Are you an enthusiastic skier and you want to take your toddler to ski for the first time? Or you just want to teach your kid an activity that you enjoy? Teaching toddlers can be challenging at first since most of them might cry and throw a temper tantrum on their first lesson. However, in this article you’ll see that this is not as difficult as it seems and it’s entirely possible to teach your toddler to love and enjoy skiing as much as you do.
When Is the Perfect Time to Teach My Toddler to Ski?
There are ski school programs that offer lessons for kids as young as 2-4 years old, and most kids pick skiing up when they’re 4 or 5 years old. At the end of the day, it’s up to the parents whether they want to start teaching their children to ski at this age or later in life. One of the advantages of learning this sport at such an early age is that kids are flexible, fearless, and prone to learn new skills faster than adults.
It’s also up to your kids when you start giving them lessons. If your kid is more adventurous and easygoing, they may want to learn right away. But if your kid is not comfortable when trying new experiences, maybe you should wait a little while.
What Can I Do to Get Started?
Showing them the gear and its functionality should be the first step when teaching a toddler to ski. Before taking your kids to the snow, the first lesson should be somewhere indoors, so they can try on the gear and the boots. It’s extremely important to make sure that the equipment gets adjusted to your kid properly. Before your toddlers use the skis for the first time, it’s recommended to show them some basic positions such as making a wedge, duck walking, and how it looks like to walk with skis on. Also, let them put on the skis inside the house and help them try to walk with them. These exercises will help them to get used to the equipment, as this is a new experience for them and we don’t want to scare them.
On their first-time skiing outside, take them to the bottom of the slopes where they can stay away from other skiers and boarders. The last thing we want is a collision on their first day in the snow. Remember to ski behind your kid so you can control their speed or next to them so they can see you. When your toddler starts feeling more comfortable using their skis on the snow, you can take them to the bunny slope. Remember to take it slow and always encourage your kid. Once you and your kid reach the bottom of the slope, you can reward them and let them take a break. The learning process will take time but it’ll be worth it in the future, so you can enjoy skiing with your entire family at the resort.
Make sure that the slopes are not too hard for your toddler, otherwise they may not be able to control their speed. So take them over to the bunny slopes where they can learn how to turn. Your kids should put their hands on their knees while they go downhill. Teach them to push down on the right knee to go to the left and push the left one to go to the right.
How Do I Encourage My Toddler to Learn?
Everything starts with you, so if you get stressed and frustrated, your kid will notice and may not want to learn anymore. On the contrary, if you are patient and stay calm, your kid will feel more relaxed and be more interested in the sport. You can teach them for half an hour or less and then take a break, let them go back inside to rest, go to the bathroom, maybe have a snack, and then come back outside to try again. You can let them play in the snow after the lesson as a reward for their efforts. In fact, making every lesson fun is the key to encouraging your kid to keep learning.
Toddlers have their good days and bad days, so they might not be in a good mood every time they go skiing. But you can encourage them with gifts and rewards, you can offer them to pick a toy or eat their favorite dessert after the lesson. With this in mind, your toddler may go to the lesson even though they don’t feel like it because they have their eyes on the prize. You can also take pictures of them and show them later to give them positive feedback.
Please do not push your kid too hard or have extremely high expectations, they won’t become experts in a few days. Let them learn at their own speed and teach them that it’s okay to fall and make mistakes every now and then. You can also show them how you fall and stand up again, so they won’t be too terrified when their time comes.
Special Gear for Toddlers
Unlike adults, toddlers haven’t fully developed their muscles, thus, they need equipment specially made for them to prevent harm. First, make sure that the toddler always wears a helmet. Even though they’re starting out in a safe environment, there is always some risk of an accident or a collision. In those cases, a helmet can save your kid’s life or save them from serious injuries.
Similarly, the edgie wedgie is a very useful tool for toddlers to keep their skis in the beginner’s position. This is an item made of rubber that clamps on the end of the skis, and it’s designed to train a kid to make a wedge or pizza. It’s recommended to take the edgie wedgie away once the toddler learns how to make the wedge without help.
You can also try a ski harness to help you control your child’s speed and stop them when they lose control over their skis. This harness has a kind of vest that goes around your kid’s torso, and it has leashes attached to the back. Parents should use it when necessary, as kids have to learn how to control the gear on their own, instead of relying too much on the harness. You can take the leashes off once the toddler gains more confidence, but they can keep the vest, so you can grab them if they lose control.
Poles might help your toddler to walk on the snow. Generally beginners shouldn’t have poles, but your toddler can hold the handle of one of yours, so they won’t be too tired when trying to walk on skis.
As you can see, teaching your toddler how to ski is not an impossible task. It may be challenging at times, but you can bond with your kid during the lessons.
Finally, you can teach your kid how to ski yourself if you are an experienced skier of course, but you can also enroll them in a ski school. There are really good programs that can be half-day or full day, your kids can take their lessons, play games, take naps, and have snacks. Either way, having a new skier in the family is always something to be excited about!