We’ve all heard the saying, “if mamma ain’t happy, then nobody’s happy,” but when it comes to skiing, kids attitudes can either make or break a bluebird day. Cold feet, whether it be literal or figurative, is a common complaint among little shredders. While some kids take to the slopes and embrace the “pizza wedge” snow plows and then quickly master the “french fries” skis, some kids may be apprehensive about barreling down the slopes. And, for both parents and kids literal cold feet makes for an uncomfortable day to say the least.
Skiing with kids poses a whole new set of challenges but with a little bit of planning and the right gear emotional meltdowns for both kids and the adults can be averted. Here are some tips from seasoned skiers for a day on the slopes with your little bombers.
- Start ‘em early. The younger the better. Not only do younger kids have less fear, but they also have a shorter distance to fall. Falling while skiing is inevitable, and the smaller kids seem to fall and get back up easier. Many adult skiers agree that age three or four is the perfect age to strap on the skis or snowboard.
- Play chairlift games. The chairlift can be a difficult experience for little ones who are feeling anxious. Distract them with games like I-Spy or assign a color to each person on the chairlift and they have to count how many skiers and boarders they see down below wearing their color. The one with the highest number gets to choose which trail to take when you get to the top.
- Offer many rewards. Ok, we don’t want to call it “bribing” but whatever you call it, small rewards throughout the day can keep your little one going. Pack gummy worms in your jacket pocket for slopeside treats, or promise a hot chocolate (with whipped cream of course!) after three consecutive runs. Don’t strive for an end of day reward, try to break the day up with little treats along the way.
- Keep their feet warm. Say no to cotton socks. Ski socks should be made of a blend of wool and synthetic fibers and fit to just above the calf. We love the Bridgedale Kids Merino Ski socks. They come in a 2-pack, which is ideal because you should always pack two pairs of ski socks but wear only one pair at a time. Keep the extra pair in your pack in case their little feet get wet, and if necessary rotate the pairs to prevent blisters. These are a great value at $21.95 for two pair and come in a variety of fun colors.
- Say “Action”! Pull over and pull out your smart phone to record a video of your little one as they are swooshing and making turns. They will love the private screening at the end of the day and you’ll have a record of their improved ski skills.