Tips for Hitting the Slopes with Tots in Tow

To cut down on frustration when teaching a child to ski, instructors suggest parents checkout the children’s ski programs offered by many resorts. “Kids don’t learn like adults do, and often everyone ends up upset because the parent expects the child to learn more quickly than they are ready for,” says Karen Susztar, children’s center supervisor at Sunlight Mountain Resort in Colorado.


Instructors of such children’s programs usually rely on experience and specially designed lessons that make directions easier to understand. “We have perfected the tricks, skills and games that get kids skiing in a short amount of time, while they are having a lot of fun, too,” she says.


One of those tricks is figuring out which class is best for your little one. “A one-on-one environment can be much calmer and far less chaotic than a group environment,” says Susztar. “Even if the child can’t ski on their own by the end of the lesson, they usually have had fun.This is what they will remember – and ski school won’t be such a scary place next time.”


The following are more tips will you prepare for a ski trip with kids in tow:


• Give kids a head start on the buttoning, snapping and fastening required of ski clothes. Dress children in all their ski clothes at least once before you leave the house – they’ll know what to expect and you may get them to laugh at their bulky get up!


• Look for discounts at resort sites online, in local grocery and ski equipment store. Skiing costs can also build up frighteningly fast. Most resorts offer family ski packages.


• Shop around for a learn-to-ski program that best meets your family’s goals. Most ski programs are available for children as young as 3 years. Snowboarding classes usually require kids to at least 5 to 7 years old. Learn-to-ski programs require children to be potty-trained, however childcare that includes snowplay and other special activities is generally available for tykes in diapers. Be sure to bring your child’s immunization records in case they are required for daycare check-in.