Teaching kids how to ski, especially in groups, can be a difficult task. You need plenty of patience and an enthusiastic approach. Kids can be easily distracted and easily discouraged, so you must maintain their focus with fun games. Use a variety of activities to get them on their way to learning proper ski techniques.
One of the first things you should do when teaching kids to ski is help them get used to the equipment. Take your group out to a flat area at the base of the slope. Collect all their ski poles, and place them 20 yards away from the group in a pile. The children should all have their ski boots on. Kids can have a hard time walking in ski boots at first, and this activity helps them get used to walking in their boots. Instruct the group to pretend they are on the moon in astronaut boots. Tell them their mission is to take short, careful strides across the terrain and retrieve their poles. They should return with the poles tucked under their arms in the proper downhill position. This helps the kids get a feel for moving in their boots and holding both poles in the correct position.
Pizza and Fries
This game teaches your kids the basics of skiing. Take the children to the top of a small slope. Show them the pizza and fries positions. Start with your ski tips pointed together and the ends flared out so they look like a pizza slice. This position works like a brake when skiing. Then show them how the fries position--pointing your skis straight down the slope in a parallel position--lets you build up speed. Alternate between pizza (braking) and fries (accelerating) as you go down the slope, and instruct your kids to follow your lead until you reach the bottom. Call out "pizza" or "fries" as they progress down the slope, and make sure to give them encouragement.
Follow the Leader
More advanced kids can try playing follow the leader on the slopes. Get your group in a single-file line with your best student at the front. Send that student down first, instructing her to take a winding descent back and forth across the slope. Have the rest of the group follow one by one at five-second intervals. You should follow along at the back of the pack, shouting out instructions and encouragement as your group makes its way down the slope.
Advanced students can try this game. Set up cones at 10-yard intervals along the length of the slope. Take your group to the top, and have them get in a single-file line. Tell them to weave in and out of the cones until they reach the bottom. You can demonstrate for one or two cones before moving to the side, so you can monitor everyone's descent from the middle of the course. Make sure the kids understand that each person must wait until the person in front of him reaches the bottom of the course.
Article Written By David Thyberg
David Thyberg began his writing career in 2007. He is a professional writer, editor and translator. Thyberg has been published in various newspapers, websites and magazines. He enjoys writing about social issues, travel, music and sports. Thyberg holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College with a certificate in Spanish and Latin American studies.