Teaching Kids To Ski
Teaching kids to ski – how difficult can it really be?
Actually it can be quite a challenge teaching kids how to snow ski, especially if it is your own child. Not only does it require a lot of enthusiasm, patience and encouragement on your part to teach kids how to ski, you also need to be quite an expert skier yourself to ensure that they learn how to snow ski correctly.
Whether you decide to teach your kids to ski yourself or you enroll them into a ski school, we have some great tips for you.
Tips on Teaching Kids to Ski - Prior to Hitting the Slopes
A great way to prepare your children for their first ski vacation is to introduce all the ski equipment, before you go to the ski resort. If you plan to buy all the kids ski equipment beforehand, then let your little skiers walk around with the ski boots on at home. This will let them get used to wearing the ski boots and they will enjoy playing mini astronauts too.
If you plan to hire all the kids ski equipment at the ski resort then bring your children to a specialist ski shop prior to their ski trip, so they can familiarise themselves with the ski equipment.
Also, make sure you teach them the correct names of all the ski gear, so they know exactly what you or their ski instructor is referring to when they are out on the slopes.
Skiing safety on the slopes is everyone's responsibility so please make sure that you ask the ski resort for a copy of their Skier Responsibility Code - and that you take the time to learn the rules of the code with your kids.
In addition to the code please teach your children to show courtesy to other skiers on the slopes and make them aware that there are elements in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.
An Example of Your Skier Responsibility Code:
- Ski/ride under control; be able to stop and avoid other people and objects. Excessive speed is dangerous.
- When skiing/riding downhill, traffic below you has the right of way. When moving across the hill, give way to those moving downhill.
- When stopping on a trail, always stop where you can be seen from above, and on the outside edge of the trail or slope.
- When starting downhill or entering a slope, give way to all other traffic.
- All skiers/riders must wear devices to prevent runaway skis or boards.
- Always use a spotter when jumping. Jumping is not permitted into trails, congested areas or in "Slow Zones".
- Obey all ski area signage and stay out of "Closed Areas". They are closed for your safety. Source: NZSki
Tips on Teaching Kids to Ski - On the Slopes
When teaching kids to ski the key is not to have too high expectations, especially as it takes longer for some children to master the skills of skiing than it does for others.
Learning how to snow ski in a fun, supportive and relaxed environment will not only give your kids a great start on the slopes, it will also build their level of confidence and skiing abilities.
Even if you are an expert skier yourself, there are some advantages by enrolling your children into a few ski lessons. It is a fact that children learn better when they feel happy, safe and comfortable. They are therefore far more likely to stay focused and engaged, if they are taught by a qualified ski instructor, who loves teaching kids how to ski.
Children are also more likely to try out new ski techniques and ski moves when they are supported by a professionally trained ski instructor, and they are less likely to muck around on the slopes - wasting your time.
After their first snow ski lessons you can then enjoy skiing with them and watch them practicing all their new skills. Before you know it, they will learn how to snow ski just as well as you!
Tips on Teaching Kids to Ski - After leaving the Slopes
After an adventurous day on the slopes, it is time for some family fun where you can play games or further your older kids' ski experience by watching a few how to ski videos online - and perhaps a few how NOT to ski videos. The latter may even be a good laugh!
There is no doubt that some things are better left to the experts – and in this case, teaching kids to ski should probably be left to an expert skier (maybe yourself?) or the excellent ski instructors offered by most family friendly ski resorts.
If you decide to teach your kids how to ski, then remember to listen to them. Don't force them to ski. If they wish to have a day off, then let them. Learning how to ski should be fun so let them play in the snow, build snow-men and have lots of hot chocolate breaks too!
For further information please also read our learn how to snow ski article.
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