Whether you're seasoned skiers or total first timers, taking your children to the slopes for their first time can be a daunting prospect – but with preparation, preparation, preparation (every parent’s mantra right?) it doesn’t have to be a stressful trip…in fact, it might mark the start of a yearly expedition! Here are our top tips on how to get the very best from your family ski holiday...

Snow time like the present...

If your kids are first timers, try to introduce them to snow beforehand – and even if it’s impossible to acquaint them with actual snow, you can still familiarise them with it by way of a toy, (perhaps a snow-themed character) movie or even a trip to an indoor centre. And give them some time to enjoy the snow when you arrive at the destination ahead of hitting the slopes, this way they’ll have positive associations and snow school won’t be such a daunting prospect.

Enrol them at snow school

Under threes aren’t normally able to attend, in which case confident skiers might like to introduce their children to the slopes independently – but if your resort has the facility, Ski School is a fantastic way for kids to learn and hone technique. And what’s more, your children are likely to make new friends, which might also help build confidence on the snow…Ahem, and you grown-ups will get some much needed time to yourselves each day!

Prepare and plan ahead

Regardless of age, children tend to need a lot of stuff – so be sure to embrace the excess baggage! And once you’re on holiday, getting your bags packed with the right bits and pieces for a day’s skiing is essential to avoid melt-downs (we don’t just mean the kids) and if you’re heading out of the resort for a day trip, give plenty of time for mountain traffic…the weather can cause lengthy queues.

Do a dry run

Before embarking on your holiday it might be advantageous to get the children familiar with the equipment and clothing they’ll be using as these items can be cumbersome and very tiring. If you’ve bought equipment rather than hiring it, maybe let them try the gear on at home? This could avoid nerves and upset whilst on your break and is an entertaining way to spend an evening too!

Consider inviting extended family

If you’ve particularly young children and you’d rather spend your cash on good food and fine wine (it is a holiday after all) and would like to have the time to do so rather than raking up crèche bills - then opening up the trip to a non-skiing relative who likes nothing better than fussing over the children might be your best option. A built in babysitter for the days you want to spend on the piste, without having to worry about getting back for bath time.

Put time aside every day for family activities

There’s no better environment for family fun than up a mountain and knee deep in snow, so aside from spending time honing your skills and enjoying the runs, it’s good to kick back with the kids and really relax as a family. Most resorts offer an abundance of child friendly activities après ski, such as cinemas, arcades and ice rinks…and nothing beats a good old fashioned snow-ball fight of course! And if your children have been attending ski classes, then giving them the opportunity to show off their new skills to you is a wonderful way to finish off each day.

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