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A PRICELESS tip for teaching a toddler how to ski - includes video

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Teaching youth to ski is a topic that is dear to me since I have finally had the opportunity to teach my son to ski. I can say that there is nothing greater than enjoying a sport that you love with your child. I've been and instructor my whole life and have always looked forward to having the chance to teach my kids to ski. I started my son skiing at 10 months and my daughter at 12 months. Basically, once they could stand and walk on their own. My son is now 3 1/2 and can ski blue’s with me. He can turn and hockey stop and loves to ski.

 

I have a priceless little tip that can help other parents have the most success with their toddlers out there on the slopes. I have rarely found this tip mentioned. I also have a ski training device that I am recommending to go along with this tip.

 

It’s as simple as this: Buy little plastic skis without metal edges and pull your kid around the house with a t-bar trainer. Pull them inside on the carpet, tile, wood, etc. Don't worry it won't scratch the floors. Around the kitchen island on tile is the best, the plastic skis will slide around and will really simulate a similar experience to snow sliding. It will be a workout for you and your kid will absolutely love it! Both of my kids beg me to pull them around every night when I get home from work. I literally had to hide the skis from my son after I started doing this. If he saw the skis he would follow me around carrying the skis saying “ski, ski, ski” which was his first word.

 

What this exercise does is it negates a few of the first elements that you have working against you when you first try to introduce your kids to skiing. Sometimes the extra clothes, cold weather, snow, etc...are enough to keep your kid from wanting to ski. Add each of the elements one at a time so they don’t have to get used to them all at once. Pull them around the house, yard, park, wherever and they will end up loving to ski before they even get to the slopes!

 

Just watch the videos I made with my son and you will see for yourself!

Carpet skiing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Escp-HPD-gc

 

Using t-bar trainer on the slopes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IVOo-KTNQM

 

Buy a t-bar trainer here

http://luckybums.com/fall_line_tbar_trainer.aspx

 

Good luck to all the parents out there this year! I have never shared these videos publicly before, but if they help another parent enjoy skiing with their child then it's worth it.

post #2 of 17

Welcome to EpicSki!  When and where were you a ski instructor?  Do you live relatively close to the ski slopes?  Since it's a half-day drive for me, I chose to wait until my daughter was old enough for ski school.  She picked up fast enough going a few weekends a season to be good enough for trips to Alta by age 7.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the welcome! Luckily there are about 4 different slopes within 30 mins from me and about 10 more within 1.5 hrs here in NY. A few of the local parks open up rope tows on small hills and have the county run them over the winter. They offer real cheap lift tickets around $6 - $9 so it real nice for those quick trips for the kids. 

I grew up racing and instructing at Brantling Ski Slopes and instructed at Crested Butte. It's great to be teaching my kids at my home mountain, the place has barely changed since I was a kid, but I can't wait to do a ski vacation with them. Maybe later this year if all goes well!

post #4 of 17

I never knew there were so many little ski areas in central NY.  I learned to ski in the Adirondacks long ago.  Have reasons to be up in Lake Placid so I've been looking around to see what's on the way driving up from NC.

 

Did you happen to see the thread about beginners from the NYC area?

post #5 of 17

Thanks for sharing, Happyskidaddy! That is adorable! I couldn't view the carpet skiing - it said it was private - but that is so cool that you have been able to get the kids out when they are so young! 

 

I am so happy that my son shares my love of skiing. It's truly not just a sport, but a family bonding experience.

 

Carry on!

Kitty

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for letting me know the video was private. All fixed now and should be able to view. You're right Kitty, it is truly a bonding experience. 

 

Marznc - The Adirondacks are an awesome place to ski. Oak Mtn in Speculator NY is my favorite. It's run by the town, cheap tickets, not the biggest place, probably only about 700' vertical, but one of the only ski slopes that I have ever been to that truly feels like you are skiing in the wilderness. 

post #7 of 17

I think I noticed a sign for that driving through in August.  Had visited friends in Pittsburgh so took the scenic route through the Park to Lake Placid.  Their website says 650 vertical with 120 inches of snow annually.  Since I've skied in the southeast for the last decade, that could be fun for a few hours in good driving weather.

 
In early Dec, I went to visit a friend and skied at Tremblant for the first time.  It was pretty fun driving by so many little ski hills on the way to Tremblant.  Skied one afternoon at St. Sauveur since it's 10 min from her house.  I had a very good time.  Great way to warm up for the season.
post #8 of 17

Thank-You! This is just what I needed to see.  Trying to teach my 3 yr. old right now.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm glad it helped!! Have fun out there with the little one!
post #10 of 17

happy i know the feeling i got hooked into this sport 2 seasons ago on a trip with my brother last year i got my own skis and boots practiced to where i could be comfortable on all the blues at my local resort then took my daughter. She was four we went three time with her last season she loved it went on carpet lifts and one small hill had troubles but fun as well. This season she is going down the easier blues blowing past the teenagers and adults lol. Next step is working on a hockey stop. Any advice on how to explain that one to a 5 year old?

post #11 of 17

Hi ohioskier! Neighbor up north here! No, I have no advice as I am lucky to teach myself skills! I asked my teenager how he learned because I don't think I ever showed him, and he said that maybe someone tried to teach him at times, and then he saw others doing it so imitated it. But he was a little older than five when he learned it. So I guess that my only advice is to just keep having fun! And take lessons whenever you can. 

Enjoy!

Kitty

post #12 of 17

@kittygal I think thats the right approach have fun. Regardless of age fun is most important. Which ohio hill do you ski at? I am debating on switching up from perfect north to do a road trip somewhere.

post #13 of 17
post #14 of 17

ohioskier, our local resort areas are Boston Mills/Brandywine, in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Cleveland and Akron. Maybe a few country miles apart, and lift passes good at both slopes. 50% seem to prefer one, 50% seem to prefer the other. (Plus if you had extra time, you could hop on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for a ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park - but I digress, and also you won't have time!) 

 

The only other Ohio slope I have been to is Snow Trails in Mansfield. I like it there - might be a fun trip up I-71 for you, though I don't know it is is any bigger than Perfect North (nor much different in size than BMBW) - and lots of motels right there in Mansfield. I haven't been to Mad River, and don't know much about any other resort in Ohio! Curious about West Virginia, but haven't been there. If you want a bigger resort experience, try PA - Seven Springs (big) and it's sister slope Hidden Valley (but I DON'T know anything about shared passes or not).

 

Which might bring up a question for others (which I don't have to worry about, since I don't have a little one anymore) - does it make sense to take a smaller child to a bigger resort if it involves a lot of travel or money? Maybe more slope time, as opposed to chair time, IS worth it, so maybe I have answered my own question. Around here, it seems that the chair time is about twice as long as the slope time, but maybe I exaggerate. Or I just ski too quickly.

 

You folks with young 'uns can talk amongst yourselves. . .  

 

Have fun wherever you end up, ohioskier!

 

Kitty

post #15 of 17
This is amazing! I have a 1yo and was trying to think of a way to get him going. Where did you get those ski's and boots that you used in the house? Thanks for the post!
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittygal View Post
 

ohioskier, our local resort areas are Boston Mills/Brandywine, in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Cleveland and Akron. Maybe a few country miles apart, and lift passes good at both slopes. 50% seem to prefer one, 50% seem to prefer the other. (Plus if you had extra time, you could hop on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for a ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park - but I digress, and also you won't have time!) 

 

The only other Ohio slope I have been to is Snow Trails in Mansfield. I like it there - might be a fun trip up I-71 for you, though I don't know it is is any bigger than Perfect North (nor much different in size than BMBW) - and lots of motels right there in Mansfield. I haven't been to Mad River, and don't know much about any other resort in Ohio! Curious about West Virginia, but haven't been there. If you want a bigger resort experience, try PA - Seven Springs (big) and it's sister slope Hidden Valley (but I DON'T know anything about shared passes or not).

 

Which might bring up a question for others (which I don't have to worry about, since I don't have a little one anymore) - does it make sense to take a smaller child to a bigger resort if it involves a lot of travel or money? Maybe more slope time, as opposed to chair time, IS worth it, so maybe I have answered my own question. Around here, it seems that the chair time is about twice as long as the slope time, but maybe I exaggerate. Or I just ski too quickly.

 

You folks with young 'uns can talk amongst yourselves. . .  

 

Have fun wherever you end up, ohioskier!

 

Kitty

I didn't bother to take my daughter any where besides the little hill she started at until she could ski everything there (except the bump run).  I took her to Alta for a spring break trip to meet up with friends when she was 7.  She learned a lot at Alta ski school.  Became a powder chaser after Day 1.  The advantage of a ski week that involves major travel, assuming a family has a budget that can handle it, is that everyone can relax and focus on fun skiing.  No right answer, kids will be happy either way.

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ohioskier, It’s great to hear that you and your little one are enjoying skiing together. Teaching a young

child to do a hockey stop can definitely be difficult, but It’s well worth the trouble and will lead directly

into teaching them to make parallel turns. 

 

Although there are many techniques all with varying results, my favorite way to teach the hockey stop is 

to make it a game. 

 

First demonstrate a hockey stop and shoot a bunch of snow down the slope and say “look at how much

snow I can shoot down the slope when I do this” I do this in kid group lessons and make it a game to 

see who can shoot snow the furthest down the mountain. Draw a line in the snow where they start and 

see how far they can shoot the snow. You can also put something like your hat on the snow and let them cover it up by 

shooting snow onto it and giving them a prize when it’s covered up. (They don’t need to know that you 

are actually trying to teach them a hockey stop).

 

Try this first with just the right ski on and have them

try to turn to the left to shoot the snow from their ski. This will eliminate the uphill ski getting stuck 

in the pizza. After a couple turns have them try to pick up the left foot while doing their hockey stop. 

Once again make it a game. “Hey look I can do this on one foot!” (this is setting them up for the next 

movement). 

 

Next put both skis on and have them approach the line where you start the hockey stop in a pizza 

and try to do the same hockey stop to the left and have them still try to lift that left foot into the air. 

Exaggerate this movement when you demonstrate it. This might take a few tries for them to be able to 

shift their weight enough to lift that left ski and release that inside edge, but when they finally do they will 

slide sideways into a hockey stop and most likely each consecutive time they will get a little better at it. 

 

To eliminate having to hike up and down try this as you are heading down a gentle slope, ski ahead and 

draw a line in the snow for them to shoot the snow then move further down the slope again. It will help 

immensely to have a little baggie full of gummie bears and M&M’s for prizes as you are playing this 

game. 

 

Kdaffy – Those little plastic skis are from whitewoods, I found them at the local ski shop, Lucky Bums also makes the little plastic skis. The boots are size 14.0, a very small and hard to find size. I was lucky and saw them at a local ski swap.

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