Skiing with the kids – 4 and 6 years old

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  • Skiing with the kids – 4 and 6 years old
  • Rickos
    Member

    Looking at going skiing next February half term with the boys who will be 4 and 6 by then. Any recommended resorts in terms of being kid friendly? Also, what sort of budget should I be setting aside for a week during half term to include ski school, etc.? Last went away snowboarding about 7 years ago one icy December, so a bit out of the loop on costs.

    johndoh
    Member

    Bit of a plug, but http://www.chaletmorzine.com/

    Just won a Trip Advisor Award, really central and very child friendly.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    a chalet holiday is going to be eye wateringly expensive. I think we were quoted £4k by family ski for a week at Montriond (Morzine).

    we’re off to stay at a friends place in Morzine week after next, all in it’s going to cost us <£800 for Mrs S and I, but adding in kids is not practical. They are staying with Grandma Stoner.

    But next year we will take the boys for the first time (4 & 7) and will probably go for a package week in Italy with the likes of Crystal.

    Premier Icon DaveP
    Subscriber

    We went Les Arcs 1800 when ours were that age. Also found snow blades really useful if you need to be able to help them at times. Also meant you could strap their skis to one side as a backpack and yours to the other side.

    Also found driving through the night to get there mean’t they didn’t find the journey tedious.

    legend
    Member

    imo you want somewhere that is ski in, ski out. The last thing I’d want at the beginning/end of a day is herding short beings onto a bus or a walk to/from the lifts. In other words, not Morzine.

    I’d also be aiming for somewhere higher, again I can’t imagine cold, wet kids would make for a good holiday if it started raining.

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    Good call on the snowblades! Hadn’t thought of doing that!

    legend
    Member

    please don’t use snowblades, never use snowblades 🙁

    johndoh
    Member

    imo you want somewhere that is ski in, ski out. The last thing I’d want at the beginning/end of a day is herding short beings onto a bus or a walk to/from the lifts. In other words, not Morzine.

    You can ski in/out right now actually. And Chalet Morzine as at the foot of a lift.

    legend
    Member

    it’s at the foot of the Pleney, the opposite side of town from 90% of the ski area

    Crell
    Member

    Started ours at 3 & 5. Easy access to the slopes is definitely worthwhile if you don’t want to end up being the family porter (it’s hard work!)

    We really enjoyed Sweden and Finland when the kids were learning. Ruka can be combined with a Santa visit as well and also had a brilliant Creche (you just paid by the hour). Yllas is good for beginners.
    Are Bjornen in Sweden is also good for beginners, though there’s not much there in the resort itself. We could not get our kids off “the Bear run” through the woods which was specially designed for young kids.

    A decent alpine backpack with gear loops and some ties will make your life a lot easier if you do have to carry their kit any distance.

    Make sure they’re warm and dry wherever you go.

    Just spend time playing with them on the snow. They’ll pick it up in no time.

    Half term is pretty bad. Our deals have been about 3 to 4k for four all in (plus spends). I think the cheapest we’ve managed was about 2.5 k self catered. There was very little available last minute this year. My son & I ended up just going for 3 days.
    Skiing with your kids is brilliant 🙂

    Depending where you go, an adult pass will be ~200 Euro, plus any lessons and kit hire you need.

    shifter
    Member

    Short transfers and hotel near to ski school are good starters.
    Ski school for my 5yo was €159 this year.

    piemonster
    Member

    Just to throw another option in Norway.

    Really impressed. Frequently found ourselves on pistes and not seen any other skiers.

    wozza180
    Member

    We go with Ski Esprit, its never going to be cheap during half term but if your not to bothered where your going and book last minuite it can be pretty resonable. Wish i had next week off, family of 4 deal for the 2nd March £1099. 😯

    captain slow
    Member

    Another vote for ski esprit – if the kids are happy you will have a fantastic time, but if they are not you will be miserable.

    As for resorts, we went to La Rosiere three times with them – chalets at the base of the lifts, high enough to be snow sure, and a child friendly environment.

    ocrider
    Member

    Lets be realistic. It’ll add up to about 2.5K when food, lessons, ski hire and lift passses are factored in.

    I absolutely loathe skiing in half term, but if I had to go with the kids, I’d be going somewhere purpose-built, ski to the front door, not too big, not a satellite resort or anything linked into more than one other town.

    johndoh
    Member

    legend – Member
    it’s at the foot of the Pleney, the opposite side of town from 90% of the ski area
    POSTED 7 HOURS AGO # REPORT-POST

    Is the same Morzine I know or is your mathematics not a strong point?

    legend
    Member

    ok so 90% is an exaggeration, but the bulk of the PDS is accessed via Super M and Prodains rather than Pleney

    slackalice
    Member

    Clearly snow blades are the MTB equivalent of triple chainsets and stems longer than 50mm, very unfashionable 😉

    Premier Icon PaulMc
    Subscriber

    We ski each February half term with our 3 kids, now aged 8 and 10. As mentioned above, the most important thing is very easy access to the slopes, and ski school. Avoid bus transfers to the slopes with young kids, tried that in Chatel and it was pain.

    Snowbizz, a small privately owned English company in Puy Saint Vincent with their own ski school, are brilliant for young kids. You literally step straight onto the piste from the self catering apartment block. Michel, the French co-owner, oversees the ski school personally and the girls who run the crèche and kids club are all English. Our kids have outgrown the kids club etc now and we have gone independently for the last two years, Val Cenis – cheap and family friendly. We drive and do seven and a half FULL days skiing. Kids are totally fearless on skis, did their first, powder laden, black runs this year.

    Kids skis aren’t that much longer than snowblades. Snowblades became unfashionable because they don’t work (there is a reason that skis are the length they are – physics) and because their length/non release bindings on some models cause injuries.

    Please leave snowblades for the parisian teenagers and men wearing jeans and gaiters!

    supersaiyan
    Member

    Clearly snow blades are the MTB equivalent of triple chainsets and stems longer than 50mm, very unfashionable

    not only that, they were responsible for countless broken legs before they put releasable bindings on them, and they are easy to cheat, teaching you terrible terrible habits.

    starrman82
    Member

    I’d wait until they were a little older, it’d be more enjoyable for all IMO.

    wozza180
    Member

    i first took my 2 girls now 7&10 at almost exactly the same age as the op, if you go with someone like ski esprit a purely family ski company, your on the coach with likeminded people and kids do what kids do, we do go with 3 other families from the same school which obviously helps with the sometimes long boring coach journeys.The kids have always loved it and they say its way better than our summer holiday,getting them out on the slopes fills you with dread and joy at the same time which is no different to when little Johnny does his first turns on his bike but fills you with so much pride.For Godsake i`m going before i start crying or something 😆 😆

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    I understood the recommendation for snow blades to be for the parents rather than the kids! Ski in the morning while they are in ski school and then blade in the afternoon – kids stay on their skis. Can help them a lot more that way if they are new to it without ending up in a big pile of skis and sticks. Makes perfect sense to me.

    Rickos
    Member

    Thanks for the advice and recommendations.

    legend
    Member

    cb, ditching poles and a huge amount of edge length doesn’t really give the most stable platform to help anyone. All the best parent-child combos I’ve seen abroad were on skis, if you need to slow junior down you’ll be glad to have proper edge grip

    poly
    Member

    Snowblades became unfashionable because they don’t work (there is a reason that skis are the length they are – physics) and because their length/non release bindings on some models cause injuries.

    Well actually they do “work” in that you can slide down hills on them and have fun which is the intended purpose. If you are worried about release then use release bindings.

    and they are easy to cheat, teaching you terrible terrible habits.

    There are no rules – therefore there is no cheating. There may be a degree of snobbery on style or technique, but the suggestion is that they give you less to worry about and make it easier to walk and carry two small sets of skis. I have used blades for precisely that reason. They are not my chosen tool for normal skiing – or even skiing with competent children.

    Edukator
    Member

    At 22 months they need help and patience.

    But by three they can enjoy skiing for a couple of hours. They probably won’t appreciate being left in a ski school all day though.

    captain slow
    Member

    agree with edukator – 4 and 6 is plenty old enough for most kids to learn in a good environment which caters to their needs

    Premier Icon DaveP
    Subscriber

    I did mean blades for the adults not the kids.
    We did sell ours because they were NOT releasable bindings and I felt that it would be safer with normal skis.

    But when they are younger (we used them from when mine were 2.5 upwards) they work wonders. In as much as you can carry yours and theirs “easily”.

    We also used to carry their shoes so that we could whip them off as soon as we had finished. Choose your battles…

    Blades and their convenience with young ones made things a lot easier (even simple things like lift queues). Would use them again without hesitation (but with releasable bindings) because of the upsides with young kids. I think we stopped using them when our kids were about 8 or 9.

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    Best family-friendly resort we’ve done is Kronplatz in Italy, because everything centres on one point so it’s easy to regroup.
    Good variety of ski schools too.
    One thing to be wary off: Next year Easter is early so Fascing week, when the slopes are full of p!$$ed up Germans and Dutch, will be 14/02 onwards.

    shifter
    Member

    14/02? Or 14/03??

    shifter
    Member

    Oh I get it now. Because Easter is early, then so is Fasching. Half term will be bonkers everywhere then.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Sainte Foy Tarentaise is also nice for being small and empty and enough to keep small people entertained. If you are going for lessons and France I would recommend anyone other than ESF as our experience is that it can be a bit institutional and if your child is at the back of the group of 8 then they will get lost and have a bad time (saw plenty of that this year). There are a lot of other organisations around now worth trying

    make sure you take lots of cash in advance so you never see a visa bill of how much it really cost 🙂

    Edukator
    Member

    they will get lost and have a bad time (saw plenty of that this year)

    More anti-ESF nonsense on STW. My son has spent 40+ days a year for most of his life in the hands of ESF instructors and they’ve not lost him yet, though there are days when I wish they would.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    More anti-ESF nonsense on STW

    Didn’t realise this was a theme here (or anywhere) – just my experience. ‘Lost’ didn’t really mean lost, it meant that they could really see what was going on and just tagged along way back at the end of a long group. If your children are right behind the instructor then it probably works. I suspect part of the problem is their success because they are always fully booked so there is a higher risk of getting stuck at the wrong level. With the independent folks I used this year there was more space so they were happier to move people around to find the right level so everyone had a better time.

    Edukator
    Member

    All instructors do “tag along” at some point in the day but hopefully they will also do individual passages working on the technique of each child and might even film the kids so they can show them what they are doing and how they can improve. Have a look around and see which colour anoraks the guys doing the technical exercises, organising the slaloms/skicross/jumping/airbag or whatever are wearing, often red.

    eskay
    Member

    Have a look a Levi in Finnish Lapland.

    really low key, friendly and a good ski school.

    We have been several times and self cater.

    Premier Icon thetallpaul
    Subscriber

    We’re hopefully going next year (9 adults and 6 kids between 5 and 10 yo).
    What ‘format’ do your days normally take? Do the kids go to ski school in the morning, meet up at lunch and then ditch the skis for the afternoon and do other things, or do you take the kids skiing in the afternoon.
    We are all planning to take the kids to lessons at Xscape Castleford so that they can at least get down a run safely and have fun.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I’d wait until they were a little older, it’d be more enjoyable for all IMO.

    4 and 6 is PLENTY old enough IMO. Loads of inkydinks tearing up the nursery slopes at that age.

    My daughter had her first ski lessons when she was two and there some that start even younger:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n6475aezco[/video]

    😀

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 44 total)

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