Lucy May is a ski instructor in Verbier with European Snowsport Ski and Snowboard School. With lots of experience teaching children, we caught up with Lucy ahead of half term week to get her top tips on skiing with kids….
Lucy says …
Skiing with children is great fun but lets all admit it… no one wants to be the person whose poor child is crying throwing their poles on the floor because they are unhappy! Skiing gives people such a buzz and we all want our little ones to enjoy it as much as we do. Because at the end of the day if they don’t enjoy it, it ruins our experience of the trip too!
With five years of ski instructing experience I hope my top five tips can help keep your little ones happy on the slopes…
1) Make it fun!
Telling your children they have to follow you everywhere down the mountain is like being told you can’t go to après ski - which no one wants to hear!
Pick out something easy to spot down the slope and let them lead you occasionally or play some games whilst skiing; they love it!
Try out the jump park and ski races, don’t just stick to the same slopes.
My favorite game to play with kids is the ‘Gruffalo Game’. You pretend the Gruffalo is coming from the top of the mountain and we have to ski away from him. (If your children don’t like turning and only go straight you can say the only way to escape the Gruffalo is by turning, as he can only go straight) If your children aren’t fans of the Gruffalo you could change it to their favourite character at that moment in time.
2) Keep an eye on their energy levels
If your children are getting tired and lacking in energy it often leads to tantrums, tears and lots of falls, which then leads to them becoming wet and cold.
None of that is fun for them or us. If you think they’re getting tired go in for a hot chocolate break; that is what they are for! You can all warm up and have a sugar boost to enable them to push through the rest of the ski day. Hot chocolate breaks lead perfectly on to my next tip…
3) Make sure they go to the toilet whenever you have a break
I’m sure anyone who has skied with children has had the moment when as soon as you’ve gone back outside, got all your gear on, skied to the chair lift and sat down when they’ve said “I need to go to the toilet!”. To make the situation even harder sometimes you get “I can’t wait hurry up!” so you have to rush to the bathroom. Be ahead of the game and whenever you’re in the café make them at least try (even if they say they don’t need to) and go 10 minutes before you plan to leave, taking off all of their layers and putting them back on takes a while.
The golden rule is “no pee, no ski.”
4) Always carry snacks
One of my personal memories of skiing as a child was how much I loved that I was allowed to take a mini galaxy bar in my pocket everyday! There really is nothing like a chocolate bar (or whatever your preferred snack is) after a ski run, the children love it for sure.
Even if you carry the snacks for the children, you are always guaranteed a smile on the kids faces when you tell them its snack time.
Having a bottle of water in your pocket or in your rucksack is also very important, when you are skiing people often forget to drink water and get dehydrated, especially kids.
5) Safety on the mountains
Everybody knows children like to go fast and do all the jumps and bumps on the side of the piste. They have no fear; we’ve all done it so know how fun it is. This is completely fine as long as they are safe. You should explain to your children that they need to look out for other skiers as well as themselves on the mountain.
If they have gone off the side of the piste they must be aware of others when rejoining. You should always stop at the side of the piste and not under rollers where you can’t be seen.
And lastly before they set off they should always look up to make sure no one is coming down.
I hope my tips will be able to help you and your little ones on your holiday to the mountains. With all that said my biggest tip ever is to have fun!! Skiing is such a thrill and can be a magical trip. I hope you have the most amazing holiday.
Drysure’s top tip: wet, damp, sweaty boots mean cold feet. Grab a pair of our Drysure Extreme boot dryers to dry boots thoroughly after each day on the slopes. By absorbing moisture you’re also helping to keep boots bacteria free.
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Lucy May, our Drysure Ambassador in Verbier