I’d like to introduce you to Sandra Foyt. Often with a party of five that includes an understanding husband and a trouble-making dog, Sandra has been eagerly exploring the Northeast since her children gave up naps on their first birthdays. She writes about these outings and other fun things to do with kids in NewÂ York atÂ www.AlbanyKid.com, and adventurous mommy blogging atÂ www.TheJourneyMom.com.
On winter weekend mornings, when Iâ€™m still warm and cozy under woolÂ blankets, Kayla and AlexÂ jump out of bed, eager to join the ski team in making first tracks at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. This will be Kaylaâ€™sÂ second yearÂ on the team,Â and she was so enthusiastic aboutÂ her experience last year, that she convinced her little brother to join too. My childrenÂ have been skiing since they were little, but it might surprise you to learn that Kaylaâ€™s first ski lessons were not at a ski resort.
The minimum age for lessons at most ski schools is fourÂ to five years old, and for good reason. Children need to be comfortable working with an instructor, usually in a group setting. To get anything out of the lessons, itâ€™s important that they have the social skills and motor skills to listen and follow directions.
But, you donâ€™t have to wait until they are old enough for ski school to give a child their first ski lessons. Before anything else, the most important lesson is just to have fun in the snow.
When my children were babies, they loved riding the toboggan in my arms.Â Once theyÂ could walk, our snow coveredÂ yard provided all that was needed forÂ afternoons spentÂ building igloos and snow men, paintingÂ snow,Â making snow angels, andÂ of course, lots ofÂ snow ball fights.
It also didnâ€™t hurt to get them accustomed to ski equipment at a young age. WhenÂ Kayla wasÂ a toddler, we strapped her into her fist skis. They were basically glorified snow shoes in the shape of tiny skis, but she loved them.
Mostly, she stomped around orÂ ploughed ahead, but every once in a while you should have seen the look on her face when she managed to glide downhillÂ a bit. Priceless.
How have you encouraged a love of winter activities in your kids?
© 2011, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.