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 NewÃ‚ York atÃ‚ www.AlbanyKid.com, and adventurous mommy blogging atÃ‚ www.TheJourneyMom.com.
On winter weekend mornings, when I'm still warm and cozy under woolÃ‚ blankets, Kayla and AlexÃ‚ jump out of bed, eager to join the ski team in making first tracks at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. This will be Kayla'sÃ‚ second yearÃ‚ on the team,Ã‚ and she was so enthusiastic aboutÃ‚ her experience last year, that she convinced her little brother to join too. My childrenÃ‚ have been skiing since they were little, but it might surprise you to learn that Kayla's first ski lessons were not at a ski resort.
The minimum age for lessons at most ski schools is fourÃ‚ 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, it's important that they have the social skills and motor skills to listen and follow directions.
But, you don'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.Ã‚ Once theyÃ‚ could walk, our snow coveredÃ‚ yard provided all that was needed forÃ‚ afternoons spentÃ‚ building igloos and snow men, paintingÃ‚ snow,Ã‚ making snow angels, andÃ‚ of course, lots ofÃ‚ snow ball fights.
It also didn't hurt to get them accustomed to ski equipment at a young age. WhenÃ‚ Kayla wasÃ‚ 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 orÃ‚ ploughed ahead, but every once in a while you should have seen the look on her face when she managed to glide downhillÃ‚ a bit. Priceless.
How have you encouraged a love of winter activities in your kids?
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