Skiing with Young Children: A Guide and Checklist

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Growing up I was offered the chance to ski but I held back due to fear. I always hoped to bypass that with my children by starting them off young and conquering any fears. I have taken them dry skiing locally but we haven’t ventured out on real snow yet, mainly due to out funds being a bit tight. But it might not be so unattainable after all, as we are looking at options for next year. Equipment wise there are lots of reasonable options nowadays. If skiing is your passion, then why not take the children? It’s a great skill for them to learn and the experience will be something you’ll never forget. I’ve put together an equipment checklist and guide for skiing with small children, with a bit of help from Simply Hike.

First things first is keep the kids warm. Layering is best, and have spare under clothing. Combine that with a waterproof outer layer and they’ll be warm and dry no matter what. Waterproof gloves with a warm inner layer are a must. They may start off like this:


But pretty soon and for a lot of the time they’ll be like this:


But after a while they’ll be speeding past you like this, and putting you to shame:


I’ve always had an image in my head of me swooshing past serenely either on a gentle downhill or cross country skiing through amazing countryside. In reality I’d probably spend a lot of time on my bum nursing aching muscles that haven’t been used since 2008 and gasping in shock at my kids speeding past. Hopefully there’d be some hot chocolate drinking and cosying up next to fires with a nice glass of something to make up for it.

Here’s a quick rundown of the clothing basics you need to take the family skiing:

  • Ski Jacket – these are specially designed to keep you warm and dry with accessible pockets
  • Ski pants/ trousers, with or without braces
  • Salopettes – basically waterproof padded dungarees instead of the ski pants
  • Complete ski suits – padded waterproof onesies instead of the coat/trouser combo (a must for the kids)
  • Ski gloves – special extra warm waterproof gloves
  • Ski hat
  • Base layer – warm but light under layers, usually thermal
  • Mid layer – a nice warm fleece
  • Ski socks – thick warm socks, you’ll need them

When you’re looking for Kids ski wear , they come in all sorts of colours and styles, but my advice would be to get them something bright and distinctive so that you can identify them in a crowd (and on a pile in the snow), so make sure they include bright colours, reflective strips and are tailored for kids activities. You’ll want to check the linings are soft and will be breathable, keeping them warm and dry without being too bulky. Cuffs around the wrists of jackets and gloves with long wrist covers will keep any moisture and draughts from going up their sleeves. When you’re buying their ski wear, a good advantage is trousers that will grow and adjust with your child without going a size up. You can get salopettes and ski trousers that lengthen and adjust to cope with the growing child so that it will be good for more than one season. When you’re buying a hat for the children, one with ear flaps is often best and eliminates the need for extra ear muffs.

Here is a sneak peak at my new ski worthy winter coat from Simply Hike that keeps me warm and toasty on the school run:

I love the colour that’s different to other waterproof coats, plus it has a detachable hood and plenty of lined pockets.

Other ski equipment you may need to take with you:

  • ski goggles
  • helmets (you may be able to hire these on site)
  • sun protection
  • plastic sledge

When you’re looking at ski resorts, ensure wherever you’re booking is family friendly and has a specialist teaching facility for children in your age group. Read online reviews of the resort and make sure it’s accessible for you. How long is the journey? What is the time difference? What is the accommodation like? Is the nightlife going to be suitable for families? Is there an onsite childcare/ creche facility? These are all things you will need to consider when booking a family ski holiday.

Have you been skiing as a family? How did it go? Let me know in the comments, I love reading them and will reply to each one.

Disclosure: I was gifted a voucher to spend at Simply Hike in return for this post. All opinions are my own.

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January 18, 2018
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  • Reply A

    Took my 18 month old skiing. Main problem is they don’t make boots small enough – had to use normal boots and plastic skis. She still loved it though

    April 2, 2018 at 8:04 am
  • Reply Jessica

    Skiing is a very enjoyable thing. But for beginners, it is difficult to where to start.

    March 19, 2019 at 4:53 am
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