6 tips for taking your kids to the snow
The snow is cold so make sure you prepare your children for it.
Buy, borrow, or rent snow pants and a jacket that can withstand 0°C and below temperatures. Most ski areas and rental places offer clothing rental at affordable rates so there is no reason to not have the kids prepared. Jeans and a winter jacket for a day out on the snow is never a good idea and will result in very unhappy and most likely, sick kids.
Check the temperature before your day on the slopes because the kids might need to layer up. Under layers should be of either merino or Polypropylene material – never cotton! And don’t forget beanies or helmets to protect their heads and keep the warmth in.
Protect little hands and feet
Feet need to stay warm in order for the rest of the body to have fun, so invest in some merino socks because they will pull the moisture away from the skin and keep it dry. Also, make sure the kids wear all-weather boots to enjoy the snow because sneakers or sport shoes will get wet and go right through to the feet.
Generally, children will want to touch the snow as soon as they see it, but insist that they put on water resistant gloves or mittens first. Parents might even want to carry an extra pair for smaller children because they do tend to get cold.
Insiders tip: Tie string to the mittens and feed into the jackets so that the mittens never fall off.
Wear Goggles or Protective eyewear
Often forgotten about are protective eyewear and goggles. Goggles are great as they will protect eyes and keep the warmth in as well. When purchasing googles, make sure they are the right fit for your child's face.
Most places generally won’t rent goggles due to hygiene reasons. However, If goggles aren't in the budget, ensure that at the very least, the kids are wearing sunglasses with high UV Radiation because if they don’t protect their eyes, snow blindness can occur – a temporary damage to the eyes caused by snow reflecting UV light.
Invest in ski/snowboarding lessons
It is well worth the time and money needed for your kids to be with a knowledgeable instructor who can offer pointers, lessons, and guidance. Instructors are fun and engaging and from our experience, are great role models for the kids.
Instructors are trained to help their clients, young and old, accomplish going down the mountain whilst building confidence. Even if your children are skiing down black runs, they can never stop learning, and there is always ways to help refine their skiing and develop their own style.
Often, kids tend think that they are invincible; instructors can teach them safer ways to ski and how to avoid injury whilst at the same time keeping them entertained and full of energy.
Most ski areas offer great weekend or school holiday programmes focussed on skier/rider improvement which means the kids can get better at skiing, while you have time off to enjoy for full day on the snow!
Kids have small tanks so they can run out of energy and get hungry pretty quickly.
Skiing and snowboarding are very physical sports and will burn more calories than usual so make sure that you take plenty of regular water and snack breaks. Most snacks can fit inside your pocket so you won’t have to worry about buying something each time the kids need a break.
Kids will need to eat nutritional, long lasting and wholesome food. Avoid foods which are high in sugar because it will burn off quickly and they will become hungry again very soon. Even stopping for a water break and relaxing for 20 minutes can make a huge difference.
Last of all, try not to have unrealistic expectations; they won’t be able to ski for 3 hours straight. Your success will come from short bursts of skiing together, even if your little one can only ski for 30 minutes straight he or she will shred very hard for that half hour. Treat them with well-deserved breaks and they’ll love you more for it!
Don’t forget to slip, slop, and slap
The snow can be unusually deceptive, although it is winter; the sun’s harmful rays can still burn! Make sure the kids have a SPF30+ sunscreen to ensure they don’t get sunburnt. A peeling goggle tan is never very fun for anybody.
Whether you take your phone camera or a pocket size one, you won’t want to miss out on those precious memories of your family enjoying their time out in the mountains. Just store it in your pocket (in a plastic sealed glad bag for extra waterproof protection) and as everyone is having fun just take a few pictures.
When you get back home everyone will love to look at themselves and all of the fun they had on their day at the snow. We can guarantee that they’ll be asking when their next trip to the mountain will be.
Finally, make sure you allow for plenty of time preparing for your day on the snow, things always take longer with kids so be patient. As long as you follow these great tips, an awesome day out on the slopes is waiting for you!