How to make skiing with kids a success….

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We love everything that rimes on activity and includes spending time outdoor. Every season has its beauty, allows different adventures and brings joy to all in our family.  But…. this “joy” is a result of hands-on experiences on how to make it work out for all!! The age diversity of our kids is quit big (3-13 year) and so is of course their physical ability. We see this as a fact, not an obstacle, but know that it requires planning – in all of our travels…..

Getting out on the hill and skiing or riding is fun, right? So it is understandable that skiing and snowboarding evolve into a lifelong passion for so many of us. For those of us that have kids, it’s equally understandable to want to pass that same passion on to them. Still operating under the premise that our chosen winter sports are fun; on any given day at any given resort, why can you always find an upset child accompanied by a harassed looking adult? Well that’s a head-scratch-er, but we are going to go out on a limb and suggest it might be a combination of over-zealousness and lack of planning.

Winter is here and if you want your kids to love the snow as much as you do, we believe that these tips can serve as inspiration and help…..

1. Be realistic in your expectations: “Don’t expect to do too much” – this is not like skiing pre-children. Change your perspective on what you wish the outcome of the holiday should be. The reward is something different…..but much bigger:-)
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Our daughter Ellinor, 2-years-old, on her first ski trip in January 2016

2. L-O-C-A-T-I-O-N: Location is everything!! Living in Switzerland allows us to have both one-day and multiple-day trips, but no matter how long you stay, you need a “base” close to the slopes. If it’s a one-day trip, pick an area where they have a good “indoor” space (restaurant etc.) and use that as your “base” . If it’s more days, pay that little extra to stay close to the lift. A car/bus drive between your accommodation and the snow several times pr. day does not do anything good to anyone. Trust us….. we have been there:-).

sainte-foy-snowboarding
Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, in the French Alps, one of our favorite destinations. The area offers perfect skiing: No queues and uncrowded slopes and is a friendly gem with both Alpine charm and traditional Savoyard architecture. It’s perfect for families with its many direct ski-in-ski-out opportunities and super nice accommodation.

3. Buy (rent) a sled and prepare to be a sherpa: If you, like us, bring a smaller child, getting everything from the car to the base area can be a pain if you don’t have a sled and some bungee cords. Simply pile all of the gear into the sled, strap it down and tow it behind you. This also allows you carry one of the kids, preventing them from getting tired before they ever get on their skis or snowboard. Besides; the sled can provide a fun break for all ages:-). Be as prepared for your little one as the most experienced Sherpa in Nepal. You should have plenty of snacks, water, sunscreen and extra layers with you just in case. Consider it a bonus workout!

4. Focus on the fun, not the technique: If your kids are not having fun right away, it may be a fight to get them back up to the hill to learn about technique, so when you see them starting to lose interest, forget about the skis for a minute and play. Snowball fights, snow angels, and building snowmen are all free, fun and easy things to do. Key is to take a lot of breaks!!

Ellinor snehule

5. Dress them appropriately: Although it might be cold outside, overdressing your kids is as detrimental to your day as under-dressing them. Also, if you are hauling your kid up the hill all day, you will probably want to dress on the lighter side so you don’t get overheated. Have your kids wear helmets and goggles!!! It’s always a good idea to start positive habits on the first day. Helmets and goggles help keep them dry as well as protected!

Louis med skihjelm

6. Mentally Prepare:  Get ready to be patient and flexible. We know this seems like a no-brainer…but still, it’s worth repeating; be patient and flexible.

7. Organisation is key: Get everything out the night before – snacks in pockets, bags packed – and allow far more time than you think you’ll need to get togged up and up the mountain.

Remember that skiing and snowboarding is fun and focus on that!!!

Your kids will pick up on your enthusiasm and after a while, they are going to want to head to the hills just as much as you do….. even when the snow has not fallen yet:-)

 

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