Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Power of the Kid Posse

Do you ever feel like you need a little inspiration to get the kids motivated to ski?

Last Sunday, we were on our 5th ski day out of the last ten days, and it seemed like the kids were just going through the motions.  Timmy was more interested in making block towers with the door stops in the lodge, and Bridget lacked her usual bubbly enthusiasm for conquering the mountain. Outdoor Dad and I were thinking we might need to just cut our losses; we have said time and again that we want this to be FUN - if skiing isn't fun, because the kids are tired (skiing takes a LOT out of those little bodies) or just need a change of pace, then maybe we should just head home.

But then, by chance, we ran into one of Bridget's old friends, and we hopped on the lift with her and her Dad.  Suddenly, little girl laughter and jibber-jabber filled the air.  They hadn't seen each other in months, and now were ecstatic to have a skiing playmate.  Rejuvenated, Bridget and her friend filled the lift rides with giggles and stories, and took turns making up games to play on the runs down.  They had a contest to see how many turns they could make in one run.  They played follow the leader.  They tried skiing backwards on the flatter parts.  And they raced, again and again.  Soon, another skiing family arrived and we had a whole posse of kids, from ages 3 through 6, romping over the snow.  They     joked as only they could, shouting from one chairlift to another and giggling hysterically when one friend lost his ski when he got on the lift.  (Luckily his Dad grabbed it and everyone was safe.)  Lap after lap, they just got back in line each time they reached the bottom, barely noticing if the grown-ups were along for the ride or not.

It was great to see them just having fun (that's the point, right?) and not worrying about anything else.   No grown-ups cajoling them to hurry up, or slow down, or to make more turns.  It was an unusually warm day and no one was in danger of getting too cold.  The kids ski gang took on a life of its own, and while they were playing, unbeknownst to them, they were learning, too.  Their games were allowing them to practice all those things we want them to learn on the snow: keeping their weight forward, finding balance on skis, and avoiding collisions as other skiers act as moving targets down the mountain.  Bridget's friend's dad, who is a racing coach, even showed them how to do a tuck on the flat section of the bunny hill.

It was great to end the day with smiles on our faces, and I hope all our friends can join us again for another skiing adventure.  What do you do to make it fun for your kids?

No comments:

Post a Comment