A snow skiing trip with lots of kids, or even one child, can cause even the most patient parent to have frazzled nerves! There’s the equipment to carry, the lost glove, a pole six feet up the mountain after a fall. Shoving their cute little feet into their snow boots, those cute little toes being cold, not being able to get the boots to click into the bindings. All of this can be stressful for the parents and exhausting for the little ones. But, WAIT! We have 6 years of experience taking kiddos from 4 years old to 15 years old on ski trips! We started skiing with our blended family when they were 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 years old. Now, they are 9, 10, 13, 14, and 15 years old and skiing/snowboarding on their own. On our recent trip, the two boys ( 13 and 14 years old) woke up one morning, got their ski clothes on and headed out to the slopes without a word from either parent!
So here are a few tips for making your ski trips enjoyable!
1. Change your expectations of a perfect trip. Don’t feel like you have to be on the slopes from 9am until 4pm with only a break for a quick lunch. Take frequent breaks to warm up, drink hot chocolate (with marshmallows!), and let the little ones rest!
2. Eat a big breakfast with lots of proteins before hitting the slopes!
3. Split up – give the kids a chance to spend time with each parent. Gauge which kids are ready to progress from the magic carpet to the greens and let them “pizza” or “french fry” down the slopes. Take some time for yourselves as well. Letting one parent get an “adult” run in is a good way to make sure everyone enjoys the trip.
4. Duct tape! I’ve made the suggestion before — with lots of hats, helmets, gloves, boots, poles, skis (you get my point!), colored or patterned duct tape can be a lifesaver! Let each child choose their color or pattern and label all of their gear. The kids being able to help identify their own equipment increases their self-confidence by allowing them greater responsibility.
5. If your kids don’t know how to ski or snowboard, put them in lessons! (or adult friends – that aren’t emotionally attached to your children – can also be successful). There is something about trying to teach your own child how to ski that is really, really difficult for most parents.
6. Brightly colored and/or patterned jackets or helmets make it much easier to find your little guys or gals on the slopes. Don’t buy everyone black, navy or gray – they will blend in with all the other munchkins on the slopes!
7. CHOCOLATE!! The first time LuckySevenFamily went skiing together, a couple of hours into the trip, we were riding up on one of lifts and Russell pulled a chocolate bar out of his ski jacket. A few bites of chocolate gives the kids a little fat and sugar boost that wards off the fussiness that comes with hunger. Don’t underestimate the calories burned in the cold. A little chocolate treat can be a great pick me up for the little ones AND the parents too!