Any Cross-Country skiing suggestions for 4 yr old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 12-11-2005, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's started snowing, and I'm wondering if this would be the year to introduce my ds, who is 4, to cross-country skiing. I suspect it would be really short little trips out, and I figure we would rent equipment (have to look to make sure they rent such small boots).
I would love some advice on how to get started, and any strategies to make it fun for him.
I used to love going with my family, who were really not sporty at all, but somehow tried to adopt the traditions of their new country. I so appreciate their doing that for me - I should give my mother a call about that, now that I think of it.
TIA!
Margit
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#2 of 14 Old 12-11-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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We just went out twice this weekend! It's so much fun. We started our dd when she was 5. She loves it. We make sure she has clothes that are long enough in the legs and arms so that when she falls, snow isn't getting past her sleeves and pants onto her skin. She has a one piece snowsuit. Invest in a good pair of warm waterproof mittens and a heavy pair of ski socks. Cold hands and feet will cut it all short.

We go out mid morning. We're lucky to have woods and a bike path nearby that are used for xcountry ski trails in the winter. I take dd's school backpack, and bring a thermos of hot chocolate and a few peanut butter sandwich squares--they will get tired and need a pick me up at some point. When she gets tired we step off trail and snack. There is nothing so peaceful as being in the woods in snow in winter, having a warm drink. Most times we are out for about two hours at any stretch--I could go longer but we always have other things we need to do eventually. As long as you take rests and your child is dressed so they stay warm and dry, you can stay out as long as they want.

Do you have a trail nearby where you can go?
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#3 of 14 Old 12-12-2005, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply! I can't wait to start skiing again. I've got a few questions if you don't mind.
How did you actually get your DD started, physically? Did you use anything to help her gain momentum, or just let her watch/figure it out?
Did you buy new equipment? I guess you did, given that the path is right behind your house (how wonderful for you!). We don't have anything that is right outside, though there is a park across the street that we could use I suppose, but the city has lots of very accessible trails, from as close as 10 minutes away by car.
I can't believe that you go for hours, it sounds heavenly!
My son turned 4 in March - I hope that it isn't too young, and that he doesn't have the coordination, and that turns him off - that is my only concern.
I also have a DS who is 2, and so the skis would be used by him later, so I wouldn't mind buying a set for my 4 year old.
I'm really excited to get started!
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#4 of 14 Old 12-12-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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On thing to check on, when renting ask if they'll 'exchange' the skiis for sled. We've taken my son a couple of times. [Starting at 3 yr old, he's now 5] We rent skis for him and then after 'a while' we trade them in for one of those sleds that we pull. That way he gets out on the snow on skiis himself, but there is no pressure on him OR us to go any longer than he wants etc. For first time or two it is a 'safe' way to get an idea of how long you can expect, etc.
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#5 of 14 Old 12-13-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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It's funny to see your reply and realize- we have two dogs we take for long walks early every morning so dd got used to long treks early in life. I forget that that's a little unusual.

You know, just gettng the skis out when that first big snow fell made dd so curious about skiing. We went to a park down the street the first time --sort of capturing the excitement of snow that was falling in the moment-- and just practiced around the park. We were really close to home so that's a good way to go the first couple of times. DD was so proud of putting on special equipment, just fascinated by the boots and skis. Then I just showed her how to do it but she really just forged her way herself. I just wouldn't overinstruct-- let her watch you, let her do things wrong at first, let her develop her own feel.

If you have a sled or can get one, that is a great idea because if she gets tired you can tie the all the skies to the sled and pull her.

Enjoy!
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#6 of 14 Old 12-13-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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My husband and 4 year old son were out for hours this weekend. We started my son with these strap on skis (K'boom by Karibu, I think the name is), that go over the regular snow boots, when he was 3, and he just enjoyed playing around. Now we have some skis we found for 10 bucks (they have the three hole binding) and some used boots and POLES and they just go in the park down the street and make paths. The poles are for fighting bad guys, marking new trails, drawing maps, etc. I can't wait to actually ski a (real) trail with my son, but I know it's better just to make it fun and not be a taskmaster (my tendency!).
I loved Shanagirl's description--that is my dream!!!!
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#7 of 14 Old 12-13-2005, 01:42 AM
 
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My son is 34 mos. and went downhill skiing with his dad for the first time yesterday. He made it down the bunny hill twice with a little assistance (pushes, directional help), and came home with not a single bruise or scratch. There's no such thing as cross-country skiing around here (the snow is fake at the downhill place), but when reading up on kids and skiing beforehand, I read about people with kids much younger than mine (one was 19 mos!) taking them XC skiing.
I hope you all have a great time, I wish my parents would have done such exciting stuff with me as a kid! My son LOVED it (and slept from 7pm to 9am last night, ).
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#8 of 14 Old 12-13-2005, 02:01 AM
 
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Yes! That is a big benefit of getting outdoors early in the day in cold weather. It's so invigorating and sets a great rhythm for the day for a child, so that they sleep the best, most satisfying sleep at night.
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#9 of 14 Old 12-13-2005, 09:31 AM
 
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I once had visions of the kids skiing with us the in conservation land behnd our house-awesome trails, streams, ponds, rivers, etc. Now, I am thrilled when my 2 year old makes it around the perimeter of our property! I think it is a matter of keeping it fun for them, and when it is not- Stop!

My son always needs to be bundled up, my daughter will not ski wearing anything on her hands. But it is still early winter (she is only 2 and did not ski more than 25 feet last winter) so I think she'll change her mind when it gets much colder.

Have fun! I still have the same visions, but now the kids are teenagers and I'm struggling to keep up.

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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#10 of 14 Old 12-14-2005, 12:02 PM
 
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I was glad to read a few of the later posters say they're children were younger than 4 when they introduced skiing. My ds is newly 3 and for Christmas he is getting his first set of cross country skis. I think I'm more excited than he will be! Dh is a big skier and I love it but haven't been able to get out as much over the past 3 years due to being pregnant, young children, etc... but am looking forward to getting out again and can't wait until we can all go out as a family.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#11 of 14 Old 12-15-2005, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am inspired!
I think I'm going to buy him skis & boots in the (hopefully) Xmas sales - and already have the poles. Can't wait.
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#12 of 14 Old 12-16-2005, 10:49 AM
 
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Hi!
I was excited to see this because we are planning to start our son this year. I've never seen x-c gear in that size range but it must exist. I'd love to find a used set somewhere. He says he wants to downhill ski too- not me!!!
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#13 of 14 Old 12-16-2005, 12:03 PM
 
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LL Bean, also

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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#14 of 14 Old 12-17-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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My sons is 4,5 years old, and this is his third winter skiing.
But, we are Norwegians living in Norway, so that might have something to do with it...

The first winter (when he was 2,5) we just borrowed skis from his then 4 year old cousin. Last year his grandfather (my father) bought him what he needed for christmas. He loves going out in the snow!

The first 2 winters we only walked where it was really flat. This year he has tried skiing down some small, small "hills" too. Sometimes he gets down without falling. Sometimes not.

Good luck!

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