There’s only one thing better than spending time doing an activity you love.
And that is, teaching your children the activity you love.
It really is an honour to teach our children. My passion is skiing. From the fist time my skis hit the snow I was hooked. I knew it was a sporting activity I wanted to partake in again and again. And once I became a Father it was an activity that I hoped my children would enjoy just as much as I did.
Teaching our children is a privilege. One that I don’t always take the time to fully appreciate. I remember interviewing someone a short while ago who said that his favourite thing about being a dad is having the opportunity (and responsibility) to teach his children.
This season, we went to La Rosiere in the French Alps with Peak Retreats. Having travelled with Peak Retreats before, we knew to expect a seamless vacation.
Flights – tick
Transfers – tick
Accommodation – tick
Itinerary – tick
We stayed in Les Cimes Blanches, a residence part of the CGH group who have various properties throughout the alps. It was spotlessly clean, very well-equipped, warm and most importantly when travelling with kids, close to shops, activities and local amenities. (Because carrying young children is heavy work and inevitable!)
This family ski holiday has to go down as my favourite so far. Everything about it was exceptional. And being able to ski down the slopes with my son was out of this world. A moment I will cherish for a lifetime.
Travelling with a teenager (Louis), a toddler (Teddy) and a novice (my wife) meant that we had a lot of different needs to cater for. Yet this carefully organised and planned trip catered for the whole famiy and everyone had the ski holiday of a lifetime.
Here are our top 9 tips for skiing with a todller.
Choose a family friendly resort
This sounds obvious, and most resorts will state that they’re family friendly. But when I say family friendly, I mean Family Friendly! We stayed in La Rosiere, which is truly a family resort like none I’ve ever seen. Jen asked me prior to leaving what Teddy was going to do all day. Being only 3, he was hardly going to take the first chair lift at 9am and return at 5pm. Fortunately, I was able to list off the following activities accessible for Ted at La Rosiere.
– Ice Skating
– Dog Sledding
– Ski School (yes, even at age 3)
– Cinema with English films
– Accessible ski slopes for young children
Not only was the list substantial, everything on it was within a 5 minute walk from our accommodation, including the slopes, which is vital for any family ski holiday with toddlers or young children.
Again, sounds obvious, but clothing can make or break your ski trip. Firstly, get some good quality, lined snow boots for your toddler. Ted was free to explore and play in the snow without getting cold, wet feet. Secondly, snow suits are amazing and far less fiddly than salopettes, jackets etc. We got Ted’s snow suit from Reima and he wore it all week without complaining once about the -12 temperature. Check out our full kit list here.
Fill your bag with snacks and drinks
This is necessary whether you’re on the slopes and actually skiing or whether you’re by the pool, on the ice skating rink or sledging. When you’re in the cold air with heavy coats and heavy equipment (even wearing boots is more work for toddlers than usual) you work up quite an appetite and thirst. Keeping your toddler fed and watered means you’ll keep them happy.
Socks Socks Socks
You’ll need more than you think, especially if it’s very cold as you might have to double them up! Jen did… Ted did… Louis did… I wore 1 pair all week! We got our socks from Bridgedale and they were excellent for keeping our tootsies warm. When you have the opportunty for a full days skiing you dont want your day to be cut short because of numb feet!
Gloves Gloves Gloves
You know the saying, ‘Warm hands, warm heart.’ Well, I’ve tweaked it slightly for you.
‘Warm hands, happy, less grouchy, whiney and miserable toddler.’
GoPro your memories
I think that GoPro have missed a marketing opportunity, you know. They advertise that they’re waterproof, drop proof and shock proof; ideal for extreme sport filming but, they’re also…
Ted has used ours on many occasions (I use the word ‘used’ lightly) and it’s survived every encounter with him. I don’t have to worry about it getting broken and Ted gets to record his own memories and have fun in the process. Ted loved using the GoPro on the slopes and in the swimming pool.
If Ted has his own way he’d move from one activity to another all day, every day. It’s not realistic though – even at home on a normal day he needs down time to rest quietly. The same applies for skiing, but even more so. They’re probably up later in the evenings and more active during the day. So factor in some quiet down time. We broke most of our days in to two. We all went skiing in the morning, enjoyed lunch together and then in the afternoon Jen took Teddy home to rest whilst Louis and I hit the slopes.
Resist the ‘1 more time’
There’s no point in toddlers reaching their max on the slopes. Stop before they start getting grumpy, cold, tired and irritable. If you end the day on a high, they’ll be all the more keen to get back on it the following day.
This tip came from one of the ESF instructors Jen had for a lesson. He said that if your child does not want to ski, don’t push them. Instead, give them a sledge, let them watch other skiers and soon, they’ll let you know when they’re ready to try.
We took this advice and did it with Ted, and on day 4 of our holiday, he asked to ski. He had an amazing time, loving every second of it. “Faster Daddy, faster!” he cried out each time we went down the slope. Waiting until he was ready and feeling confident meant that he was in the right frame of mind to follow instructions and he learnt very quickly. By the end of the holiday Ted was off the nursery slopes and enjoying the runs with Louis, Jen and I.
Going skiing as a family is never going to be the same as the trips you used to head off on with your friends pre-children. It’s better!
It’s one thing doing what you love, but a whole other level when you get to teach your children how to do what you love. These tips will go a long way to making that experience the best it can possibly be.
Have you got any others to add to the tips list?
You can watch our family vlogs from our skiing trip here: