We’re an active family. Whether it’s sports for the boys or a family adventure, we’re all about getting out and doing. Extracurricular activities have been great for the kids, fostering friendships with other children, introducing them to the concept of team spirit and teaching them the importance of listening and taking turns. And while this has been great for them, my wife and I have been looking for an activity that we can do as a family. Enter skiing.
Both my wife and I were avid skiers in our heyday, but that day has long since past. Resolved to get back into the sport, we purchased skis on the cheap for the family at a local ski swap and have undertaken the great work of teaching our five and three year old how to ski. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) the boys took to it like bears to honey and were whizzing down the slopes in no time.
How did they pick it up so fast? What is the secret to their success? We did a couple of things that, I think, gave them a leg up and prepared them for the big hills.
- Watch skiing videos on YouTube - in order to get our guys excited for things and to teach them basic lessons when it comes to sports and other activities, we often seek out YouTube videos that either show the fantastical or practical of a given sport. By showing them the impossible (or what is possible with a lot of practice) it gets them super psyched. Following this up with some practical instruction shows them what they need to practice.
- Ski in your own backyard – before hitting the local ski hill, we took our boys to the local toboggan hill to get them accustomed to their skis. This gave them the chance to figure it out in an environment that they are accustom to. Many of the parents we met commented on what a good idea it was to get them started on the neighbourhood hill. I won’t be surprised if the next time we’re there if everyone leaves their toboggans at home and brings their skis!
- Make a morning of it, not a day – our guys are little, despite what they might tell you, and a full day of skiing is a lot for them. Being able to take them to what is essentially a bunny hill and not have to pay for it is great. It gives them a chance to get the same practice they would get at the ski hill, without having to drop $50 to $80. What we’ve found is that after close to two hours our boys are done, so to be able to take them home, warm the up with a cup of hot chocolate is a treat.
Are you teaching your kids to ski or do they ski? What tricks and tips did or do you use to get them started? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your advice! If you’d like to see a video of my guys skiing, check out my blog Not Your Average Dad.