10 Tips for Skiing with Kids & Packing List

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At this time last year I was finishing up planning for our first family ski trip.  We spent Christmas in Vermont and had maybe the best trip ever and I am sharing our tips today so that you can have a winning ski trip too!  Some of these may seem common sense, but when you are packing for your entire family, it can be easy to overlook things that may save your sanity.  With that in mind, I’ve also included a packing list.  🙂

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Tips

  • Enroll your kiddos in ski school.
    • I know that this may seem like just another cost, but I promise this one is worth it.  It is so hard for kids to listen to directions from their parents (who direct them all the time) and it can run your patience into the snow within the first hour.  Take the time to hit the slopes yourself while your kids learn from the pros.  We enrolled all three of our kids in ski school and they were better skiers than me before the end of the second lesson!
  • NO music for beginners!!!
    • It’s so tempting to let your littles put their earbuds in and jam while they are headed down the slopes, but while they are still learning please don’t let them.  They need to be aware of their surroundings and be able to hear people coming.
  • Take the time to find the right resort.
    • This is one of the biggest points for me.  If you look for the smaller, family friendly resorts you are going to feel less pressure when you’re on the mountain.  Your kid is not going to be the next Peekaboo Street right away and if there are people pushing past them constantly, they may get discouraged.  Smaller resorts will generally have staff that is able to help you right away, ski schools that aren’t full to the brim and less crowds.  All good things for beginners.
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Don’t forget to take time to sled and build snowmen!

  • Keep treats in your pockets.
    • This is something that we picked up from our kid’s ski school instructors.  They had little baggies full of trail mix in their pockets.  When you’re skiing and having a great time, it may be easy to forget how much fuel you’ve burned.  You definitely do not want to have an energy crash as soon as you hop off the lift, so throw some goodies in your pocket in the morning.
  • Pee before you ski!
    • Not much to say here other than it is awfully hard to use the restroom at the top of the mountain.  Take the time to hit up the restroom before getting on the lift!
  • Layering is crucial.
    • Sometimes when you wake up and it feels like it’s -37* you just want to put on the warmest clothes you can find.  I get it, but that is not the way to go for skiing.  Even though it feels ridiculously cold, you will be working your butt off and may get warm.  Layers are so essential to helping your body keep a comfortable temperature.  Just add or remove layers as needed.  Read my packing list below for more info.
  • Carry your kid’s poles on the lifts.
    • We’ve all seen the parent who had to trudge down from the top to get the poles that their kid has dropped from the lift.  Just remove that potential problem and hold onto your kiddo’s ski poles for them while on the lift.

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  • Bring extras.
    • Be sure to have extra gear in your car in case something gets lost or left behind.  That neck gaiter that your kid took off for lunch and now it seems to have disappeared?  The one glove that dropped into the toilet (don’t ask!)?  Have a few extras of the essentials so you’re never without.  Warm kids are happy kids!
  • Rent gear on the mountain.
    • If you’re planning to go skiing once a year, it may be a better deal for you to rent ski gear for your kids.  They grow so quickly that they’d possibly outgrow gear from year to year anyway.  If you’ll be on the mountain for more than a day, be sure to ask about longer rental rates.  Helmets, goggles, boots and skis/snowboards are all available.
  • Be sure that your car is winter weather prepared.
    • If you are driving to the mountain, be sure that your car has either snow tires or that you’ve got chains in the car.  Remember that you are headed to snow and be prepared!  Have food/water and blankets in your car just in case.

ski-with-kids

Essentials Packing List

  • Snow pants (I prefer bibs for kids…they do a much better job at keeping the snow out)
  • Warm, waterproof coat
  • Thermals / base layer (look for moisture wicking as this will be the layer that touches the skin)
  • Lightweight top and bottom layers (I grabbed fleece pants and pullovers for my kids from Children’s Place on sale for $6 each)
  • Wool boot socks
  • Waterproof gloves (look for a pair that has adjustable wrist strap so you can keep more snow out)
  • Neck gaiter (trust me, you’ll want this on the lift!)
  • Hat/beanie (gotta keep those ears warm)
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand/toe warmers
  • Snow boots (optional, but highly recommend!)

Words to look for when purchasing kid’s gear: waterproof, insulated, moisture wicking, taped seams

Here is a picture of my guy to give you an idea of his layers.  He has his moisture wicking long underwear underneath and has taken his coat, gloves and beanie off to wait his turn to dogsled:

ski-with-kids

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