Every parent knows that the key to family-vacation nirvana is making sure the kids have fun. That goes for a first trip to the slopes. Here’s how to make that first time on the slopes one that will make them beg for more:
Choose an age-appropriate program and make reservations ahead. You can do all of the paperwork online at many places. Don’t put them in a class they aren’t ready for!
Resist the temptation to put younger kids with older siblings or to teach them yourself.
Opt for a time when the ski school won’t be packed—during the week, for example, not during the peak school break weeks.
Rent their gear on the mountain so they’ll not only have the latest gear, but if there’s a problem, it can be quickly replaced.
Make sure the kids are well rested and well-fed. If you’ve just arrived after a long flight, give them a day or a morning to acclimate, visiting the ski school first.
Outfit them properly with long underwear, moisture-wicking ski socks, fleece sweatshirts, waterproof pants, mittens and jackets, and goggles. Stash a power bar in their pocket “just in case.”
Smear sunscreen on their faces and give them a tube to use at lunch along with lip balm.
Rent or buy a helmet to protect their heads. Research shows that helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 75 percent; for more information on helmet use, visit www.lidsonkids.org.
Resist the temptation to take them on any slope that might be too difficult. You want them to be confident, not overwhelmed!
Keep your expectations reasonable. The worst mistake parents can make when introducing their children to snow sports is setting expectations too high.
Don’t force them if they clearly don’t want to head out onto the slopes. There is always next year!
Just remember, there's always next year.
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' authors have or will receive a paid trip to Park City Mountain Resort or will receive other compensation for their participation as an author.