Planning to take your toddler on a ski trip? It can be stressful to think about and even more nerve-wracking to plan! Skiing is a daunting trip even with older kids and adults with all the gear and packing involved. But doing so with a little one is another roadblock.
You may be wondering whether to teach your little one how to ski or hire an instructor. If your family loves to ski and is passionate about it, there is no better instructor than you. You know your child through and through and can talk them through the process, whereas a ski instructor won’t have that edge.
So what are some tips to make a family ski holiday with your young child an exceptional, low-stress one? Here are six tips and tricks and some of the best places to ski with toddlers. Keep reading to discover more!
6 Tips for Skiing with Toddlers
Introduce them young
If your family is big on skiing and enjoys being in the mountains, you shouldn’t fret about taking your children at a young age. You will definitely pass on your passion to your little one. Seeing you in your element and exploring the snow will allow your toddler to feel at home in the environment!
Introduce them to the snow and mountains at a young age. They will feel more comfortable in the snow when at a ski resort and be more receptive to your lessons.
Consider showing your child videos of other kids snowing. It will motivate them and put them in the right mindset before your trip! You can also discuss what they will see at the resort and how the snow will look and feel while you are in the mountains, helping them anticipate what’s to come.
Let them get used to the surroundings
When you get onto the ski resort, get your child comfortable in their surroundings before you start skiing. Schedule some time for your little one to play in the snow surrounding the ski resort. Let them feel the cold air and fall and tumble in the snow so that the mountains don’t seem as daunting when it comes time for it.
They will also have time to play in the snow in their heavy ski jackets and gear. This prep is a must for your child’s first ski trip and will help it go as smoothly as possible!
Find a ski resort with child care
You can try your best to introduce your child to snow and skiing, but if they are extra fussy during your trip or just don’t like it, there isn’t much you can do. You don’t need to cancel your trip and make it harder to hit the slopes yourself.
If you think ahead and find a ski resort with childcare, you can drop them off at daycare while the rest of the family conquers the slopes. This fool-proof backup plan will have all members of the family happy! Child care at ski resorts is a lifesaver for parents who want to ski with their kids but want a backup plan in case things go awry. Having a plan ready makes sure that no one has to take turns on child duty!
Say you find the perfect ski resort, but it doesn’t offer childcare. Consider hiring a babysitter there or paying someone to come with you for the weekend. Most resorts have a concierge who will happily provide you with a list of local babysitting agencies. So if all else fails, you have a few options for child care!
Keep sleep schedules in mind
Families with young children know the importance of sleep schedules. But on a ski trip, it can get a little tricky. Travelling, skiing, and playing in the snow is exhausting for everyone in the family – adults and children alike. Anticipate for your child to get exhausted early on (maybe even as soon as you get to the resort).
Stay as close to your child’s nap times as possible, but if you miss it, don’t worry too much. Just try to aim for an early bedtime so your little one can get ample rest! Ski trips don’t have to mess up your kid’s sleep schedules if you try to shift things around and accommodate them the best you can.
It can be so much fun on the slopes that you may miss your child’s cues for wanting to take a nap. They may be acting out or fussy, so have a plan in place for when this happens. One parent can bring the little one for a nap while the other stays on the slopes, or you can take a lunch break while your child naps, or consider some childcare!
Take photos to encourage them
The best praise and motivation for your child comes from you! If this is your child’s first ski trip, make sure you leave a positive and lasting impression on them! To do so, make them feel as comfortable as possible on the slopes, praise them for their accomplishments, motivate them slowly, and make this experience the best possible.
You can promote this even further by taking photos of your child playing and trying to ski in the snow and showing them later when you’re back in the comfort of your hotel room. Try to motivate your child by pointing out all the good things they’ve done, so they try harder and enjoy the process even more!
Make sure they have the right gear
When you go skiing, you want to make sure you have all the right gear for it. You will most likely buy the best quality for your kids, but the question of what exactly essential gear includes may be on the mind of many parents.
Here is a quick list of ski gear essentials:
Beginner skis for your child should be about the height of your child’s belly button. Older kids at a more intermediate level should have skis that reach their chin. If you don’t frequent the slopes, consider renting instead of buying!
Skiing is a cold business! Make sure you layer and bundle your little ones up to keep them in a good mood, even in the cold. If you don’t layer properly, there will be much more whining and less skiing.
This will be a lifesaver for when your children are too tired to walk after hitting the slopes all day. It can also help you get all your gear from the car or resort to the ski piste. So consider buying or renting a sled to save you time and energy!
5 Best Places to Ski with Toddlers
On the hunt for the best place to have your ski trip? Planning the perfect ski vacation for the entire family can be daunting, but if you choose the right ski resort – you have less to stress about!
This resort is a top pick for families with young children. Their slope-side accommodations will make you and your kids feel like you’re sleeping under the lifts and stars!
They have 18 restaurants, cafes, and bars on-site for your family’s pleasure. This resort is known for its Daycare Plus program, where kids 18 months to five years old get a one-hour private lesson (all rentals included) along with full or half-day play and supervision. So, if you wanted to hit the adult slopes and not worry about your kids while they played on the slopes, this resort in British Columbia is the perfect family-friendly pick! It’s a snow village for you and your family to discover!
Big White (Kelowna, BC)
Another great resort in BC is the Big White, a ski-in, ski-out resort. You can walk outside already strapped to your gear and be at the bottom of the lift within seconds. They have 20 restaurants available right on the mountain for you and your family, along with a grocery store and fast-food services that can deliver straight to your room.
This fantastic choice for families taking a ski trip with their toddler has a service called Tot Town Daycare which will look after your young children for the entire day. Children old enough to ski can take group lessons by the day (or a value five-day package). You can even teach them to ski yourself, taking advantage of their semi-private lessons “Mom/Dad & Me Are Skiing”! This ski resort is popular for a reason and has thought it all through. So enjoy ski vacation peacefully!
Northstar California Resort (Truckee, CA)
This ski resort is year-round and will keep your whole family entertained and in high spirits! Along with their ski mountains, they have an ice-skating rink and a heated cabana for when you want to escape the cold. There is a playground near the link where families can have fun with young kids by snow tubing and making their hot cocoa and cupcake stations.
If that’s not enough, they even have s’mores served by the fire every afternoon for you and your family and a movie theatre that shows family-friendly films to leave a lasting impression on you and your kids!
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (Teton Village, WY)
If you are trying to get your children into skiing, nothing will appeal to them more than this ski resort. It has a map filled with mountains with names like “Mr. Toads Wild Ride” and “Princess Woods”. It has some challenging courses, and it provides private and group lessons for toddlers as young as 3.
It has a daycare system in place, The Kids Ranch, which provides childcare, and it even has evening programs with unlimited sledding and pizza! Your children will have the time of their lives, making it the perfect way to introduce skiing to your young kids. Being in a resort that caters specifically to kids will give them a positive experience and more excitement to try new ski resorts in the future!
Aspen Snowmass (Aspen, CO)
Aspen is known for its skiing. This resort is one of the best ski destinations, but it goes farther than skiing and snowboard lessons. You can look into snow bike rentals and training! This resort is a great luxurious pick for you and your family. Need a backup plan for your kids? They got you covered!
The V.I.K (Very Important Kids) program includes after-skiing activities for kids, storytelling, cooking decorating, and much more, just for your kids! There are winter wonderland parties every Friday night with lots of s’mores, dancing, and hot cocoa! Experience a family-friendly ski vacation and have your kids wanting more!
Skiing with your toddler doesn’t have to be something to fear. Ski trips tend to be a lot because of all the aspects involved. Throw in a toddler, and it may seem like too much to handle. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Equipped with the right gear, tips, and mindset, you will be all set to introduce your little one to skiing!
The tips we covered aim to give you and your family the best ski experience of your life! So pack your bags and get ready to introduce your toddler to the beautiful world of skiing!