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Child's First Time

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My son is 3. Wondering if this is the year. My better judgment says wait at least one more year. If anything, I'd like to get out there to slide for a couple minutes at least. We have some small hills very close by that would be fine for this, but I'm hesitant to drop what I'm guessing would be $50 minimum to be out there for such a short time. The way I envision it would be to carry him a few feet up and let him slide down, just to get the feel of it and have a little fun. Would love to hear about your kids first time out, how you worked it, etc...thanks in advance
 

Smellytele

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I did this at our local hill with all three of my kids and it worked well to introduce them to skiing. Then the next year had them in lessons.
 

HowieT2

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I have 2 kids now aged 12 and 16. both good skiers and very into it. started both of them at 3. my best advice is to let him slide around on the small hills and maybe put him into ski camp for a few days. dont push it too much and make sure there is plenty of sugar (hot chocolate, waffles) involved. and take video. it goes fast.
 

Nick

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My son is just four months old but I'm already planning our first ski outing hahaha. I'll probably take him out at 2 or 3 even if I just hold him and do a couple bunny slides.

It probably won't make a difference (3 or 4) in terms of long term ability but there is something ceremonious about your first time on skis. Almost like a baptism or something.

And like Howie said, it's the experience ..... hot chocolate, video camera, dress him warm obviously and keep him dry. The small hills are great for this kind of stuff.

At least, that's how I envision it all in my mind ;)
 

SkiFanE

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We started our youngest at 2yo, would be hanging in lodge with him while rest of family was skiing. So one day I rented him gear for $10, got him a free ticket (for under 6 at SundayRIver) and we headed to magic carpet. Had a blast, he probably skied 5/6 times that year. He's been in programs since age 3 or 4 and last year, at age 6, was his 5th year on skis. Magic carpet made it possible, we didn't actually go "ski" that first year but went to "ride the magic carpet"...getting down was nothing b/c he just wanted to get back up that carpet lol. He's an athletic kid, so 2yo was not too young, some kids may not be quite as ready as he was.

So go to a place with a magic carpet and give it a try. If it doesn't work out (for either of you), then try next year...no reason to force it. But if he's like my kid, he'll take to it and never complain.
 

SKIQUATTRO

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we started both our girls around 2.5-3 yrs old....only on warm days, plenty of breaks, snacks in the jacket, played games on the hill and kept it fun, know when to call it a day..... now they are both racing...
 

witch hobble

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Get him some cheapo gear and goof off in your equipment on the living room rug (not the hardwood!!!), just so he has had the clothes and gear on before being out in the snow.

Then move on to the yard or a local park when some snow falls. Tromp around, make snow men or snow angels and have fun. Get other kids involved if possible.

When you make it to your local ski area (as said, on a nice day!), make sure to keep the big picture in mind. Show him the lodge, the lifts, people having fun, people falling and getting back up, hot chocolate, all the stuff that is epic to a three year old. Minimize the concrete "lesson" on "how to ski". It will come later. You are really just imprinting the experience on their subconscious at this point.
 

4aprice

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Started both of mine at 3 1/2. One trick that worked for us particularly with the boy was the tip seperators.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

SKI-3PO

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Definitely get the kid started. Just have low expectations. They will pick it up quicker than you expect. And keep reminding them afterwards how great they were. Might as well get the kid used to skiing and you spending lots of money on it.

Oh and bring candy or some other snack they like. Kids get distracted easily - use that to your advantage if they get frustrated and/or as a reward.
 

JFP

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Get him some cheapo gear and goof off in your equipment on the living room rug (not the hardwood!!!), just so he has had the clothes and gear on before being out in the snow.

Then move on to the yard or a local park when some snow falls. Tromp around, make snow men or snow angels and have fun. Get other kids involved if possible.

When you make it to your local ski area (as said, on a nice day!), make sure to keep the big picture in mind. Show him the lodge, the lifts, people having fun, people falling and getting back up, hot chocolate, all the stuff that is epic to a three year old. Minimize the concrete "lesson" on "how to ski". It will come later. You are really just imprinting the experience on their subconscious at this point.

I second this method & pending on the kids don't think 3 is too young... having gone through this with 2 kids (& one to go) starting at/near the house a few times really helps. I've found the best place to acquire little kids gear (if you don't have it) is garage sales (with ski swaps a close second).
 

MadMadWorld

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I used to be an instructor and most mountains will take a 3 year old in a private lesson only at that age (but you can do most of the stuff on your own). Some parents are stupid and lie about the kids age and try to get them in a kids program with 4 year olds. There is a huge difference in motor skills between the two ages. Anyways, I digress. You have the right idea. Bring them to the mountain and let them get used to just walking in a pair of ski boots and have them do little boot drills like making half moons in the snow with their boot (gets them used to the rotary motion of making "pizzas"). The best thing you can do is just push your child up a small incline and let them do a straight run and catch them at the bottom. To expect anything more would be asking too much. Last point, don't push it. Most 3 yr olds will last 30-45 minutes before they have had enough. If they are tired let them play in the snow and end on a high note so that they will want to go again! HAVE FUN
 

drjeff

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Don't be afraid (or feel guilty) about using a ski area's ski school programs geared for young kids. Just because one is a great parent doesn't mean that one will be a great parent ski instructor! ;)

Plus, then you get to go skiing/riding. Your child is more than likely with many other children of his/her similar age cohort, all doing the same thing, and then when your child tires out, chances are they'll be back inside with a slew of activities to do, with other children, to keep them occupied while you get some more runs in.

Both my kids started at 2, with a few days in the Spring in the 2yr old program (basically daycare with the opportunity to go out and walk around on snow and/or their smallest magic carpet) at Killington, then then from age 3 on, they've been a product of the kids programs at Mount Snow. My wife and I now have an almost 9 year old and an almost 7 year old, both whom are excellent skiers. We've got to see them progress, and also been able to spend time on the hill ourselves. It's been a win-win situation for us :)
 
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jfrenchu

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It's good to get them used to the equipment the first year.maybe just that.my kid learned at mt snow,there is a little hill ski baba on caranthia.it has a lift during the day(not all weekdays though).at night you can go there ,kids sleigh ride too and walk partway up the hill and go from there.we did that moved on to ski baba lift and quickly made it up the mtn. age 5 for us
 

Angus

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there's a couple of threads about this subject. Seems like a lot of folks start their children at 3. I know we got our daughter out in the late part of the season at 3 1/2. They were warm, sunny days. We went to Crotched (the "new" Crotched) and would ski a run or two, take a rest, take a couple more and we were done. Later, we went to Stowe the 2nd week of April and she wanted to ride the gondola and then we skied the top of toll road and began to work our way down, but she conked out from exhaustion! I used a harness and thought it was great but recommend shedding it pretty quickly.
 

jrmagic

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Mine both started at 3 and now at 14 and 11 are pretty good skiers and enjoy spending all day on the hill. The bisggest thing to remember is make sure it stays fun. Play games with them give them candy hot chocolate etc. I remember a day where my younger son was getting upset after just 10 minutes. We ended it right there and instead built a small snoman away from the trails.
 

marcski

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There is no right or wrong way for this. For me, the most important thing was to have great family time together and instill a love of the outdoors and skiing to my girls. We started them at 3. Just make sure they are having fun...that's what it's about. Your idea sounds about right..you also have to kind of see how your child actually does and/or enjoys it and play off his/her cues.
 

skifree

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just have to put your time in....first few years will be rough but well worth it in the long run.
get cheap gear and just slide around bunny areas. only did ski school once or twice..kids hated it.

started both my kids at 3 and now they are 12 and 15 and ski all over the mountain.
nothing better then skiing 8 to 4 with the kids now. except $$$
 
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i'm going to give it a try this year, and just go into it with the goal of exposing him to the whole scene...if we can ride the carpet and maybe do a couple 10 foot straight-lines, then i'll consider it a rousing success

for little littles like my guy, would you suggest renting, or buying used?
 

4aprice

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i'm going to give it a try this year, and just go into it with the goal of exposing him to the whole scene...if we can ride the carpet and maybe do a couple 10 foot straight-lines, then i'll consider it a rousing success

for little littles like my guy, would you suggest renting, or buying used?

We leased equipment and did it every year till high school. You have the ski's whenever you want get new equipment every year and can replace them if something goes wrong (son broke a binding one time).

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 
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