Tips and exercises for learning to ski with children

 

Finally, the time has come! Your child is finally old enough (link to Blog 3) to learn to ski. 

What’s the method of teaching children to ski? Some will want to try to teach their little ones to ski themselves. We would advise you to think about it carefully because it requires a lot of patience and you won’t be skiing yourself very much. An essential requirement for this option is that you are a good skier yourself, and our helpful tips for teaching children to ski should make the process a little easier for you. 

On the other hand, you can book ski lessons for your child with a qualified instructor who is well-trained and understands how to teach little ones. Often, laying down the foundations professionally will really help their future technique. 

Whatever you choose, these ski tips and trips will be beneficial as a knowledge base, making skiing with your children more enjoyable for all. 

A few important tips in advance:

 

  1. Hire ski equipment for your child

There is no point in buying your child complete ski equipment at this age. The next time they go on a skiing holiday, the kit won’t fit anymore. 

Please don’t make the mistake of buying something that is still too big. If the ski boots don’t fit or the skis are too long, your child will have serious problems skiing and will quickly lose interest. It can also be dangerous. 

  1. Make sure you have the right clothes

It will be cold, warm and wet. Be prepared for everything! If your little ones are too cold or too warm, they will lose interest or be uncomfortable. With the right clothing layering system, you can easily regulate the temperatures. 

You can read more about the right clothing for children when skiing in our blog entry “Packing for your child’s first ski holiday”.

  1. Leave the ski poles

In the beginning, your child won’t need poles. Most kids complain because poles are stylish and make you look more professional, but stay firm as this is the best way to learn when you are teaching your kids! 

Beginners (not just kids) won’t know what to do with the ski poles yet. Therefore, they let their arms hang and pull the poles behind them. This leads to a supine position, and this results in loss of control over the skis. 

Many parents tend to pull the kids behind them by the poles. Yes, this is practical, but you can use your own poles. Children learn much faster if you leave the poles at the bottom of the mountain.

Some find it easier to leave their poles at home too, that they have their hands free when teaching.

  1. Make learning to ski fun

What mum and dad need when learning to ski with children is patience, patience and patience. It is easy to lose this. However, if the little ones don’t enjoy it, they will quickly give up.

Make the exercises an adventure, sing, play, clown around. There are lots of family-friendly activities to try on your family ski holiday. An extra pro tip: Pack some Haribo in case you need to bribe them! 

Don’t expect too much from your future ski bunny. If things don’t work out, practice something else. Take plenty of breaks. Often one or two hours of learning to ski per day is enough. 

  1. Exercises you can use to teach your child to ski:

 

Walking and gliding with skis: 

 

At first, let your child shuffle on the flat to get a feel for the skis and the snow. Always model everything, as kids learn best by imitating. 

Play in the snow, play tag, have a race or let them ski through your legs. 

If walking on skis goes well, you can start gliding. Take your child by the hand and pull them around. You can be the horse, and your little one is in the carriage.

Falling down and getting up with skis: 

 

Your child will fall often when they start skiing. But to make sure it doesn’t become a frustrating experience, learn how to fall down and get back up correctly. 

Demonstrate it! Pretend to fall over and help them understand how to get up again. While doing this, sit sideways on the ground, put your skis parallel, place your bottom on the binding to stand up.

Try a race. Both sit down in the snow; whoever gets up first is the winner.

Go uphill on skis:

 

Go to a very gentle slope and show your child the V position, facing the mountain. Then slowly walk uphill. 

While doing this, the little ones can imagine they are a crocodile, heading for its prey with its mouth wide open eating, for example, snowballs that you put in the way.

The “pizza” snowplough and skiing “fries”:

 

Now it’s time for the easy downhill glide with the snowplough. The snowplough position for braking and making turns is the pizza, the parallel position of the skis for running is fries. 

While doing this, you and your child keep your hands on your thighs. The “pizza piece” is made smaller for skiing and larger again for braking.

Driving curves:

 

Once these steps are in place, you can make your first turns. Children always go towards where they are looking. If they follow you down the run, you can easily catch them if they go too fast.

Ride the magic carpet:

 

You can get kids used to going uphill by riding the magic carpet for skiers and snowboarders as an introduction to lift riding. 

Take your child between your legs so that they get to know the magic carpet, learning how to move away from it when they reach the top. Then let them ride on their own. You can walk alongside to help with any problems. 

Enrol your child into ski lessons:

 

All these tips and exercises sound easy and fun. But you will soon find out that the reality is different!

It is best to leave your child’s learning to ski to a ski instructor. In addition, your offspring will get to know other children who are also beginners. 

And last but not least, it’s also your skiing holiday, which you certainly don’t want to spend in the European Kinderland, do you?

Read our blog post about the best ski resorts for beginners and kids for more information on where you can best learn to ski with your little ones.