1. Keep them warm
It goes without saying that most of the time, skiing is cold. If your children are falling over regularly (which inevitably will happen), they are even more likely to be cold! For this reason, the best thing you can do is to overcompensate and invest in all of the right equipment.
Your child can always remove several warm layers once they have worked up a sweat, however they can’t put on layers that don’t exist! Hand warmers, beanies and balaclavas are all going to be helpful in keeping your child warm and comfortable.
Yes, skiing can be expensive. But if you want your children to love it, don’t take shortcuts and purchase the right kit! A great way of saving some money is to hire clothes. Skismart offers a wide choice of jackets and trousers for the whole family from premium brands such as Spyder, Helly Hansen, Eider, Schoffel and Killy. There’s a wide choice of colours and styles so the whole family can look and feel the part on the slopes (while at a fraction of the full retail cost). Skismart also offers a complimentary ‘try before you fly’ service so you can ensure everything fits perfectly in advance of your holiday. Not sure what to wear on the slopes? We have two useful blogs for this:
- Ski Packing List For Your Family Skiing Holiday
- Packing Tips For Children On Your Family Skiing Holiday
Let your children pick out their favourite ski wear. This may be in their favourite colour or a trendy design. One option worth exploring is all-in-one animal ski suits from our new partner, Dinoski. As well as being stylish and a hit with children, their ski suits are also made to a high quality meaning your children will remain warm on the slopes.
If this isn’t an option for you, your local ski shop may also host an annual ski swap where you can find warm, perfectly intact gear at great savings.
2. Ski School is vital
Have you ever dropped your children off at school or a music lesson and they are scared and upset, yet when you pick them up later in the day and they are happy and brimming with energy? The same goes for ski school.
Ski lessons are the best way to ensure your child learns properly. If they learn properly, they are much more likely to enjoy their time on the mountain. More fun = more family skiing holidays!
Here at Ski Famille we realise it can be difficult for your child to warm to a foreign ski instructor in a new (cold) environment. This is why our ski schools have been carefully selected based on factors such as their instructors’ English-speaking abilities, professionalism and ability to adaptability (based on the age and skill level of our younger skiers) as well as their ability to teach in an enthusiastic, engaging and safe manner. Not only this but when you’ve booked our Mountain Marmots morning sessions, our childcare staff will take your children to and from lessons and liaise with instructors to ensure you get feedback on how your children are progressing.
We know that learning to ski in a safe, understanding and fun environment is a key part of the holiday for families. In many children’s groups, Ski Famille guests can make up the majority of the class, meaning your children will often see the same familiar faces throughout their week.
3. Explore Other Types of Snow Fun
A family skiing holiday can involve more than just skiing. The best way to get your children to love skiing is to create a positive environment around the whole holiday.
Getting your children used to their overall surroundings will help familiarise themselves with snow and leads to heightened confidence on the slopes. As parents, this leads to your overall goal of ensuring your children love their skiing holiday… happy children = happy parents!
And if one family skiing holiday wasn’t enough, who knows, when your children are grown up they may just invite you to join them on the slopes!
4. Bring a friend along
Everything is better with a friend involved – especially if you’re a child. Here at Ski Famille we receive many enquiries from groups who’d like to travel with another family and stay in one of our chalets on a sole-occupancy basis. The benefit for you as parents means you’ll have other parents to ski with as well as enjoying your chalet all to yourselves. It also allows your children to ski with their friend either in ski school or with ‘the grown ups’.
If you really want your child to progress quickly, try to get him or her to ski with a friend who’s just a little better. This provides motivation for your child to improve and keep up with the friend. However, remember having fun is the overall goal – not necessarily performance.
5. Get Creative
Children have such powerful imaginations. Our ski school instructors, childcare team and even chalet hosts can use this to full advantage to ensure your children have plenty of fun. As parents who know your children (and what motivates them) better than anyone, you can make the most of their vivid imaginations.
Before you’ve even left the UK, you might want to let your children pick out their favourite warm skiing clothing. This may be a bright and bold ski suit or themed ski wear such as Dinoski‘s make animal-themed ski suits.
During your time on the slopes, your child might look forward to the wide range of ski-in-ski-out restaurants and cafes on the mountains. Spoil and reward your son or daughter with a hot chocolate or savoury crepe. This gives your children something to look forward to, recharges their batteries, and keeps the whole mountain experience a pleasurable one.
6. Get familiar with the pistes
Search YouTube for videos of the ski resort you will be visiting and watch them with your children. This should put your children at ease and their mountain experiences won’t be overwhelming. We’ve helped you out:
Fear of the lift is common for beginners (especially children), so watch a video to make your children a bit more familiar with how to get on and off it. Go over the piste map and set a goal for what pistes you want to tick off your ‘bucket list’. If your resort has special pistes or activities for children, talk about them and get your children excited!
Les Gets is great for these special child-focussed pistes. For example, the Le Grand Cry is an area of mountain in Les Gets dedicated just to children. It’s themed, with trappers and native Americans motifs, including large snake eggs and totem poles. And its gentle runs are served by two ski lifts, so your kids can learn in safety away from the main pistes. It’s perfect for kids aged between five and 12, with face painting workshops, storytelling and drawing competitions.
We see it time and time again where children may start off the week a little timid and nervous. By the end of the week they simply don’t want to leave. Our childcare team in particular, are experts in finding common ground with your children and ensuring they are just as comfortable around them as they would be around mum or dad.
7. Fun over performance
We’ve briefly touched upon this but it is deserving of its own point.
Fun and play are far more important than performance to start off with. If your children enjoy themselves, they are far more likely to build an interest in the sport compared to when they’re forced to do it. If you are skiing with your children (i.e not through ski school), take them down easier slopes initially or slopes that they enjoy. It might be tedious for you but ensuring your children learns at the right pace is essential.
Think about the future. If they have a positive experience while growing up, they can master the sport and one day you can tackle a black diamond run with your child! First you must endure the basics.
For more information, our friendly team are on hand to help. Please do give us a call on 01252 365 495 if you have any queries.