When I took my 3-year-old skiing, I searched high and low for tips to make sure that it would be a fun experience. At first I was determined to get him on a snowboard, because my husband and I board, but I found lots of advice not to try that. After we went I was definitely glad we got him skis. He would have had a hard time balancing, and the toy rope would have been impossible for him.
My 3-year-old is a busy body and very coordinated so I though he might love learning to ski. My family was going up to the Sundance resort so I took my boy up to the tow rope. It went really well and he loved it, but I also learned a lot for the next time we go!
Drop them near the hill. Ski boots are hard to walk in, and although my boy was a trooper, I ended up carrying him from our car, to a tram, from the tram, to the ticket station, to the hill, and then hiking the hill to the tow rope. We were both exhausted by the time we got there! Next time I will definitely make sure someone can wait with him while I get his ticket and park the car.
Legs together on tow rope. Don’t try to hold your kid by the arms. Place your kid in front of you with their skis between yours and put your knees together behind their back. Then your legs can push them and they can balance by themselves by holding onto the rope. If you can avoid a toy rope and go to a place with an escalator type thing, I would definitely suggest it. If not, the tow rope was fine but it took my sister (who was on skis with my boy) a while to figure it out. Also, if you are a boarder I honestly don’t know if it’s possible to help them on the tow rope!
Ditch your Skis/Board. Because my sister was on skis and could take my son up the tow rope, I unstrapped from my board at the start to help my son balance. Because of this he immediately started doing really well because I was able to help him a lot more than if I was strapped in. There were a lot of older kids there with their parents who were struggling to understand what their parents were trying to get them to do because their parents couldn’t bend over and move them into “pizza” vs “french fries” etc.
Two on one or at least one on one. Lucky for me we had about 6 on 1 because my son was the only young one. Even if you bring all your kids for their first time together though, I’d suggest you start off by taking them up one on one while the others wait. If they start off with undivided attention they’ll be less likely to be scared and do better.
Pass them from person to person. Because there were so many of us helping my son, we learned quickly that he felt most comfortable being passed from one person to the next. There were a lot of other people trying to comfort their young kids by grabbing their arms, but that made the kids feel like they would lose their balance and weren’t in control.
Catch their legs not their arms. When we passed my son down to each person, we found out that it worked best to catch him by his legs. If we caught him by his chest or arms he was more likely to tip over or freak out because he felt of balance.
Keep it short and sweet. My 3 year old lasted about an hour before he was cold and tired. It was a lot of fun though and I can’t wait to take him again!
What other tips do you have?