Anyone do snow sports with kids under 3? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 09-30-2009, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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It's already starting to snow a bit in the mountains here. We've just moved here and I am SOOOOO pumped to start sledding/skiing/snowshoeing.

Has anyone ever done any of these things with littles? My kids will be 2.75 and 10mo when January rolls around. I think sledding/skiing are definitely out for the baby (obviously) but my 2yo should be able to do some very gentle hills for sledding. I don't think I'm up for all the trouble involved taking him skiing, although I know some people who have taken kids that age.

But snowshoeing is my favorite, and I'm wondering if we can even do it. Could I pack the baby in my Moby (inside my coat) as long as we're on very flat terrain? Can a 2.75yo even do snowshoes?

If you've done any of these things, what kind of gear did you get? What sort of things did you look for in a place to go try it out? Did you practice a lot at home first?
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#2 of 21 Old 09-30-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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Sledding (I assume you don't mean the powered kind) is fun for all ages. We took DD the winter she was 1. We were careful about the hills we picked, and she sat on our laps as we went down slowly (our feet sticking out) on loose snow hills. Last year (she was 2) we went alot and she got to go by herself on a more packed hill with a helmet on. But, it really depends on the hill. An icy steep hill wouldn't be good for any little kids, but if you can fin a gentle one that's got loose snow, then it could be fun.
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#3 of 21 Old 09-30-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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My kids love sledding! All we've needed is the sleds and lots of warm clothes.

I'm pretty sure I've seen tiny snowshoes at a local sporting goods store. You could always go and check.

I know kids ski and board that young, but I'd never be able to handle that. My 7 year old just started boarding last winter and is doing great, but I know at that age, he'd have gotten frustrated really quickly.
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#4 of 21 Old 09-30-2009, 04:59 PM
 
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snowshoeing w/the baby in a moby is great fun. i don't know how little snow shoes come for the older...one thing you could do if you are w/ another adult is to pull the older on a sled while you hike w/the baby.

: Mountain biking mama to one beautiful baby girl, born happily at home 8/26/2008.
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#5 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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Yes! You need a pulk sled. It is a sled that hooks up to your waist with rigid poles (so it slows down when you do). They can be open or enclosed (for warmth) and can fit one or two children comfortably. The baby will be most comfortable being worn this year. Pulk sleds can be pricey but they hold their value well for resale. You can probably find a used one and sell it in a few years for the same price. This will work great for snowshoeing and cc skiing. You can always start your older kid off on toddler snowshoes then put him in the sled when he/she tires.

We got plastic snowshoes for my dd when she was 3 that adjust in size. They still fit last year at age 5.5. She has also had cc skis starting at 3.5 yo and took to it immediately. We were shocked. Check your local ski stores. Ours has a program where you buy a pair then can "size up" for $5 annually.

Gentle sledding is fine for all ages. Dd started skating at 3 and also took to that immediately.
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#6 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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Here is me snowshoeing last year with my 8 mo old:

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

He loves being outside and we love it as well. He has on a super warm Patagonia bodysuit with built-in mittens. He is wearing a hat that covers his ears well. One thing I don't do is take him if there is a very stiff wind. I do worry a bit about frostbite on his cheeks.

Other then that we go-being outdoors in the wintertime is good for us all and we spend a lot of time outdoors.
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#7 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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DS started skiing (downhill) last year with his Nana. He was 3.5 years old. We are really excited this year to get back into downhill.

DH wants xcounty skiis but I don't think DS is ready for that yet as where we are at, there aren't any packed trails.

We sled whenever we can. DS loved it last year. His favorite thing was to run along side of the sled and jump on to it.

I remember my aunt taking her babies out in the snow all the time when I was growing up.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#8 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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We took DD sledding and tobogganing last year. She was around 16 months the first time and then by 18-19 months we were going often. If you're on a gentle enough hill, I imagine this would even be fine for the 10 month old.

I also took her snowshoeing when she was only a few months old and again when she was 1.5 years. Just popped her in the MT. I can't imagine cross country would be that different.

This year DD is 27 months already and we're planning to return to downhill! Ahhh...I've missed it. I'm not big into crazy downhill slopes are anything, so the easiest hills are fine for me to go on with her.

My brother skied at 2 for the first time and he took to it like a pro. I think its easier when you're little. Less distance to fall!

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#9 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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I haven't tried snowshoeing with someone that young (although I love it myself!). I know a lot of children who start skiing around that age. It's amazing to see how quickly they pick it up. And sledding is great fun!
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#10 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
Here is me snowshoeing last year with my 8 mo old:

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

He loves being outside and we love it as well. He has on a super warm Patagonia bodysuit with built-in mittens. He is wearing a hat that covers his ears well. One thing I don't do is take him if there is a very stiff wind. I do worry a bit about frostbite on his cheeks.

Other then that we go-being outdoors in the wintertime is good for us all and we spend a lot of time outdoors.
Wow, that looks like so much fun. I'm getting tingles in my tummy just thinking about it. I can't wait for the snow!

Yesterday the mountains got a light dusting and my DS was already asking to build a snowman. No snow in the valley here yet, but it won't be long. I can smell it.

I think we're going to try snowshoeing for sure. I think I saw some snowshoes that would work for him. And my parents have a really great sledding hill right behind their house that will work great.

Someone said they took their 3yo skating? I didn't think he would be ready for that yet.
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#11 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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That was me with the skater. It is quite common where I live to get kids on skates at 3 yo. Hockey rules the world here and there are lots of parents who want to get their little boys on ice as soon as they walk. That is not the case for us....I really hope dd does not take up hockey But we did get her skates and she even started in learn-to-skate classes at 3 yo. She was not even close to the youngest in her class..... The closer they are to the ground, the easier it is for them to learn. I LOVE to skate and was just itchy to get dd into it so we could go to our neighborhood rink whenever we wanted. I did not have high expectations. But she surprised me and we spent lots of quiet afternoons skating on the outdoor rink down the road from us. There were parents with babies in stroller son the rink. I wish I had thought of that when dd was younger. I *could* have gone skating every day had I bundled her up and put her in a stroller. I am not a good enough skater to have worn her while on skates
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#12 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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We started the kids skating at about 2 1/2 years. One of my favourite memories is of my dd, age 3, laughing and laughing when she realized she was actually gliding on the ice, not just step-step-stepping on her skate blades.

Definitely take your little ones skating - it's exhilarating to be out on the ice!
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#13 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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I know that ski resorts want kids to be at least 3 to start them with lessons, and they frown on starting them snowboarding, I'm not sure why----they want to start them on skis. And, when they teach them at that age, it is more about getting used to the boots and skis, and they kind of "walk" around on flats, *maybe* get them to go down a bunny hill later on in the week.

I'd be VERY careful skiing with a 10 month old----although I admire your desire to get out and get active and enjoy the outdoors, you wouldn't want to fall down on top of a 10 month old. Even excellent skiers can fall, and do fall.

I would think that sledding would be fine, as long as you held on to the 10 month old tight.

I am SOOOO jealous of you living there and the snow starting to fall already!! The one thing I know is that if you start your kids skiing at 3 years old, by the time they are 10 years old, they will be experts and beating you down the mountain!! They are very lucky to be able to be growing up in an environment like that!! Take advantage of every flake!!
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#14 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DianeMarie View Post
I know that ski resorts want kids to be at least 3 to start them with lessons, and they frown on starting them snowboarding, I'm not sure why----they want to start them on skis. And, when they teach them at that age, it is more about getting used to the boots and skis, and they kind of "walk" around on flats, *maybe* get them to go down a bunny hill later on in the week.

I'd be VERY careful skiing with a 10 month old----although I admire your desire to get out and get active and enjoy the outdoors, you wouldn't want to fall down on top of a 10 month old. Even excellent skiers can fall, and do fall.
It's because something about their hips is not fully developed or aligned or something. I was told the same thing.

I wasn't planning on skiing with the baby in the Moby. That sounds REALLY scary to me, and I'm not an expert skiier anyway. I haven't been in quite a while. I think we would hang out in the lodge with DD and DH and I would take turns with DS.
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#15 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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I went snowshoeing when Ds was a tiny babe and again when he turned one. I wore him in an Ergo. So much fun!

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#16 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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Around here, a lot of kids start skating at 2. We'll be taking the triplets out this year (at 2.5). DS1 didn't start til later, but he was 3 when we moved to snow country.

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mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#17 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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You have to take what I say with a grain of salt because I do NOT enjoy the snow, so I do a bare minimum of activities during the winter, really! I prefer being the one who stays inside and gets the hot cocoa, cookies and blankets ready. But we had both kids sledding at 10 - 14 months and they looooooved it. We have a little sledding hill in the backyard good for the kiddos. Our sled has a pull on it and dh would pull them all around the yard. Dh would take them down on his lap, too, and I think that last winter ds and dd would go down alone together (ages 3 and 11-12 months). Pretty sure that most everyone I know has their little ones out on the sleds that age too (about age 1ish).

Although we haven't taken ds skating yet I think he would be more than old enough to start learning. He will be 4 this fall. He has started asking about it so if possible we might take him this winter.

Have fun!

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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#18 of 21 Old 10-01-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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Levi is going to have his first ski lessons this year, he will be almost 2.5.

I taught kids skiing for a few years, and the 2-3 yr olds were easiest to teach as long as they were happy to try (the kids that diddnt want to e there would just cry and it sucked).

Levi has been sledding sense he was 5months old, the first season just pulled him on flat ground, but last year he went down hills and loved it.

We might try skating too - they have those mini walker looking things for little kids.

Snowshoes - I think would be hard for a 2 yr old to get the coordiantion needed - it would be like walking in way too big flip flops on lumpy ground (even if you go somewhare flat), I think one of those sleds would be a good option for that, and for cross country skiing too!
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#19 of 21 Old 10-02-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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we also do sledding and ice skating. It is a lot of fun
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#20 of 21 Old 10-03-2009, 01:06 AM
 
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I yelped when I saw your location - I'm in Draper too!

We definitely plan on taking DS sledding this year and I am going to try to start him skiing next year when he's closer to 3. I went skiing last year (I try to go at least once a season, it's just so expensive!) and saw a bunch of tiny 3 year olds shooting down the mountain like experts. It was ridiculous. There I was rolling down, sliding on my face, and these itsy bitsy kids are using my body as a ski jump. Sigh.

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#21 of 21 Old 10-05-2009, 05:14 AM
 
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The younger you start them skiing, the easier they seem to take to it. I'm always amazed when we're out there skiing, at the tiny little ones in ski school, and they're all better than me lol.

We snowboard, but DS likes to ski so we put him in class because we had no idea how to teach him to ski. By the end of that week (our annual vacation) he could get on/off lifts, turn, stop, and get up (mostly) when he fell.

I would do sledding as well, they make sleds with baby seats/buckles (at least that I've seen here in Germany) for the smaller kids, and you can pull them around too.
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