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Skiing with a 2yr old... Ye or Ne?

(37 Posts)
NewbarnsleygirlWalliams Mon 03-Jan-05 20:26:51

We're booking a holiday to Lapland for xmas 2005 skiing. DD will be 2. The tour operators say that the children can ski aswell (aww mini skis, how cute!) Or there are kids clubs.
What are your thoughts on these holidays and the kids clubs? Dh is not taken with idea of leaving dd with a stranger!

NewbarnsleygirlWalliams Mon 03-Jan-05 20:33:01

Anyone?

LIZS Mon 03-Jan-05 20:50:18

dd is 3 and has just started skiing on proper mini skis (as opposed to plastic strap on play ones she used ly).tbh our expectations are pretty low and unless you are confident enough to do short lifts and nursery slopes with her between your legs, progress will be very slow. Not impossible for her to shuffle about a bit but they tire easily and their attention span is really limited, plus it will be seriously cold in Lapland. Kids Club sounds a safer bet.

In Lapland I thought the experience was about enjoying different snow sports rather than focussing on skiing so I'm sure there will be lots of other opportunities to do activities as a family.

codswallop Mon 03-Jan-05 20:51:36

bad idea IMo
wait ayear
and effin freeeeeeeeeeeezing!

warmmum Mon 03-Jan-05 21:27:55

Have just taken 3 kids on skiing hols over xmas. dd1 (4.5) skied and enjoyed it. dd2(3.25) tried skiing and looked like she was standing on two pieces of cooked spaghetti. She found it hard and fell over alot. I would recommend a creche for under 4s while skiing. As long as they get the opportunity to go and play in the snow etc so that they can enjoy the holiday too, I would not worry about the skiing until they are older.

warmmum Mon 03-Jan-05 21:28:59

If you do go - I recommend skiwear from H&M which is very cheap and good. But DO NOT skimp on thermals which you will probably pay more for than the skiwear (seems mad I know) but I promise you it will keep them properly warm.

LunarSea Tue 04-Jan-05 12:39:29

2 is possible if you know what you are doing, and you keep your expectations low - a little sliding on flatish areas, and you pulling them along if this is your first go with them. Though you can do that outside of the creche area, as at 2 they won't stand being outside skiing for long enough to do "lessons".

Skiing with them between your legs isn't as easy as it looks - and you'll probably find that you end up lifting them off the ground half the time so your carrying them dangling rather than letting them slide. It's better to use a pole and let them hold onto that - a ski pole is ok, but a slightly longer one is easier. Or if you are comfortable doing it (practice first!) you can ski backwards in front of them, holding them that way.

You can get little plastic skis which strap onto snow boots from Decathlon, which you can actually use ok indoors on carpet first so that it's not a totally new experience when you add snow into the mix.

Otherwise the best (but unavailable in the UK) ski teaching stuff for little ones is from here . DH and I are both qualified instructors, and with that knowledge (and opportunity!) and this equipment we had ds sliding on skis at about 8 months, and skiing independently, and from the top of the resort we go to back to the village at 2 and a half.

The period between them being able to stand solidly, and starting to walk is actually a pretty good time to start, after that it's tricky until they can understand a verbal instruction to not try to walk.

LunarSea Tue 04-Jan-05 17:06:13

Oh - if anyone's interested, this was ds "skiing" at 8 months old.

smellymelly Tue 04-Jan-05 17:25:32

How cute is he, Lunarsea??

lowcalCOD Tue 04-Jan-05 17:26:20

aaah

NewbarnsleygirlWalliams Fri 07-Jan-05 12:37:25

Thanks for that info. Thanks for the clothing tip warmmum, we were looking at the prices of the stuff yesterday at Quicksilver and it wasn't cheap! And thanks lunarsea that info was very helpful. I might start on the carpet, it seems a great idea. Do you use the dry slope at sheffield? Your Ds is v cute!

LIZS Fri 07-Jan-05 12:40:54

Slight hijack, but, Lunarsea, do you havppen to know if that equipment is available in Europe at all - have seen leashes and toe clip ? Like the idea of the extended pole - we been using a ski pole but dd doesn't want to hold onto it, she prefers a hand.

NewbarnsleygirlWalliams Fri 07-Jan-05 12:55:08

Are you there Lunarsea? The reason I ask if your in sheffield is , would it be worth having lessons with DD before?

LunarSea Wed 19-Jan-05 14:16:00

Oops - just caught up with this again.

NBGW - no not in Sheffield, but a friend of mine teaches kids there - could put you in touch if you like. I'd wait now until after Easter though (if it's lessons for you) as it's busy season at the moment. As your dd is still so small you might find that most dry slopes won't do lessons at that age, partly because they can't get small enough skis/boots. No harm in asking though.

LIZS - no I've never seen that piece of kit in Europe, we had to order ours from the US and get it sent over. The toe clips (edgi-wedgies) you've seen are probably equally good (although that ones handy as it clips apart rather than needing to be unscrewed). The leashes/harnesses I've seen in Europe are NOT IMHO as good, as they all fix to the upper body, which means it'd be easy to disrupt balance, use it more as a braking mechanism and/or encourage upper body rotation with them, whereas that American one is more like a climbing harness which fits around waist hips, and the reins fit from the front, so you get the turn initiated properly. The other device to keep the backs of the skis apart I've never seen in Europe, but to be honest we didn't need to use it for long with ds. It's the pole which is the real winner though.

Lolski Thu 20-Jan-05 09:14:19

Don't know if this is true or not but I was told that children shouldn't ski until they are least three years old. Something to do with the developement of their legs. Would be interested if anyone knows anything about this.

Newbarnsleygirl Thu 20-Jan-05 09:35:45

Yes that would be interesting to know. dd will be 2 if we go. I didn't know whether to let her do a bit of skiing or put her in one of those creche type places.

Lolski Thu 20-Jan-05 09:47:07

We have got the same problem. We love skiing and our ds is 13 months at the moment. I don't really feel happy about leaving him in the creche yet so we will probably end up waiting until next year.
If you do decide to leave him in the creche I would check ahead that they are English speaking. I know that friends of ours had problems because of that when they went.

Newbarnsleygirl Thu 20-Jan-05 10:09:50

It's all a bit confusing at the moment! We're going with dh's brother and his girlfriend. We can't decied where to go. BIL went to Borovets at xmas and said it was very good. They're both experienced skiers and so is dh but I'm not so I will need lessons and dh wants to snowboard. The travel agents have recommended Andora and Turin but Bulgaria's meant to be cheap. Then we found out we can only fly on a Saturday so we either fly a week before xmas and come back late xmas eve or go xmas eve and land late and come back new years eve night! And on top of all that we don't what we can do with dd!

LIZS Thu 20-Jan-05 10:37:32

There is little consistency of opinion. People do ski with little ones but most of them are expert skiers themselves or the kids older than you think. dd is 3 and most places over here (Switzerland) will not allow them to join a group lesson until 3 1/2 or 4 at the earliest, some of the bigger resorts such as Verbier and Zermatt suggest 6. There may be more than one ski school in operation which may vary the age accepted and you could probably get a private lesson for younger ones(which although more expensive they get more out of in a shorter space of time becasue it is at their pace and less waiting for others to pick themselves up.

We have a friend who did instructing for Club Med several years ago and he was adamant not to put his ds on skis until he had turned 4 because of the physical strength, coordination and concentration required. At the end of the day they are unlikely to get off the Snow Garden area, skiing on their own, much before 5 anyway and we have friends of ds who are learning for the first time at 6 and catching up really quickly.

NBG Bear in mind that December and January can be seriously cold and little ones lose heat and tolerate it far less well than adults. So what you bil finds fun may well not suit your dd. A cold tot can make everyone's life miserable, so if you want to ski find good childcare for her as a back up.

Newbarnsleygirl Thu 20-Jan-05 10:42:32

That was another worry. Dh had read something last week about young children in that sort of temperature. BIL and girlfriend have said that they will be happy to look after DD while dh and I have our lessons. I think our options are either a creche facility or wait until next year when dd is a bit older.
Thanks for the information, it's been helpful.

LunarSea Thu 20-Jan-05 10:47:10

Lolski - The three years old thing is an average - some kids are stronger/better balanced/more physically coordinated (not to mention able to concentrate and/or follow instructions) earlier than others - I've known 6 year olds who aren't ready for it, and two year olds who are.

And anyway it depends very much upon what you mean by "skiing at three". For extended periods, then they will get tired easily when they're small, so you probably wouldn't want to put them straight into a lesson of an hour or more younger than that (hence very few ski schools will take them even at three). But a little sliding, for a few minutes at a time is fine - what you're really doing is introduce them to the feel of standing and balancing on a moving ski, and having extra long feet which can get tangled up if they're not careful(!), not asking them to really do anything physically demanding. Just let them guide you and don't push it if they get tired.

NBG - Bulgaria may be marginal for snow in December, and most of the resorts don't to be honest have a lot to attract experienced skiers like the rest of your group.

Andorra has lots of British instructors, so you wouldn't have a language problem there. Also it's a duty free country (although it's not as cheap as it was) so prices are lower than in a lot of the Alps, and there are some good shopping opportunities if you find as a first-timer that you also need to spend some time on non-skiing activities. In the last few years they've built lots of new lifts, and joined the various ski areas in Andorra together, so there would be plenty for the rest of your group too. Of the options in Andorra, Pas de La Casa is French speaking, most of the rest is Spanish, but English is widely spoken.

For the resorts served by Turin, you will probably need to find childcare offered by your tour operator if you want it to be English language based, and you'll also not find many British instructors working in Italy (the main exception is if you have a look at the company Interski , who run their own ski-school - tip ask for their brochure now, and they'll offer you an early booking discount for next season, and don't forget that their prices include lift passes and insurance which most others don't).

Newbarnsleygirl Thu 20-Jan-05 10:54:04

Thats handy to know. We will end up paying about £600 more than BIL for passes etc and that's including free child place! Going places recommended Pas De La Casa as a good resort. The brochures for crystal, inghams first choice and Balkan are'nt out until mid Feb so will have to wait till then.

lunavix Thu 20-Jan-05 10:59:39

LunarSea - he's gorgeous! Is there anywhere you can take the lo's just for a little bit of time like that? Ds would love it, but he's 9 months...

LIZS Thu 20-Jan-05 11:05:48

NBG You could have a look at ski esprit 2005 preview . Not sure if your BIL would be happy to go on something so family orientated (although if he considered lapalnd perhaps) but they do cater for little ones, friends have had repeated good experiences and they are high on the MN list too.

Newbarnsleygirl Thu 20-Jan-05 11:26:57

Espirit looks good. I've just requested a brochure.

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