinforce the lessons learned from the morning while also allowing them to have some fun too! Don’t be afraid to end on a high note and not push them too far the first day. You want them excited to get back out there the following day.
Day 2: On the Slopes
- Gentle Slope Practice: Start the day on a beginner-friendly slope. Most ski resorts will have a bunny hill (a small gentle slope) with a magic carpet (like a conveyor belt that you shuffle onto and it transports you up to the top of the bunny hill). Let your children practice gliding and getting comfortable with the snow. Have them show you some of the things they learned from yesterday. It is super cute for them to “teach” you what they just learned yesterday.
- Basic Techniques: Focus on basic movements—stopping and turning. Practice these fundamentals under the guidance of instructors or with parental support.
- Your child may require a bit more practice and this is where you can decide if you’d like to remain on the bunny hill and build confidence or if they are ready to venture out on a family ski.
- Safety First: Remind and reinforce with your kids all ski safety rules—how to stop, yield, and be aware of others on the slopes.
- Family Bonding: Ski together as a family, providing encouragement and creating a supportive environment.
Additional Tips and Tricks:
- Confidence is crucial. If your kids are focused on trying to be perfect, it will likely be a tear filled weekend and you may lose some hair in the process. Encourage them and tell them stories of how you “pizza’d” the whole first green run you did or some other stories to help encourage them.
- Embrace failure and forewarn your kids. We had to tell our kids over and over again that they would fall on their tuckus a few times before they started getting the hang of it. Encourage them and don’t let them have the idea that they will go out their and be perfect at it right away. (I would tell my kids that they had to fall 10 times before they would get it right so let’s start counting our falls so we will be closer to success. Then when they started getting the hang of it before 10 it was a “HUGE” accomplishment)
- Take frequent breaks. This is especially important if they are not used to the cold weather or if the weather is much colder or windier than normal. Let them head into the lodge after X number runs/tries and get some hot cocoa or a treat.
- This is a great event for grandparents to join in on. But if you don’t have grandparents available, we recommend a man-on-man defense. Meaning, one parent is actively teaching and another parent has the “hangout/recovery” zone covered.
- Keep it fun! Incorporating games and activities will help make the learning process fun and engaging. Create challenges or treasure hunts while out on the slopes.
- Preparation Is Key: If feasible, have your gear ready the day before hitting the slopes. This especially helps little ones, eliminating one more unknown factor on their first day of skiing.
- Quality Over Quantity: Remember, one exhilarating run will always be more beneficial than pushing for one run too many. Keep the kids eager for the next skiing adventure – it’s a mental game.
- Strategic Timing: When planning your skiing excursions, try to avoid holiday weekends if possible. The added crowds can escalate stress levels and diminish the time your family gets to spend on the slopes.
- Embrace the Family Moments: Skiing with your kids opens up ample opportunities for quality family time. Whether it’s chatting on chairlifts, ordering a pizza by the hotel pool, or spotting bison on the roadside, cherish these moments as they contribute to a memorable family skiing experience.