cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

What Makes For a Successful Day Skiing with Kids?

While downhill skiing can be learned at any age, there is something special about kids discovering the sport and finding their way around the slopes. With a bit of enthusiasm (and sometimes a youthful dose of fearlessness!), children can often graduate from the bunny hill and using "pizza and french fries" to being adept skiers faster than we'd expect.

The rewards of a family spending successful days out on the mountain together are huge, though parents and caregivers know there is a ton of work that goes into making those days possible. From keeping the right snacks in your pockets to figuring out all of the gear, there are a lot of moving pieces to coordinate.

Our Expert Advice article, How to Teach Kids to Ski, is a great list to look through when starting this journey. If you have some tips and suggestions that worked well for you, we'd love to hear!

featuerd_jan22_snowsports-kids.jpg

What Makes For a Successful Day Skiing with Kids?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
6 Replies

I'm going to share my super-secret single-mom technique for happy ski days with little kids (for morning people only). When my kids were little, they would get up in the morning and dilly-dally around not getting ready which was pretty aggravating.  When I realized that PJs and long underwear are essentially the same thing, I got an idea.  I put all their ski clothes into big duffle bags.  I'd get up early, load the car and let them go directly from bed to the car in their PJ/long underwear.   Then at the ski area, they'd put on their outerwear and ski boots in the car. We would go into the lodge  and order a large breakfast with eggs and hash browns and cinnamon rolls and  hot  chocolate before the lifts opened.  It turns out that almost nobody eats breakfast at ski areas except for ski patrol and lifties, so it was very relaxed. This strategy was a game-changer because it took all the stress out of getting the kids ready.  Everyone was well-fed and happy all morning long.  We could ski through the noon hour and they'd get hungry for lunch after the big lunch crowds cleared out. Now the kids are teens, but they still like to go for an occasional ski breakfast. 


That’s a genius idea! 

0 Likes

We're just starting out so I'm more in need of tips then being able to dispense them, but on the gear side, we did come across and buy the Idea Up boots from Roces. It's a great option if you're going to buy your own rather than rent, since they are adjustable through 6 mondopoint half sizes, so they still fit even as the kid's foot grows for at least a second season, maybe a third. The smallest is 16-18.5, but there's also 19-22 and 22.5-25.5 (the largest is named Idea Free instead of Up but same concept).

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
0 Likes

Yeah those Roces have worked nicely for me as well.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
0 Likes

Hot chocolate!

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
0 Likes

For my kids when they were ages 2-5 I'd be happy with getting them on the slopes, comfortable and having fun for about an hour, then pack it in before they got too frustrated.  A slope rope and edge wedge were useful tools early on and they are fairly cheap.  I also let their skis get a little dull, no need to reapply the wax at that age.  At home, I send them out in the back with full ski setup and let them tool around in the yard and little hills around.  They will do that for hours at a time and really helps with the balance aspect.  The hardest thing early I think is stance (do not to lean backwards, knees bent, etc.) and how to stop with a snowplow, get those down and then they can tackle areas past the easy greens.  We would stop for a treat after to make the day extra special (ice cream was usually they choice, yes, even in winter).

6+ consider lessons once they are past the basics or if struggling with the basics.  It helps to have someone besides mom and/or dad enforce what they should be doing.  After 6 gauge the skill level and take them with you as often as you can.  The more they are out, the better they will get.  Build confidence by encouraging them to try different areas you think they are ready for and stay positive.  Teaching kids to ski early is not very immediately rewarding, but seasons later you will be glad you did it.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.