How to teach a child to ski?

It's every ski parent's dream to see their child hit the slopes with a big smile on their face. Children learn to ski much faster than adults, but when is the right time for them to start skiing? Choosing the right time to teach a child to ski is crucial to whether or not they will enjoy skiing. The first ski experience will make or break your child's love for the sport.

Start slowly and steadily

The process is to teach children to move at a steady pace tailored to each child's needs. Too much information too soon could cause them to lose confidence and become discouraged. If they've taken lessons before your vacation, watch how well they transfer the skills they've learned indoors to the mountain by taking them to the beginner slope first to try the basics again. Teaching children to ski involves first allowing them to glide on a flat surface, bend their knees, walk on their side and perhaps slide down a gentle slope with you holding their hands. Be patient, slow and steady as you let them find their feet on the snow.

Have fun together and let them know that falling is part of learning

Skiing is about having fun, which is why you are having fun yourself and so should the kids. It's about having fun together in the snow, there is no need to overemphasize progress and technique. With a little encouragement and a lot of fun on the snow, they will get the hang of things in no time. However, teaching a child to ski will mean that your children will take a few falls on the snow. But letting them know that it's okay and that falling can actually be part of the fun will go a long way in keeping their confidence and morale up. Fortunately, kids don't have to fall too far and aren't particularly heavy, so the snow can usually provide a fairly soft landing.

Ideas for keeping the learning curve exciting

Have a mini slalom course with ski poles. If your kids like a little competition; why not make it a race? Get creative on the slopes. You can pretend to be airplanes, superheroes, animals, knights running from dragons, whatever sparks their imagination. Play the traffic light game: red means stop, green means go! Adapt their favorite playground games, such as tag, follow the leader, and dodge ball, to skis and snow.
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