1) Make sure they have the right kit
The best place to start is to make sure that your kids are warm and dry and have equipment that works for them. Small children lose heat a lot quicker than adults so make sure they always have enough layers, and don’t forget their extremities need speed attention. Ensure that their boots fit comfortably and their skis are appropriate to their size and ability.
2) Don’t talk too much
Children love to learn by seeing and doing. Try to limit any technical chat, use lots of games, but most importantly keep them moving. Children love the sensation of skiing and can often pick something up by just copying someone. So if you want to teach your kid how to stop sharply, show them a hockey stop and just ask them to see if they can do one, you will be surprised!
3) Take lots of breaks
Kids can’t focus for the same duration as adults and their smaller bodies fatigue much quicker as well. All this quickly adds up to a disinterested child. Take regular breaks throughout the day to keep your children’s interest piqued. Kids dehydrate much quicker at altitude so the breaks also offer a valuable opportunity for your kids to warm up and take on board some fluid.
4) Vary the activity
It is often difficult to maintain a kids focus as they have naturally shorter attention spans than adults. One way of doing this is to regularly vary the activity they are doing. Keep things fun and try to use games that challenge your children, for example get them to follow your tracks exactly, or vary the terrain.
5) Jumps and speed traps
Kids love the terrain parks found at most resorts. Often they have smaller jumps that are suitable for little kids and some resorts have slalom and ski cross course for children. Being timed adds a competitive element that most kids seem to love. The speed traps are another great thing to do with your child. They get the thrill of going fast and have their speed measured in a safe and controlled environment. Use these features to break up a day of cruising the pistes to keep your children interested.
6) Get them some lessons
A qualified instructor will have a wealth of experience in how to keep your child interested while progressing their skiing ability in a safe and fun environment. Group lessons can also offer an opportunity for you kids to have fun with other kids of the same age and ability. Some ski school like Altitude have dedicated private areas for kids who are just learning to ski, and will have lots of specialist equipment to make sure your child has the best time possible.
Last but not least, make sure you always have Haribo Gummybears with you!