Tips for Parents | Teaching kids to ski at Tahoe Donner |

Tips for Parents | Teaching kids to ski at Tahoe Donner

Robert McClendon
Tahoe Donner Ski Hill Manager
Photo courtesy Tahoe Donner Association

Parents who are expert skiers can be surprised to learn that teaching kids requires different techniques than teaching adults.

Good terrain has a different meaning for young learners, according to Dave Walker, Tahoe Donnerand#8217;s Ski and Snowboard School Director. and#8220;Ideally, you should have a flat groomed surface. Remember that a few inches of chopped up powder is great for you, but it is knee-deep moguls to your kids.and#8221;

Walker recommends keeping learners on very easy terrain, much flatter than you would probably think. and#8220;You should be doing what is best for them, even if it seems flat and boring to you. If your child is scared of a particular slope, take them to an easier one until they feel ready,and#8221; he said.

Chelle Sonder, Tahoe Donnerand#8217;s Snowflakes Ski School Supervisor, suggests using fun terminology to help explain skills concepts. and#8220;Pizzaand#8221; means form a wedge or snowplow. and#8220;French Friesand#8221; is for parallel skis. and#8220;Peanut Butter and Jellyand#8221; are sidesteps up the hill and#8212; one foot is peanut butter, the other is jelly. and#8220;Red Light, Green Lightand#8221; is a great game for slowing down the kids before they get to the lift lines.

Some parents buy equipment that is too big so it will last a couple of seasons. But itand#8217;s better to rent properly sized gear. and#8220;Skiing in boots or skis two sizes too big is an injury waiting to happen,and#8221; said Sonder.

And when patience runs thin or youand#8217;re ready for some time to yourself to enjoy the slopes, think about a childrenand#8217;s ski school. Most children will learn happily from instructors who arenand#8217;t also their parents.

Learn more about Tahoe Donnerand#8217;s Snowflakes program and lessons at, call 587-9444, 11603 Snowpeak Way, Truckee.

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