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Tips for Teaching Young Kids to Ski

Tips for Teaching Young Kids to Ski
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Jeff Wise, Stowe Mountain Resort, Director of Communications and former Snowboard School Director

Living Room Skiing and Riding, Toys on the Mountain, and Marshmallows—Best for Small Tots

To get three-year-old Bridget comfortable moving around with ski boots and skis, we had her practice at home wearing her ski boots, scooting around on the carpet in her skis, then out in the snow-covered driveway. At the ski area, she would forget all about the potentially awkward feeling of moving around in skis if we threw rubber duckies in the snow for her to retrieve. And stashing a treat like mini-marshmallows in your pocket can prove to be just the reward a little skier needs for successfully making a turn and getting down the slope.

Martha Wilson, Outdoor Mom Blogger for Bretton Woods

Your Kid Needs to Stand Up on His/Her Own Two Feet—Little Tots

Another important element to teaching kids to ski is to ask them to be in charge of their own balance. It may be slow going, but in the long run, if your kid can stand up on his or her own right from the beginning, you’re on the right track. If you feel you must help, be sure to be in front of your kid (as opposed to behind) to encourage the balance to be toward the front of the ski. Kids have a higher center of gravity than adults due to their disproportionally large heads, so balanced over their skis will look different in them than it does with an adult (lower, further back), but they need to be balancing on their own.

Katherine Rockwell, Pico Ski & Snowboard School Manager

Let Your Kids Set the Pace—All Ages

One of the most important things about teaching your kids to ski is to go at their pace. It can be really tempting to push them to stay out that extra half an hour, or go on that blue trail, but in the long run, taking it slow is the key to longevity in the sport. With very young kids, you may only be out on skis for 20 minutes, if you even get to skiing at all. It is just as important to make snow angels, explore snow banks and chase you around as it is to actually be on skis. The first time your young kid is cold or unhappy out skiing will stay with them for a long time. Watch for signs of stress, be it emotional or physical and get back inside or off skis before it bubbles all the way to the surface.

Katherine Rockwell, Pico Ski & Snowboard School Manager

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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