As February half term approaches, we've asked our friends at New Generation Ski and Snowboard School for their top tips to get your little ones ready for their ski holiday.
Before you leave the country
If this is your children's first time in the mountains, make sure you get them used to the idea of skiing by talking about it (and snow). Books like Monty The Marmot
are a great way to do this with younger kids.
Tom Saxlund, New Generation Ski School Managing Director says, "You can even buy buy plastic skis from Amazon that children use as toys in the house before they try "real snow skiing". Walking around on the carpet with plastic skis strapped to their shoes teaches children lots about how skiing works."
The next step is making sure they have the right kit: warm and comfortable children are more likely to learn and enjoy their ski experience. It's easy to hire skis and boots once you're out in resort, but we'd also suggest:
- Helmet: A well-fitting helmet is required for all ski lessons and recommended at all time.
- Salopettes and ski jacket
- Sunglasses or goggles
- Ski Gloves: Cold hands are one of the biggest fun stoppers. Mitts are warmer than gloves. For small kids get mitts that goes over the end of the jacket sleeves.
- Thermal underlayers, both leggings and top make for most warmth
- A neck warmer
- A Thin balaclava
When you're in resort
Once you are out in resort it's easy to get distracted or in a muddle in the rush after breakfast as you head out on the hill. A quick checklist each morning is a great way to ensure children get the most out of their ski lessons;
- Sunglasses and goggles. Make sure they fit with helmet and that ears aren't trapped uncomfortably under their helmets.
- Ski kit - Have you got the correct boots for each child - and are they on the right feet (you would be amazed at how often this isn't the case!). Do the skis fit with the boots?
- Ensure the neck is covered well, the jacket neck or wrists aren't too tight, and that a balaclava covers the gap between helmet and goggles.
- Factor 50 Suncream - even if it's cloudy!
- Leave your phone number, chalet name and your name on a card in their pocket in case the instructor needs to contact you.
Skiing with your children
Have fun with your children after the lesson. Let them show you what they did. They will love to show you.
Talk to the instructor about things you can do with your child after the lesson. Even if you are not a strong skier yourself, there will be ways you can support your child's learning and development.
Tom Saxlund's tip is to 'keep fun as the main thing. If you children are having fun and not feeling pressured they will want to come back for more ski holidays. If they come back they will soon be better than their parents...'
Booking the right ski lessons for your children
An important part of your holiday is booking your children into the right level lessons. New Generation Ski and Snowboard school are based in 10 resorts across the French and Swiss Alps, from Val d'Isere to Verbier and everything in between.
They offer children's lessons from 4 - 14 year olds, from little beginners to racing adventurers. All lessons are taught in small groups with fully qualified, English speaking instructors. Prices start at €239 for Whippersnappers (our wee beginners age 4-5) to €399 for full morning sessions for older beginners, right through to the New Gen Freeride team (10-14 year old black run demons). You'll also get a certificate and badge at the end of the week!
For more information or to check availability please visit www.skinewgen.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0844 770 4733.
You can also check out your kids level's on the New Generation website.