In the era of digital devices, it can be challenging to get children to fall in love with winter. One way to help pass down our passion for the slopes is through snow school. Josh Fletcher, Assistant Manager at Blue Mountain‘s Kids at Blue program talks about ways to get the most out of these learn to ski programs and foster a fondness for winter in your young ones.
What should a parent should look for when shopping around for skiing lessons?
Proximity, timing and quality are things I would look for. It can be challenging getting children ready in time for a lesson that starts too early, and sitting fully dressed in a car for too long can be painful. Living close to, or are staying on resort can make life a lot easier when choosing lessons. After school programs often offer many quality local instructors that know how to make lessons fun, some can be late though, so be careful booking lessons close to bedtime. If your child has the day off from school, weekday programs offer many high-level, full time instructors that have lots of experience teaching.
How do you keep kids with short attention spans engaged and learning while being active and having fun?
Fun is one of the top priorities when teaching lessons. Safety and learning are also high on the list, but fun is crucial. If the child isn’t having fun they may not want to return. We try to make it easier on parents by having lots of fun, making it easy to bring them back every week. During the lessons instructors are always using fun tactics and games to keep children entertained, and these games can be played anywhere and any time on the hill.
“Snow School emphasizes safety on the hill and respect for others. We follow the alpine responsibility code, and teach others to do the same. Snow School can build friendships and teach a multitude of skills that can be helpful on and off the hill.”
Other than learning to ski, what else can a kid take away from Snow School?
Blue Mountain Snow School emphasizes safety on the hill and respect for others. We follow the alpine responsibility code, and teach others to do the same. Snow School can build friendships and teach a multitude of skills that can be helpful on and off the hill.
In the age of video games, how can parents best “sell” the idea on their child?
Come out and give it a try. We can often get children hooked from the first time they try skiing and snowboarding. Skiing and snowboarding are skills that teach balance, and strength and can be a lifelong activity for many.
What are your thoughts when a parent says “I’m an expert skier, I’ll just teach ’em.”
You can totally teach them! But so can we, and then you can go ride on your own. Snow School offers certified instructors that have studied specifically to teach children how to ski or snowboard. Group lessons can provide new friendships and experiences. All instructors love and have a passion for the sport, this passion shows and may spread the joy into your child. Sometimes it’s easiest to learn from someone you don’t know.
How should parents and children best prepare for Snow School? What’s important for both to know once they’ve enrolled?
Dress for success. A cold child may focus on the cold rather than learning new skills, and the weather is unpredictable. The right equipment can also play a big factor; it is quite challenging learning on snowboards that are too big or too small. Learning can be frustrating—ask any instructor about their first time. Stick with it and it can be fun to master a new skill, a new challenge.
For more information on Snow School at Blue Mountain check out: https://www.bluemountain.ca/plan-your-trip/lessons-and-rentals/snow-school
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