Skiing with Kids – Avoid These Mistakes

Snowboarding or skiing with kids can be the most amazing experience. You are creating family memories and embracing our long winter. You’re also introducing them to your passion (because lets face it, you want to spend more time at the hill and getting the kids onboard with that is always a good idea!)
With that said, there are a lot of things to consider when heading to the slopes with your kids. In my experience, there are a few mistakes once must avoid heading to the hills with kids.
Starting Too Young
I’m learning this lesson the hard way. Although we never put a 12 month old on skis (yes, some people do that) we found that our 3 year old is having a hard time with the concept of ski school. He’s ok few a few runs, but after an hour he’s done. (Ski school is a solid 1:45 hours) He only turned 3 years old 2 months before class started, so he’s on the younger side of the 3 year old spectrum. We are happy he’s out and getting used to the concept, but if I could re-do it, I would have only registered him for a few private classes and done the rest ourselves. He may be a little small for classes this year.
I know we are all eager to get our kids out there, but there is nothing wrong with waiting 1 more year.
Choosing the Wrong Ski Hill
Not all ski hills are made equal. Sure a they have chair lifts, and probably have some delicious hot chocolate and poutine, but every hill ultimately caters to different kind of skiers. Some hills are known to be extremely family friendly which means they have more programs and trails suitable for kids and families.
Ideally, larger hills have a lot of family facilities and activities, but may also be a lot more to manage, especially with smaller kids. The Ski school could be a solid 10 min walk from the main chair lift, and the parking lot alone may be overwhelming.
My recommendation is stick to the smaller hills, especially if your kids are smaller or are just starting out. Once you start looking at ski vacations, then sure go for the bigger hills and enrolled your kids in the child care program/ski schools.
Not Getting The Right Gear
This is not a place you want to wing-it. Proper clothing and outerwear is super important especially when they are outdoors for hours at a time. Proper fitting ski boots, skis, helmets, goggles…. it all contributes to a positive experience and less overall complaints from you child. Complaints will happen anyways, so I’m not promising they won’t, but at least we can minimize a few, right?
Trying to Teach Your Kids Yourself
The power of the ski school is remarkable. Our 5 year old is thriving after 2 years of ski school. Sure, we don’t ski, so it would have been hard to teach him, but unless you have a background in teaching kids on how to ski, I would leave this up to the instructors. They know the hill and understand the conditions better than most people. They understand your Childs ability and which runs are the right ones (including taking them in some wooded trails, which I would have never done personally, but my son is a rock star).
Not Planning in Advance
Like every activity and vacation and excursion, you have to plan in advance especially with kids. Skiing and snowboarding is no different. The amount of gear that everyone needs to bring is incredible. Packing the bags the night before, making sure everyone has snow pants and dry mitts are all important. Also, hot tip: purchasing your ski tickets online in advance usually means substantial savings. That being said, I wouldn’t recommend TOO far in advance, because the last thing you want with kids is to be out on the hills when it’s -20C. (Welcome to Canada!)
I hope this helps you in some capacity! Some of these mistakes I have had to learn the hard way. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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