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  • Writer's pictureMegan Estes

Tips For Skiing With Kids

(Scroll to the bottom for a list of helpful tips when skiing with young children)

I didn't realize how emotional I would be when getting to share a part of my childhood with my kids! I've had fun sharing many parts of my childhood already--recipes, gifts, traditions, etc. However, I'd never shared this part before, mainly because I didn't think we could afford to, nor did I think it would matter that much. Boy was I wrong. This week I learned just how precious it was to introduce my kids to a sport I grew up doing often with my family. Now they're hooked, and I need to get another job to pay for our family's new obsession--skiing!!!

saving money while skiing

A Skiing Deal!

Our homeschool group was blessed with the opportunity to participate in a homeschool ski day this year! For $200 our family was able to get ski rentals, lift tickets, ski lessons, and lunch for the day! You can't find a deal like this anywhere in Colorado--so we jumped on it! (Especially since we can get reimbursed for our ski costs through a state program we are a part of). Anyhow, even though our youngest kiddos are four and a half and four months old, we figured we could at least try to attend a family ski day as long as we planned well, set low expectations, and mom and dad took turns skiing.

remembering how to ski

Like Riding A Bike, But Harder

The whole drive to the ski range I kept debating whether to ski or snowboard (because I grew up doing both). I was googling things like, "which is easier on your back, skiing or snowboarding?" which pretty much tells you it had been a few years since I'd done much of anything! It also tells you that I'm old! Gah! There, I said it! It's hard admitting your body is almost 40 when your heart and spirit feel like they're still kicking it in your twenties. After much debate I decided to ski so that I could be more capable to help hold up other kids that were learning to ski. I'm so glad I did! Even though I recently had a baby and am recovering from some back issues, my body remembered the skills of the past. Thankfully, I didn't have any bad falls and remembered to take ibuprofen before we even got there--just like my dad taught me :) Drug up before you even get on the lift!;)

skiing with young kids

Getting out there on the slopes flooded my mind with memories I hadn't thought of in decades. Ski trips with family, giggles with my sisters on the ski lifts, crashes, and even soreness from a week long trip of snowboarding covered my mind. I'm the oldest of three girls (the middle one pictured above wearing lovely huge glasses and braces!) and I had unconsciously pushed aside so many of these memories because 1. my family doesn't live as close to the ski slopes as I did as a kid, so out of sight out of mind, and 2. skiing is outrageously priced these days so I never thought we'd be able to afford such an adventure--and if we could afford it I didn't know if it was a high enough value for us to invest in. I'm so thankful we did! My kids had sunshine faces all day! They were overwhelmed with joy and hooked! They couldn't even stop talking about it the following week! My oldest son woke up the day after skiing and made his own indoor skis out of cardboard, tape, and some hangers for poles! Ha! I'm so thankful my husband and I committed to skiing a few times this year with our kids. My "mom heart" is so full from enjoying creation with my kids in this way!

skiing with kids and a newborn

Skiing With Kids and a Newborn in Tow

Babies are more flexible than we often realize. While I love soaking in sweet baby snuggles in the comfort of my home, I've also accepted the fact that they've gotta go with the flow of the older kiddos quite often, and there's grace for that. My husband and I took turns wearing baby for the ski day. Thankfully, it was gorgeous out so we felt comfortable with him outside and bundled up from the wind. I should have brought the car seat inside because at one point I had to use the bathroom while wearing baby which was a bit tricky! You gotta do what you gotta do when you're all alone and you gotta go though! It was great to be able to walk around the slopes and cheer my older kids on while my newborn slept on my chest all cozied up. When he got wiggly we just spread out a blanket on one of the tables in the lodge and let him get some tummy time and stretch it out. By the time you have your fourth baby you realize just how flexible babies can be, and there's a freedom that comes with knowing that because your heart wants to soak in your sweet baby, but also not miss out on the joys of making memories with your older kiddos. I'm proof that you can do both as long as you plan well and have gracious expectations of yourself, your kids, and the adventure itself.

tips for skiing with young kids

Tips for Skiing

With Young Kids

I was honestly surprised at how well our ski trip went! I had expected to be missing out on all the fun and feeling "stuck" in the lodge. Thankfully, that didn't happen! My husband and I worked hard to make sure each of us had time to make memories with our older three kiddos, as well as soak in lots of baby snuggles. Here's some things that really made our time skiing together a success:

  1. Walkie talkies are a must as well as set meet up times and places. Cell phone service is spotty, and with four kids all over the mountain and only two adults, we were able to communicate frequently and go with the flow more instead of hard set meet up times/plans. For instance, when the littlest was tired we didn't have to wait around trying to find one another to trade places--we just radioed one another and got him inside and warming up right away.

  2. Personalized snack bags made sure no one went hungry. Everyone had their own bag, so when their snacks were gone, they knew theirs were gone so there were no arguments about who was going to get the last protein bar. I also let everyone eat however much they wanted whenever they wanted because I knew they were burning a ton more calories than usual! Skiing is hard work! Bring LOTS of snacks!

  3. A rocking camp chair for the lodge made sure my old mama back stayed strong! This little ski place isn't very comfortable for a nursing mama with a newborn, so I brought my own chair! There's literally just hard tables and hard plastic chairs for seating, and nowhere to get real comfy. Just in case it was too cold to be outside with baby on our ski day I wanted a place to hunker down for six plus hours. Between helping kids with snacks, trading off turns with baby, and walking the slopes to cheer kids on, I didn't get to use the rocker as much as I thought I would. I'm thankful that I had it when I needed it though!

  4. Sunscreen made sure I didn't come home burnt! That snow reflects on you more than you think, and I remember how painful those facial sunburns were as a kid when we forgot to put on sunscreen! I wore it, but completely forgot to put some on my kids! Thankfully their faces were almost fully covered because it was a bit chilly part of the day. If they had been skiing without goggles or scarves around their faces we may have had some sunburns to deal with.

  5. Extra gloves/hats were great to have just in case we lost one, or if things got really soaked and cold. One good ski crash ripped up my son's brand new glove (yes it was a cheap one), so if it had been the beginning of the ski day when this happened we would have needed another pair for sure. You never know if someone might drop something off the ski lift accidentally! Extra gear could save you from paying extra money!

  6. Your favorite baby carrier will make sure your baby is comfy and safe while you're tromping around on the slopes and throughout the lodge. My hubby and I took turns wearing baby and enjoying the lodge or venturing out to help our four year old on the bunny hill while the other one of us skied.

  7. A backpack filled with quiet toys came in super handy for our four year old. He needed a lot more skiing breaks than our older kiddos, so having some activities he could enjoy at our table in the lodge made it easier for us to entertain him while caring for a wiggly infant. If you're bringing a little one that is going to need lots of breaks like our four year old consider bringing some magna tiles, cars, and little toys.

  8. A small laundry basket for all the snow gear helped us to have more table space and keep our things together. We took up an entire long table with just our snacks when we were eating together. It was nice to have a place to pile all the hats and gloves and extra items, and be able to put the basket on the floor keeping everything dry and together.

  9. Binoculars would have been nice! Our "home base" table was upstairs in the lodge overlooking multiple ski slopes--including the bunny hill. Our binoculars were in the car but I wish we would have brought them in. It would have been another quiet activity for my four year old to do. It also would have enabled me to see my kids getting off the lift at the top. Binoculars are just a great tool for adventures in general!

  10. Leave bright and early! Let's be honest, it's going to be a long and tiring day no matter what! You might as well get to the slopes when they open and stay as late as you can to get your full monies worth! We woke up at five, left at six, and got to the ski area right as they were opening the doors. Everyone enjoyed watching the sunrise, eating a little snack, and waking up on the ride there. It was great to get there first because there were five of us that needed to rent gear--which can be really time consuming! This way we were all ready when the lift opened at nine so my kids could go!

mom and kid skiing
Me and our four year old
skiing with a newborn
Our newborn stretching out in the lodge
kid skiing
Our four year old finally skiing by himself

kids learning to ski
Our oldest gaining confidence and finding her sport! She was flying down blues by the end!
Skiing with kids and a newborn
Me and baby enjoying the warm lodge and some resting snuggles!
skiing with kids
Oldest son discovering that skiing was much easier to learn than snowboarding!

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