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Snow Baby to Snow Kid: The Rewarding Transition to Becoming an Independent Skier

March break is finally here! Although there may not be visible snow on the ground, chances are you can still find it if you venture out into ski communities. This is exactly what I plan to do in the coming week.

For my 4-year-old daughter, Audrey, and I plan to get out as many times as we can over the coming break. At 4 years old, all of the time and effort that has been spent getting a small tot onto the hill has paid its dues. Audrey is now a competent and able independent skier!

If you plan to venture out over the spring break, I recommend visiting the website of your chosen ski area.

For skier parents who have longed to ski independently with your child, four to five is an exciting age. My daughter was 2 when she started to ski and after 2 winters of skiing with her under tight supervision, we’ve reached the stage where she is skiing independently and sometimes even ahead of me!

If you have the time booked off, March Break is the perfect opportunity to spend a solid week on the hill together, honing skills that you can’t get to as much on a regular basis. I suggest you take advantage in the following ways:

Plan ski days in advance

When we have the opportunity to ski multiple times in a short stretch, Audrey and I like to ski on a one-day-on, one-day-off basis. I recommend doing this because a) your body needs a break if you are still pulling your toddler around with your ski pole on the flats, and b) because you don’t want your child to become tired and bored with your routine! Skiing and snowboarding should never feel like a chore. If this is how things are feeling for your child, it’s time for a break so that they are not pushed past the level of enjoyment.

Take on a new skill or hill:

Ski holidays are a perfect time to incorporate a new challenge. This not only develops your memory but it also gives you the time you need consecutively to introduce a new skill to work away at.

Audrey and I are going to start with her ski poles soon. Now that she has shown me that she can free ski on most terrain, she is ready to take on learning how to use her poles for balance and precision. She is also keen to start trying more challenging terrain. We pick one ski run or area to focus on in a day and we always warm up on a more progressive beginner area before we attempt a new and more challenging run. Tip: make a journal of ski adventures and have your child log entries after their day on the hill. These memories can be cherished forever!

Capture photos and video to look at together afterwards

Taking photos and video are not only a great way to capture your ski and snowboarding memories, they are also excellent learning tools. If you take the time to document a new skill, such as learning to use poles, you can go back over footage to point out strengths and areas for improvement. This is always a fun activity when you head indoors for a hot chocolate or a break. It is very rewarding for a child to see their own progression!

Incorporate after ski/snowboard fun

My last suggestion is to develop your own routine and traditions on a ski break. Whether you plan a fun après hour or you love to make a fondue dinner, there are always unique ways to build in fun. This is part of the experience and there are so many opportunities to make the most of the valuable time that you spend outside of work and school enjoying winter.

Try: hitting the dollar store for fun après party favours such as glowsticks and bubbles for the kids to enjoy after a day on snow!