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I grew up on the plains of South Dakota, where winter is for real. Walking home from school on a freezing winter day often meant frostbite on cheeks and toes. So playing outside in the cold and snow was not really my idea of a good time. However, now that my husband and I are raising our kids in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado… I felt obligated to at least teach my children how to ski.

As a family, we moved to a beautiful area a decade ago primarily so we could enjoy more outdoor recreation. Which includes winter sports. The mountain peaks covered in white snow are so breathtaking this time of year, they really do call me. And here’s one thing I’ve learned: if you dress in the right gear, playing in the cold is a lot more fun.

And we love to play outside. So let’s do this.

Tips for skiing with kids, family ski trips

Teaching Our Lil Nuggets to Ski

We started each of my two kids on the slopes when they were around age 5. The thing about kids (and every parent knows this), is they are soooo much more inclined to listen to any grown up other than their parent.  ANY grown up.  Any random stranger. And especially a cool millennial ski instructor.

So we did invest in a few lessons for each of them to get started. To my kindergartener child, taking advice from a ski instructor seemed so much more legit than listening to your mom scream at you, “Make a pizza with your skis!!”

Tips for skiing with kids, Teaching your kids to ski

There have definitely been ups and down while teaching my kids to ski. Once they got to the point of riding chairlifts and being able to ski a green run (the easiest level), we took it from there.  This amounted to around 2 or 3 lessons for each of them, for a couple of winters.

 

That Awesome Moment You All Ski Together

Fast forward a few years (and a few temper tantrums) later. I’m not going to lie, teaching my kids to ski was a moderately heavy lift. It did take a few years and a lot of persistence, primarily because it’s expensive and we don’t ski that often. Many, many times I heard my son declare… “I hate skiing!” For context, this was usually after taking a spill, or trying to get his ski boots on. Which almost makes me scream “I hate skiing”, too. But if your kids throw this at you, hang in there.


Tips for skiing with kids, teaching your kids to ski, family ski tripsWe all skied together this December at our nearby Colorado ski resort, Powderhorn. Oftentimes, skiing in Colorado offers gorgeous sunny days, no wind, and warm temps on the slopes.And at last, I feel like this winter… we have finally arrived at our destination. We all know how to ski. And it’s so incredibly fun to do as a family!

This was not one of those days.

It was COLD! Any skier knows, on cold days it’s riding the chairlift that’s the worst part. But we were dressed really warm, and each had on our awesome Turtle Fur neck warmers and balaclavas (I swear by these!) Plus the upside of the weather, was that we had some excellent fresh powder to ski in.

 

I Learned to Love Skiing

Back to my early South Dakota history, and learning to ski in the Black Hills as a teenager.  Icy, short runs on ridiculously chilly days.  No offense, South Dakota.  But the result was that I’ve never loved skiing, or even enjoyed it much at all.  It just made me nervous. And freezing cold.


Tips for Skiing with Kids, Kids ski gearNow admittedly, the superior mountain trails in Colorado have contributed to a better ski experience overall.  My gear is better now, so I stay much warmer.  And now that I have my two kids with me on the slopes, and we end up having an incredible time skiing together in the great outdoors…. it’s the icing on the cake!

My kids both feel a great sense of joy and sense of accomplishment when they ski for a day.  We make memories together, and even share a few laughs over wipeouts or close calls.  Skiing with our kids has forced me to stay active enough to keep up with them.  And I have discovered a new love of skiing that I never had before.

So dress warm, and get out there and have some adventures in the snow with your kids this winter!

 

You can follow along on more of Tami's adventures at Colorado Mountain Mom or on Instagram at @co_mtnmom