24 Tips For A Successful Ski and Snowboard Trip With Your Kids- Have Fun and Ski Safe for Years
Updated: Feb 27, 2021
There’s something truly amazing about introducing your kids to a lifestyle sport like skiing and snowboarding. Skiing and snowboarding with your kids can be an incredibly rewarding (if not exhausting) experience, but there’s definitely some tricks to set you up for a successful ski trip. Here are some basic tips to having a safe and fun skiing and snowboarding experience with your kids that will hopefully set them up for a lifetime love of powder.
The Right Start
1. Get a good night’s sleep before, both the kids and the adults! Being well rested will give everyone the energy and patience they’ll need for the day.
2. Eat a good breakfast filled with fiber and protein. Avoid too much sugar. You want the meal to give them long lasting energy reserves and not get burned up before you even reach the chair lift.
It’s All About the Clothes
3. Dress for the weather. Assume it’s going to be cold and windy on the lift and at the top of the mountain, but that they’ll generate heat while skiing.
4. Dress in layers. Wool or polyester socks and base layer, snug, but not too tight. Then a looser fitting outer layer- sweatpants/shirt or fleece work well. Followed by their jacket/coat layer. Having layers allows the heat to stay close to their body when they need it, but remove layers as they warm up to avoid overheating. Check out our post on how to dress for cold outdoor weather for more detailed tips.
5. USE THE BATHROOM BEFORE GETTING DRESSED!!! I can’t stress this enough!
6. Get snow pants that are water resistant or waterproof. There’s likely going to be lots of time spent sitting on the snow, so wet legs are something to be avoided.
7. Have your child wear a coat that has a good temperature rating but is also rated for wind resistance. The wind can be brutal on a ski lift or at the top of the mountain and they’ll get cold and lose heat really fast.
8. Invest in good gloves. Warm fingers are happy fingers.
9. Always have your child wear a helmet while skiing and snowboarding. This is a hard and fast ski safety rule that both children and adults should follow. Make sure it’s rated for skiing and fits properly. Read our post about helmet sizing to help make sure your child is ski safe!
Off to the Lift
10. Plan ahead for how you’re going to transport all the gear to the lift base. Some resorts have wagons which makes it a breeze. If not, show your children how to properly carry their skis and boards so it’s manageable and they’re not fighting the gear. There are some great gear carriers that make it so children can carry their skis easily as well. Either way you do it, plan ahead!
11. Prepare your kids for the ski lift, both loading and unloading. Make sure they know how to be safe and follow the guidelines. Check out our post on preparing your kids to safely ride the ski lift, complete with videos and practice tips.
While Skiing and Snowboarding
12. Consider having your kids take ski or snowboard lessons for at least half of the first day. Having a base foundation of the right techniques can make a huge difference in your ski day’s success.
13. Take it slow on the bunny hill until both you and your child are comfortable with basic turns and stopping. Some resorts have a magic carpet and a small chair lift so you can start out wherever your family needs to.
14. Be Positive! Encourage them to keep trying. Praise their successes.
15. Use phrases like “Great job, that was an awesome stop!” “Keep trying, you almost have it!” “You’re doing awesome, I’m having so much fun watching how great you’re doing!”
16. Take breaks as often as needed. If your kids get too tired they’re more likely to lose control and not be as safe while skiing as they would be if well rested. Breaks are a nice chance to warm up.
17. Make sure they’re visible to other skiers and snowboarders. Especially young children under 10. They’re small, unpredictable, and less likely to always follow the Responsibility Code. The Kideaux Dragon Ski Visibility Pack is perfect for this. When children are seen while skiing, they’re much safer from collisions which is a major cause of injuries in young children.
18. Teach them the Responsibility Code. Most resorts have it posted at the base, but you can also find it online at the NSAA website. We wrote a post on teaching your children the code; check it out here.
Some Additional Tips
19. Pack lunch or snacks. Have snacks on you while skiing and snowboarding. Sometimes kids just need a little fuel to get them through another run. They’re burning lots of energy, so keep them well supplied!
20. Bring extra cash for a hot cocoa break. Some of the best moments can be when you’re taking a break and sharing a cup of hot cocoa while talking about how your day is going.
21. Take lots of bathroom breaks.
22. Have them drink lots of water. Ski resorts are at a higher altitude and staying hydrated will help prevent altitude sickness. Nothing will ruin the trip faster than a puking kid at the top of the mountain. Been there, done that. It’s not pretty.
23. If they’re cold, go warm up. Hypothermia is very real and not something to be messed around with. If they’re telling you they’re cold, get them somewhere to warm up and evaluate their gear. Read more about that here.
24. The day is over when your kids decide they’re done. Don’t push it. They know their limitations and you want them to end the day on a high note. “Just one more run” are very famous last words.
Skiing and snowboarding are one of my favorite things to do with my kids. Enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery, watching them improve and grow and try new things, being outdoors and active; it really makes for a great family day. It’s not without its frustrations and occasional tears, and it can be one of the most exhausting and stressful endeavors as you try to keep them safe; but it’s worth every penny and ounce of sweat when you see that big smile on their face when they finally get it.