When the time comes to go skiing with your little athletes, being prepared can make all the difference in a positive experience. Get set the night before to avoid searching for a missing glove or boot. Prepare all the necessary food requirements, necessary identification and, if necessary medications.
Spokesperson for Quebec Ski Areas Association, Patrice Bélanger, shared some advice with WIN that he learned on his ski journies with his children,
"First, arm yourself with patience; I would be lying to say that you won't need it. And never forget the fun that awaits you."
Here are a few tricks to make sure parents have as much fun as their kids from start to finish:
1. Patience, Patience. And oh ya... more patience
Get moguls and powder out of your head, especially if this is your child's first foray into the sport. Prepare yourself to watch your child on the bunny hill. If your child is not new to the sport, prepare for breaks, snacks and even meltdowns. It happens to all of us; if expectations are low, there is less chance of the parents joining the meltdown.
"As much as we like to share what we have learned so that our children can benefit from it, I think it is a good idea to offer a lesson or two to your child to begin with," stated Belanger. "The advice of a ski instructor is highly relevant and allows children to acquire good fundamentals. Then, as a parent, all that remains is to repeat and reinforce these basics while enjoying the slopes."
2. Discounts on lift tickets
On the website of the Quebec Ski Areas Association, www.maneige.ski, there are many ways to save on ski tickets as well as attractive offers to introduce our children to snow sports, like the famous SnowPass issued by the Canadian Ski Council. This one is for kids in grades 4 and 5 all over the country. For only $29.99, pass holders can ski for free twice at each participating ski resort. There are over 125 participating resorts across Canada, allowing Canadians to return to their favorite resorts and discover new ones.
3. Planning from equipment to lunch
The day before departure: skis, poles and boots go in the car first, then the bag with helmets, goggles, extra clothes and finally, the lunch/snacks in an easy to reach corner. Bring a sled in the trunk in case you need to carry equipment, a tired child, skis or if you are parked far from the chalet. Lunch: Aim for separately packed items, an individual lunch for each member of the family - since January 31st, ski chalets and food and lunch areas can accommodate skiers with reduced capacity (50%) until March 14th where restaurants will be 100% open, so if there are too many people, eating outside or in the car can be very pleasant if the lunch is easy to access and the items are mess-free!
4. Onion peels from head to toe
Inevitably, your gang is going to heat up. Just putting on your equipment is enough to make you break a sweat. The key to staying warm on the slopes is a thermal base layer. Belanger recommends taking your coats and boots off to drive to the hill.
"As undressed as possible to avoid sweating is the trick to not freeze later. Once near the parking lot, everyone puts on their ski socks, big sweaters, hoods and helmets with the ski goggles already adjusted and ready on the helmet." "In my ski coat pockets planned the day before departure, there are only: health insurance card in case of an incident and to identify myself, credit card, cell phone, small size cream to prevent frostbite, a tube of lip balm and some tissues."
5. Avoid hangry children
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Before hitting the slopes, make sure everyone has a hearty breakfast to keep them going. Eggs or peanut butter, whole grains, nuts and fruits are key components to a pleasant day. Good snack options could consist of:
6. Take breaks
Skiing is physically tolling for all of us. The challenge is something skiers love most about skiing. However, it is different with children. If your child starts to get tired and shows signs of frustration, it is time for a break.
7. A great way to connect
"Make sure to enjoy the moments spent on the chairlift as much the hills. Often, sitting in the chair, children will share stories, which will be very pleasant chats that would not have occurred elsewhere," Belanger suggests.
Don't forget Après Ski!!
Belanger reminds us that Après Ski is a great way to connect and reward the little skiers after the day is done.
"The Après-ski hot chocolate is the perfect reward and not just for kids. Skiing is certainly a spectacular way to travel, to discover a region, a province, or a country, as a family."