Skiing is a big deal and Utah is the perfect location for kids to learn how to ski. Although skiing by yourself may be a little easier, it’s not nearly as memorable. When you want to ski with kids, here is what you need to know.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Don’t overdress your kids
Most people think that the first thing they should do, when they take their kids skiing, is dress them super warm. While you want them to be warm, you also want them to be able to move. Overdressing could mean overheating. You want them to have fun and not complain all day that they are too warm.
- Layer 1: Base Layer: Start with a base layer. Your base layer includes underwear, long johns and socks.
- Layer 2: Under Layer: Next, you'll have an underlay that includes a warm top and bottom. You'll want something that isn't bulky and thick. We like a lightweight fleece. Stay away from cotton as it gets heavy when it's wet.
- Layer 3: Outer Layer: Your outer layer is your ski pants and ski jacket. We like getting our ski pants and jacket a little big so they have room to grow.
- Layer 4: Accessories: Then you'll add your goggles, helmet, and gloves. Look for helmets that are adjustable so they fit the kids for a few years.
- Layer 5: Gear: The finishing touch is your skis, poles and boots.
It’s best to spend some time allowing your kids to practice dressing themselves. When your kids are more independent with their dressing, it’ll make it easier to go to the slopes. Trying to dress 2-3 kids, plus yourself is never fun!
WHAT TO PACK THE NIGHT BEFORE
Pack a bag for your ski trip
Let’s face it, it’s hard to go to the store with kids, let alone skiing. One of the best things you can do for you and your kids is pack a bag full of everything you could possibly need. Here are a few things to include in the bag that you bring.
- Water bottle
- Extra socks and gloves
WHAT TO DO THE DAY OF
Be as patient as possible
When it comes to kids and skiing, you’ll have to be as patient as you can. It takes kids a while to learn. Although some kids may have a natural knack for it, it may take other kids a while to get it down. Your kids are going to try your patience, but if you stick with it, everyone will come out on top. Personally, I like to have emergency chocolate for myself. Utah's Best Snowboard Schools and Learning to Turn are two great resources for lesson information.
How to pick the right terrain for your kids
Taking your kids skiing for the first time can be scary for them. Picking the right terrain for your kids gets them started on the right foot. It helps them ease into skiing without the pressure of coming off a big ski lift. You can always start small and then choose bigger terrain down the road.
The more experienced your kids become with skiing, the bigger terrain you can try. It’s amazing how, when kids become more confident in their skiing skills, they’re willing to keep pushing themselves.
Repetition is a good thing
Most kids aren’t going to learn the first time which is why allowing your kids to practice over and over is a good thing. Plan on taking them skiing several times and not just one or two times. Also, their first time skiing, don’t expect them to be perfect at it. The more they practice, the better.
Get them used to walking in their boots. Then have them walk around with one ski on.
It’s kind of like driving, for adults. At first, you’re nervous, but as time goes on and you get more practice, everything gets easier! The human mind is quite incredible.
Remember, it's ok to take a hot chocolate break too!
Your kids are always watching you
This is truer now than ever. As you take your kids skiing, you should know that they’re watching you. They want to see how you’re doing things on the slopes. In fact, they’ll learn a lot about skiing from watching you. It’s okay to make mistakes because they’ll also be watching how you work your mistakes out. Don’t be afraid to get out there and have fun with your kids. Remember, it's ok to take a hot chocolate break too!
Take it one step at a time
As you introduce your kids to skiing, it’s important to allow them to practice one step at a time. For example, have them try on their skis and walk around in them for a little bit. They need to get used to the feel of the skis on their feet.
Other skills you can work on with your kids:
- Learning how to make a pizza
- Learn how to sidestep and duck walk
- Learn how to make an airplane with your arms
Skiing with kids should be fun and memorable. If you think your kids need ski lessons, don’t be shy about getting them lessons. Most ski resorts have different classes available for different aged kids. Sign your kids up and watch them have a blast skiing with you! Remember that it’s important for kids to gain solid ski skills before they can do all the fun stuff. Just remind them that learning how to ski is still a lot of fun.