Snow is, in most cases, children’s best friend, but oftentimes, when trying to make the transition from simply playing in the snow or sledging to a complex winter sport such as skiing, parents are confronted with frustrations, oppositions, setbacks. How can we best prepare the little ones for the first ski lessons so as to make their acquaintance with this sport as smooth as possible?
Here are some tips for the months preceding the actual skiing experience, tips that will help you prepare your child in all respects.
4-5 months before the ski season:
- Enroll your child in a sports-type activity such as gymnastics, dance, martial arts. Such experiences will improve balance, coordination, motor skills in general and will tone muscles;
- Become outspoken fans of snow and winter sports; in your free time together, tell your child stories about the wonders of winter fun in the snow, about your childhood memories in the snow, of how you learned to ski or how your friends have; Obviously, you will need to filter only positive experiences with a happy ending!
- Start simulating falling situations in a playful context. It is important to learn to fall before learning to ski, just as it is important for the child to understand it is perfectly natural to fall while practicing it. You can even imagine a game in this respect.
- If you can, opt for a workout on skates. Rollerblading or ice skating are an excellent preparatory work- out because it will get the child used to maintaining balance in motion.
One month before the first lessons:
- Ensure that you have booked the hours and the instructor well in advance and ask about details such as the length of lessons, the number of daily lessons, ski slopes they will first slide on etc.; you can view with your child the slope in advance via webcams and imagine together funny scenarios.
- It is important to book accommodation as close to the slope as possible so as not to waste time with transfer. In winter conditions, any extra effort takes its toll on the child and it would be a pity to make them tired before the actual lesson.
- Buy and familiarize your child with ski equipment. Ski overalls, gloves, helmet require quite some time to get used to. Children should master the whole routine of getting equipped for skiing before the big day, so that they have one less stress factor when on holiday.
- Browse YouTube for interesting videos with your children. You can look both for professional skiers and for kids skiing in order to give them a choice of possible models.
A week before the first lesson:
- Make sure you have the entire equipment ready:
– Coverall ski pants are always preferable, as they will better protect children from contact with the snow and cold;
– Turtleneck blouses, cotton and fleece jumpers; You should follow the principle of successive layers, and make sure the first one will be cotton;
– Gloves, cap and helmet – the latter is a compulsory safety measure with children; besides, it will help you more identify more easily your kid in the crowd;
– Ski goggles – they may seem an unnecessary accessory at first, but they can significantly increase your kid’s comfort level, especially in the event of snow or frost;
– Enquire about renting ski equipment – boots, skis, etc. The sticks will not be needed in the first week.
- Check weather forecasts and slope conditions so as to know what to expect;
The more inclusive your holiday package is, the more you can concentrate on the kid and give them the full support they need! Here are a few suggestions.
So do dare put your little one on skis, with some preliminary training and the right instructors, everything will be fine!