Learning to ski can be pretty daunting for an adult who doesn’t know how. What’s more, it can be even more challenging when you’re a kid. Fortunately, this is a skill that can be taught and refined from an early age. Most experts would advise parents to enroll their children in skiing schools and camps. These learning sites offer a properly structured lesson plan and certified ski instructors who can guide beginners down the right path. Still, parents can do a number of things in order to prepare their children who are interested in learning how to ski.
Here are a few useful tips for parents who are trying to teach their kids how to ski.
- Talk about Skiing
Kids need to get excited and interested in skiing before you can teach them the basics. Introduce them to the joy of skiing by talking about the sport or showing photos of you and your family going on ski adventures. You can also discuss it with your kid while watching movies or television shows that feature skiing. Seeing your enthusiasm about skiing will build your child’s curiosity over the sport.
- Invest in the Proper Gear and Equipment
Allocate enough budget to purchase high-quality skiing clothes for your children. As you can imagine, it gets pretty cold when you ski, so a good jacket is essential. This will prevent snow from seeping in and ruining your kid’s skiing experience. You can typically find a good selection of FXR coats at most outfitting shops and, of course, online. Ask help from skiing experts or store owners on what skiing equipment best suits your children’s height and weight. Helmets, goggles, gloves and ear muffs are also important parts of your kid’s overall ski gear.
- Do Test Runs at Home
Some kids can get traumatized and turned off easily with an activity if they experience any form of embarrassment. Let your children get used to the equipment by letting him walk around the house wearing his skis. Build your kid’s confidence by having him try skiing warm-ups at home. You can also fashion a carpeted downhill slope inside your house that your kids can practice on.
- Make their First Time All About Fun
Most kids are motivated by fun, so it’s important to make the activity as enjoyable as possible. During your first attempt at skiing outside, let your kids play in the snow first. Another great activity to consider before your kids go skiing is ice skating. This would also help improve their balance once they hit the slopes. To make their first time less intimidating, parents can accompany them on smaller slopes by letting their kids hold on to a ski pole or harness they’re using. Parents can also strengthen their children’s confidence by constantly cheering and smiling at them while skiing.
- Teach them How to Fall
Just like in any sport, falling is inevitable when you’re skiing. While most kids are experts at falling and tumbling down, it is still recommended to teach them the proper way how to fall on snow. Parents need to remind their children to protect their heads in the event of a ski-crash. Show your kids how to angle their bodies during a fall by demonstrating a number of scenarios.
- Offer Treats
It is vital that your kid’s first skiing experience is a happy and pleasant one. Have them associate skiing with other fun memories by giving them yummy treats such as hot cocoa or S’mores. After a run or two on the slope, take your kids inside a skiing lodge and let them talk about their skiing experience over a hearty meal by the fireplace.
- Reinforce Skiing Lessons
Once a child has acquired the proper techniques at a skiing school or camp, the learning process should not stop there. Parents can check in with the camp or the skiing instructor to know what skills that were taught in class. Ask them how you can reinforce these lessons at home. If your child shows continued interest in the sport, ask the instructor on what skiing level to sign up for next time.
Parents should manage their expectations when teaching their kids how to ski. They need to pack in an extra ounce of patience because children have different learning speeds. While some may be natural born skiers, others may take time and additional effort to learn. It is vital for kids to view their skiing experience as fun, and not as a tedious lesson or chore. Create a positive and joyful learning experience that your kids will always treasure and one that will instill in them a love for skiing.