Years ago when my husband and I met, there were a couple of questions I had. Does he want to live abroad and does he like to ski. Big things that a person is or is not open too. And it could potentially be a deal breaker of starting a relationship.
It turned out he had never been skiing or snowboarding in his life. So we booked our first trip to a skiing area in France and I was so so happy, because he loved it! Even though he was black and blue from falling that first week on his snowboard. Now, 18 years later we still ski/snowboard.
How the dynamics change about enjoying vacation or days out when you have kids right?! We still are the same persons and still love the same things and want to do them. Now, with the kids it sometimes is a challenge to keep on doing them, like skiing and snowboarding. We pondered on this. Will we wait untill they are older or will we take them with us and start them young.
With kids it ìs hard to get out there. We started when Maximan was 3 to get back on the slopes as a family and it takes baby steps. However, this season we made it happen. We went with four kiddo’s in the age range of 0 to 10.
The big realization when going anywhere with kids is: when they are having fun, most of the time you are having fun!
11 Tips to Enjoy Skiing with Kids
- Preparation is key. Make sure the materials are in order, clothes, gear, etc. I got some good offers on woolen ski socks at Sierra Trading Post last year. And I rent my skis at Christy Sports. As far as ski passes go, the kids that are not in Kindergarten have free Season Ski passes. Maximan has the Epic School Kids Ski Pass, which is a free pass for kids in elementary school. For kids in 5th and 6th grade there’s also the option of the 5th (free) & 6th Grade Passport. We as parents do not have ski passes yet. It is not necessary since we only do bunny slopes. When we do need skipasses we check Liftopia. They have some great deals and discounted skipasses like Arapahoe Basin (CO) Single Day Lift Tickets from $43.99 (save 46%).
But what makes a skiing day or trip fun is when the kids know what we expect of them. Which means, we prepare them on what the day will look like. They go to sleep in their long woolen underclothes, that saves time in the morning, because we have to get up early and leave before dawn. When they wake up they brush their teeth, wash their face, use the bathroom and then it’s time for breakfast and into the car. By now, they know that the drive to the ski slopes takes about 2 hours without traffic. When we arrive, they get into their skiing outfits, put on their boots, mittens and helmets and they’re ready to go. We practice this routine at home as well and call it “What to expect when we go skiing.”.
- Snacks. My boys can eat all day long. Once we are in the car they are hungry again. So we pack lots of healthy snacks and lunch for the whole day.
- Let them wear the ski boots at home. The thought behind this is for them to get used to wearing the ski boots. Walk in them, climb in them even run in them. We have two kids who ski and one kid who snowboards. The two kiddos don’t mind walking on their skiing boots. They have practiced wearing and walking on them so much, that they are fine and there is no whining.
- Bunny Slopes. Find family friendly ski areas. We love to go to Keystone, CO were they have family parking available and wagons to transport all our stuff. And the bunny slopes are fun and free. Mostly we go back and forth in one day but if we go for a weekend I do my market research to find the best prices for lodging. Use this link to Save More with Expedia Coupons & Offers!
- Babywearing. Since Microman is still so little he stays with us all the time. Safely on my back. Which means I don’t ski when I wear him. But I do walk up and down the slopes while wearing him and I am able to teach the other kids.
- Teach the kids. My boys love that we teach them to ski and to snowboard. We love that we are creating memories. When you don’t feel comfortable to teach your kids you can sign them up for class and spend time afterwards together on the bunny slope.
- Ski Trainer Harness. To teach Miniman we make use of a harness. It is a win win. He loves horses and wearing the harness he feels like he is playing a horse game while being on skis. One of the recommendations we got was to attach the leashes to his boots instead of on the harness itself. The idea is that the turning movements are initiated from the legs and not from the back. By attaching the leashes to the boots you help them make these movements. We also have Edgie Wedgies for the kids, but to be honest we haven’t really used those yet. Midiman really took of on skiing quickly. The first time on the slope he already got the hang of it. And maybe we’ll use it next time we go with Miniman.
- Plan a break or two and stay hydrated. To make sure everybody is having a good time and is not asking to much of themselves it is good to take breaks. Breaks are excellent to drink water too.
- Skiing together. When I am not wearing Microman I love to ski and Miniman loves to ski with me. He feels so proud and confident when we ski together. And he learns a lot. It is great for bonding too and creating memories. He can’t stop talking about “skiing inside mama’s big pizza”.
- Bring sleds. We bring sleds and when the kids don’t feel like skiing we take out the sleds. It is fun and it gives a break of skiing. After sledding we might go back to skiing.
- Call it a day when everybody is still happy. Know when to quit. When everybody is still happy it is the best time to stop instead of when everybody has a meltdown. It is an art to find that sweet spot that works best for your family. For our family it is always after our second break.
This is what we love to see!
Originally posted: 23 February 2017
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