Skiing with kiddies - Blog by guest author Angela Schrider

Angela has worked and ridden in resorts all over the world, she now spends her winters in New Zealand, and Wanaka is without a doubt, her favourite place in the world. She loves to share the beauty of the Southern Alps with our clients. Angela was full of enthusiasm when we asked her to help with advice for parents with kiddies who are new to the snow and skiing. Her advise is written below! So thanks Ange, love from the team at Wanaka Baby :)

"So here are my top five kiddie tips for the snow,

1. Keep them warm. Recycling your old one piece of clothing from 1972 might seem like a good idea at the time but it is unlikely to keep your kids warm enough. Technology has advanced dramatically since then so if possible buy or hire your kids some decent snow gear. If you decide to purchase gear of course they will grow out of it quickly but there are plenty of good quality garments for kids on Trademe that are worth looking at, and the unisex nature of ski gear means you can hand it down to your other children. If your kids aren't freezing cold they will enjoy their time on the snow sooooo much more. Layers can always be removed, so layer them up in comfortable natural clothing. If kiddies get cold early on then often their wee bottom lips drop, the towel is thrown in and your adventure in the snow is called to a premature end.

2. One pair of socks only. This holds true for adults as well as children but it is amazing how often you see kids with two pairs of soaking wet cotton socks bunched up in uncomfortable places. Woollen socks only please, and merino is definitely best. A good pair of socks lasts a long time and even if their feet grow, the socks can often stretch to accommodate.

3. Food, food, food. It is amazing how much energy is used up when skiing, or even playing in the snow. I don't know if the altitude has an influence or whether it is just the energy expended but kids get so hungry. The trip from Wanaka to the ski field carparks is just under an hour, so fill them up on nutritious snacks on arrival, then make provision for heaps of lunch and extra snacks. Treble Cone and Cardrona have full cafe services but food prices are at a premium so you may wish to take packed lunches for the family to share.

4. Start your kids off skiing first if possible. Particularly under the age of eight, children's muscles generally aren't developed enough to enable them to control a snowboard adequately. It is easier to stop on skis than a snowboard so you don't have to worry about embarrassed apologies as your child goes careening through a line of people waiting at the chairlift - ooooops!

5. All day lessons are great value for money and well worth the expense. Chuck the kids in ski school for the day and not only will they make new friends, have a blast and learn a lot without you. Our local Wanaka ski fields have phenomenal ski school options and the instructors are fabulous at helping your wee ones learn to ski and have a ball doing so. So take this opportunity and you will also get to enjoy the day discovering new runs, sans children with runny noses!

6. Most importantly - let your kids have fun! Just because you see them as the next Bode Miller or Shaun White doesn't mean that they do - at least not initially! All they want to do is have fun, and if that means throwing snowballs at each other for half a day and spending the rest of the day drinking hot chocolates inside, then so be it. As they get older they can decide themselves if they want to be a skier or snowboarder, or a racer or freestyler. The most important thing is to develop their love for the snow, no matter what they do. Interrogating your 5 year old after their day at ski school as to whether they are making parallel turns yet is definite overkill, asking if they had fun and made new friends is spot on."