Half term and Easter holidays are nearly upon us and that excitement for the slopes is building in many houses across the country! We’ve definitely got it here too at The Oxford Ski Company! There’s something so glorious about the expectation and eagerness for an up and coming skiing holiday, and sharing that with your children is one of the best ways to combat any niggling nerves or concerns, perhaps from a previous ski holiday or experience. We thought we’d share with you our top tips for ramping up the excitement levels for their latest adventure on the snow.
Choosing a Ski School. If you are lucky you will remember that one ski instructor who really changed and challenged your skiing and took you to the next level in your skill and love for the sport. Sadly perhaps you might also remember an experience with an instructor that was less positive. This needs to be avoided at all costs, and we place paramount importance in finding the right instructor and group for your little darlings. We have years of experience behind us in matching children’s temperaments, attitudes & abilities with the perfect ski school and have a wide range of the best ski schools with which we have built firm relationships based on trust and great feedback.
Lesson Format. Once we’ve found the right ski school for your child, the next question to begin thinking through is what sort of lesson will your child flourish in? Do they enjoy the exhilaration (and sometimes competition!) of being in a small group with children of a similar standard? Or will your child (or children) get the most out of private lessons with an instructor who can give them personalised and engaging lessons. And finally you need to think about how long they should be in ski school for, whether a half day is plenty and they can enjoy showing off what they’ve learnt with you in the afternoons, or whether a full day is going to really benefit their technique and passion for the sport.
The ‘holiday build up’. Depending on the age of your child you might need to encourage their anticipation of the holiday and the best way to do that is to share your own passion and excitement for the holiday; sharing amusing skiing stories and laughing about tumbles or falls that you as parents have had. Try and choose stories set in the snow or mountains to read at night to get them thinking and dreaming of their holiday. Perhaps cosy up and watch a few episodes of Ski Sunday as a family to feel that buzz the programme emanates for skiing and also to see how the professionals do it! Visual learning of technique is really beneficial for some children, particularly if it’s been a year since their last ski holiday.
What to put in their pockets? The instructors might have already arranged with you to take your children out for lunch if they’re with them the whole day, including breaks for hot chocolates and snacks, so you won’t need to worry about main meals but there’s definitely scope for planning how to help them out in the boot room! Make sure they have a lip protector and a mini sun cream so they are able to reapply if the sun’s out, and ask the instructor if they can kindly remind the children to continue to reapply throughout the day. They might also benefit from a few sweeties or mini chocolates to keep their energy levels up, particularly if it’s cold or windy. Finally a pack of tissues is always a good idea for all those spills and runny noses we know so well as parents! It might also be wise to put your mobile numbers onto a visible patch in permanent marker inside their jacket in case they get lost and need to get in touch with you. Obviously your instructor will have all your details should they need them, however on the mountains it’s always safest to plan for the worst but hope for the best!
“How was your day?”. Our final tip for getting the best out of your ski holiday as a whole family is talking about the day’s adventures together. Whether this is up the mountain having met up for lunch or back in the chalet or hotel having all skied down after the day on the slopes; we believe that sharing stories and experiences will really help reflective learners, encouraging thinking through how to go about tomorrow’s lesson, perhaps getting the children to show you a new technique or skill they’ve learnt at ski school. This not only reinforces what your child’s been learning but also brings a family cohesion and shared enjoyment of the sport that, if nurtured and encouraged, can continue through decades of family ski trips together! Long live the post ski chats!
If you have any questions about skiing as a family, or if you’d like help on booking your own holiday please give one of our experienced team a call or contact us here for more information.