Hit The Ski Slopes With The Kids This Season - SantaFe.com

Ski season in northern New Mexico generally runs from Thanksgiving to Easter, when Ski Santa Fe is open for business. This means those of you with children will have to decide whether or not to get a babysitter or take the kids with you. If you’re thinking the former, you may be cheating the tots out of a great adventure. When are children old enough to ski? The general consensus is 3 to 4 years old. It really all depends on the child’s development, and whether or not they will listen to instructions from adults other than their parents. With that in mind, here are a few tips for getting the most out of a ski trip with the youngsters.

Why Ski Lessons Are a Must

Yes, ski lessons can be costly, but think about it. You’re providing a formative service they will take with them for the rest of their lives. Wouldn’t you rather they understand the basic techniques necessary for them to grasp the concept of sliding down a hill on nothing but two planks of wood and a couple of sharp poles? Of course, you would. You’re a parent. It’s either that or letting them flounder and fall, leading to upset and humiliation that could very well give them a complex and ensure they NEVER try to ski again. Who wants that?

It’s also good to remember that ski lessons aren’t just another form of daycare. In fact, your kids will learn some new skills, while also improving their concentration, and developing their motor skills and balance. Also, the concept of holding the child between your legs in order to teach them is widely regarded as a no-no.

Not only is it bad for your back, it’s also dangerous. You run the risk of falling on top of them, but also, you won’t be able to keep your eyes on the skiers around you, which raises the risk of collision. Those are considered bad lessons for your child to learn. It also leads to bad posture for you both and doesn’t give the child the experience of using their muscles to stay upright.

Lucky for you, Ski Santa Fe has a program called Chipmunk Corner, for kids aged 4 – 10. In it, children are grouped by age, and instructors stay with the group throughout the lesson. Here, your child will learn all about the equipment necessary, and how to use it, along with the ski lift.

This is a very popular program, and space is limited, so online registrations are strongly recommended. Lessons for 3-year-olds are offered as private lessons, but there are also several Youth Multi-Day Programs to keep the interest growing. For answers to your burning questions, call Chipmunk Corner directly at 505-988-9636.

Six kids wearing purple vests in a row on skis.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tips for Training Tots

  • Dress them warmly. This seems like a no-brainer, but there are people who think everything they need will be provided. This is true for the equipment, including skis and boots, but not for their clothing. A nice heavy jacket, a hat and/or earmuffs, neck warmer, gloves, and thick socks are a must. Breathable clothing to reduce sweat is also recommended.
  • Consider investing in a helmet and goggles. It’s just like riding a bike or skateboard, in that the chances of falling down are high, especially at the outset. And if you think the snow’s glare is bad for you, imagine how your child feels. Other equipment you might consider can be found on this website. It never hurts to be safe, rather than sorry.
  • A good way to prepare children before their first ski trip, especially if snow is foreign to them, is to take them to the baby slope to play in the snow before the lesson. This gives them the opportunity to get used to the cold, and their surroundings. By the time their lessons begin, they’ll be ready to try something new in this glorious new playland they’ve discovered.
  • You might also want to take some small rewards, like stickers or sweets, to give them when they reach certain goals. You know why.
  • Give them space. That’s right, this is one of those instances where helicoptering isn’t advised. If you want your child to gain confidence, the best bet is to leave them with the instructors. You can check in occasionally, but don’t put pressure on them by shouting from the sidelines or rushing forward to help them when they fall. They got this. Trust your children and the instructors.
  • And finally, if your child just isn’t getting into the concept of hurling themselves down a mountain at high speeds, don’t force them. They just might not be ready. Try again in a few years when they’re a little older.

Remember, having children is supposed to enhance your life, not limit it. Children are very resilient, and long for new experiences during their formative years. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to give them an adventure they won’t soon forget, with one of the most rigorous and enjoyable exercise programs available today.

Get another take on introducing kids to the slopes, from author Daniel Gibson, here. For more information on teaching your children to ski at Ski Santa Fe, visit the website.

This article is sponsored by Octane GMC of santa fe

This article was posted by David Salcido

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