or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Teaching really young children
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Teaching really young children

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Seeing the thread that has started to talk about teaching young children (it had to do with walking), I thought I'd bring up the subject in a thread of it's own.

My daughter will be 21 months at the beginning of March. I would like to get her out sliding on the snow at least once before the end of the season. I think we may have broached this subject once, a while back, but I'd like to revisit it, and get some ideas as to what sort of things you may have done or heard about, to get little-ones comfortable on skis and on the slippery snow.

Is there equipment available for kids at this age, other than the plastic, toy skis that strap over their snow boots?

I know that reliableracing.com sells that sort of stuff for 1-3 year olds, but I'm sort of interested to find out if there is any equipment that might give the kid a bit more control. Also, Reliable Racing sells something called a "kiddie ski bar", that looks like a nasty implement of destruction. I have never seen or heard of one of these. What is it, and how is it used?

This is a link to Reliable's children's equipment.

http://www.reliableracing.com/WintersportsCatalog/category2.cfm?category=4300&header=CHILDRENS%20TRA INING%20TOOLS

Any input is really appreciated!
post #2 of 12

How's Anna doing?

That "apple rise bar" looks like a device to use like we would a bamboo pole to help control kids. You would just use it to give the child a way to pull themselves up and balance..

At that age, I think it's more a matter of letting them find what it feels like to slide with "Big feet" or boards attached to their feet. They usually don't have the patience to stay out long so 2 or 3 runs at a time tends to be the limit I have found. Most of the kids I have had at that young of an age didn't even need to be skiing just being held between your feet and skied down to get the feeling of the movement. I sometimes think this is more fun for them than the skiing part.

Then pop them into some cheap boots and skis and let them play on a flat area.

Keep giving them the idea that this is FUN and next season when she has better control, she will be raring to go.

One thing I found that helps kids a lot is if you have hard wood floors at home, Wax the floors and put them in a pair of old socks. then run around the house with them and get them sliding! Great fun, good balance practice and they can't get in the back seat or they will end up on their behind!
post #3 of 12
When my son was two we got a pair of skis with the name "Trak" on them that were a hard plastic with a fish scale base like cross country skis. This helped him avoid the frustration of always sliding backwards. (I would never waste time trying to teach a 2, 3, or even most 4-year olds sidestepping.) They came with a strap binding that worked with any boots. The following year we got him some "real" ski boots and mounted some junior bindings on the skis to accomodate the boots. I can't recall who made those bindings. Rightly or wrongly, I always had a kind of educated layman's opinion that sophisticated release bindings would be a waste of money for toddlers under 35 pounds and under three feet tall. They don't have the weight or the leverage to effectively make the equipment work properly and you end up simply adding a lot of weight to the skis. I may be wrong about this and would be interested to hear from those more knowledgeable.

[ January 16, 2003, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: David7 ]
post #4 of 12

Here is a link to the Apple Rise site, which developed and sells the product you mentioned.

http://www.applerise.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=ARS&Category_Co de=KIDSKI

Our 2 year old will also be skiing this year. I bought her skis and boots (real skis and boots, not the plastic stuff) from the following site for $100 for skis, boots, and bindings.


The folks at ski-deals are very helpful. Just remember the lower end packages are older rental equipment and will be in less than showroom condition. The gear I purchased from ski-deals has been exactly what I wanted at the best price I have found, however it was not pretty and it was well used.

I decided to make the kids ski wedge lock and the ski bar but I bought the video. I already had the tip lock and leash from my local ski shop. I am waiting for nice warm, clear weather to get my little girl out on the slopes, so I suspect we will be spring skiing with her.

Let us know how it goes.

post #5 of 12
Thredbo ski school puts down a bit of green 'carpet' - like atrificial grass - for kids to walk up. To start them skiing they walk up the carpet(almost dead flat) then ski the 3-4 metres 'down' to instructor.
post #6 of 12
>...I would never waste time trying to teach a 2, 3, or even most 4-year olds sidestepping...

FWIW, I started my daughter at a few months past her 3rd birthday and had no problem with her sidestepping as long as I didn't try to use it to go up more than 10 or 20 vert feet.

She was a fantastic imitator. If I sidestepped, she sidestepped. When I saw that worked, I herringboned. She immediately herringboned up right behind me. I swear that if I had walked up the hill like Lon Chaney, she probably would have done the same thing.

Obviously, all kids are different and YMMV.

Tom / PM
post #7 of 12
For the tiny kids, those "toy" skis they sell in plastic display bags are pretty good. It's so important that skiing is a game for them. If it gets serious, and they "have" to do a pizza, it can become something they dread. I saw a 5 year old who'd failed in his first day of ski school to do a pizza, and he was thoroughly traumatised. Crying, angry, refusing ot have anything to do with skis or skiing. Don't set goals for them...although if you can get them imitating you or setting their own goals, that's great! They tend to fixate on odd things, like wanting to go up the chair lift if they can see it. Let them play with their equipment, and let them set their agenda. If it's making snowmen, great. If they associate snow and sliding with Fun nice and early, they'll always want it. Don't let them get tired or damp/cold, that's important. Try to make snow a comfortable environment for them.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies folks. There's some good stuff there.

FWIW, I've been teaching kids as young as 4, to ski, for 20 years. What I'm looking for insight into, is the really young (<2yrs).

I realize that my little angel [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img] will only want to be out there for a very short time, and that it needs to be play, and I need to take her off the hill while she is still having fun (leave them wanting more), but what I am not sure of (and maybe never will be) is HOW to make the sliding down the hill more fun for her. I want her to want to be on skis. Hopefully, seeing mommy and daddy on skis will help, but do things like having more control of the skis really help, or does that not matter?

We're finally having a good snow year here in the mid-Atlantic, so I might try to get her on the little hill in my side yard, that runs from the front to the back of the house. The snow would certainly be softer, and no long drive to the mountain. I can "groom" it out by making a few straight runs on a snowboard.

As I type this, I think I'm just nervous, and am looking for some encouraging words.

We're supposed to get 4" tonight!
post #9 of 12
>...Hopefully, seeing mommy and daddy on skis will help...

In my experience, it definitely helps, but as they get older (ie, 4+), being around other kids on skis is even more influential in keeping them interested.

>...I might try to get her on the little hill in my side yard...

Good idea. My kid remembers Mommy making snow angels in the local park when she was 3 y.o. more than she remembers the first time she took a lift, stood on the top of her first real ski run, etc.

>...but do things like having more control of the skis really help, or does that not matter?

There is a lot of variation between kids on this, but IMHO, generally no. They know that their parents aren't going to let them do anything too dangerous & they think they are invulnerable anyway, so control is quite irrelevant to many of them.

>...and am looking for some encouraging words...

Have patience, go with the flow, keep her warm, no discouraging words, nothing technical, no goals, give up skiing with your buds when she is around, give her 101% of your time on the hill, and it will be one of the most fun, rewarding experiences you will have.

Tom / PM
post #10 of 12
I just saw this thread and thought I'd jump in (with a rather lengthy post). I've been teaching my 2yr old (30 mos) for the last couple of weeks. Things that have worked for us - boots that fit, skis that have edges (older, straight skis though), edgy-wedgy (critical!), the "magic carpet" (conveyor belt lift), holding a ski pole palm down in both hands, lots and lots of patience, retrieving objects (like a ski pole) from places on the slope to teach turning. Things that haven't worked - having both mom and dad present (either one is ok, not both), holding a hand off to the side, grasping a pole in a baseball bat grip (twisted the shoulders), meeting any sort of timeframe or expectations.

The progression: On Friday, we made a couple of runs on the magic carpet, then proceeded to spend 20 minutes building snow castles at the top of the run. Then we did about 20 more runs on the magic carpet. Saturday, only 3 runs. Monday, spent the first hour in the lodge (?), then about 10 runs on the carpet. Then, when his 4yr old brother wanted to take a run with him, we were rewarded with his first run on a chairlift slope. Although we had a harness on him, we didn't need to use it, much to our surprise. He was able to turn both ways and stop, although it's really more of following one of us, not a deliberate thing. Later this week, who knows, maybe back to the magic carpet, maybe the chairlift.

Like everyone says, the most important thing is having fun! We never did do the plastic ski route (couldn't find them), and I think I'm glad. Having boots and skis that actually do something seemed to help our 2yr old (and his brother who started on the same used gear at 2). As a side note, I also keep the edges clean and the skis waxed. Having grabby unpredictable skis seems to mess the little guys up.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input. Unfortunately, I think my daughter's feet are going to be too small for regular ski boots for a while yet. Maybe next season, when she is 30months, we can do that. But for now, I found a pair of the plastic skis at a local ski shop (whey come with poles! As if an 18 month old needs poles?!). Not both parents, huh? Interesting.

I think I'm going to start with just putting the plastic skis on her in the house, so that she gets the idea of walking around in them, and keeping them straight. When we get some snow, I'll take her outside and see if she'll let them slide a bit.

I have a fear that she won't even let us put them on her, and I'll be totally distraught that my daughter won't want to ski. Hopefully seeing mommy and daddy on skis will help motivate her.
post #12 of 12
Here's a link to another recent thread on this topic: http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...=001450#000012

There are more threads. Use the seach feature and type in taching children for a bunch more.

Real boots can be found for your child. I was always wary of those plastic skis. I am not sure if any ski areas would allow them. Just a note of caution, consider using proper equipment. Bindings release for a reason.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Teaching really young children