Tips and Tricks for Skiing with a Toddler

By Jessica Chindgren Mar 11, 2024
Tips and tricks for skiing or snowboarding with a toddler
Tips and Tricks for Skiing with a Toddler

You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to take your little one skiing. We commend you, you brave soul. Good luck and godspeed. Okay, okay, we’re exaggerating a bit. In reality, it’s not as bad as you may think and actually it can be a lot of fun! It’s all about preparedness and having the right attitude going in. We’ve broken down some of our pro tips and some of the mistakes we’ve made so you don’t have to make them. You’re welcome. 

First, and most importantly, is dressing them appropriately. 

If your little one is cold or uncomfortable, it’s game over. Getting not just the right gear, but getting them used to wearing their gear, is a big tip for success. Early on, it’s important to merely get them in their ski outfit and take them to the mountain. Even if skiing doesn’t happen, you’re getting them used to wearing all the layers and associating the ensemble with a fun time. Whatever you do, work to make it fun so they want to get geared up in the future. Let go of your expectation of what they should do and just work to make them enjoy it. That will make getting them in their ski outfit and to the mountain easier and easier. 


So what is the appropriate gear? Layers, layers, layers. It’s all about the layers. Here is our suggestion for gear and layering:

  1. Synthetic base layer—or really just anything besides cotton. Number one rule, don’t use cotton as the base because it can get wet and actually make your child colder.

  2. Fleece mid-layer—next is a cozy fleece layer for warmth. Fleece pajamas are a great option or you don't have an actual fleece suit. 

  3. Wool socks—extremities are what get coldest the fastest so be sure to invest in a good pair of wool socks. 

  4. Gloves/Mittens—this is one I personally don’t recommend for little skiers. Why? Because they will inevitably slip off and be at the bottom of the lift or somewhere mid-mountain. Instead, get a snowsuit that closes at the hand and put merino wool socks over their hands and underneath the snowsuit. That way their hands stay warm but you don’t have to deal with pesky gloves falling off. However, if your toddler is a little older, they may want more use of their hands. If so, we recommend getting ones that are super warm with wrist straps, Hestra has some great child glove options.

  5. Snowsuit outer layer—we recommend buying a full snowsuit rather than a coat and pants. This way, if your toddler falls, there is less chance of snow getting inside their waterproof outer layer. 

  6. Helmet—remember helmets are cool. Not only will you teach that to your child early on, but it will also serve to keep their head warm. It’s worth it to make this investment. Smith has some great child helmet options. Be sure to choose one that has a strap for goggles. 

  7. Goggles—this will keep your little one’s face warm while also protecting their eyes. It will also get them used to what ski gear feels like. Make sure to strap the goggles into their helmet so you don’t have them falling off mid-lift. Again, Smith has some great affordable kid options for goggles

Pro tip: We recently saw a parent who brought a blow dryer with them in their bag. They used this inside the lodge to dry and/or warm their kids layers. It could also be used to warm up cold and stiff ski boots. Genius or excessive? You be the judge. 


What about the actual skis or snowboard?

We recommend getting equipment from a local shop like, Utah Ski & Golf. Here you can do a kids ski program where you buy skis for your child one time and then get new skis every year as they size up until they are ten years old. That way you’re not consistently having to buy new ski gear as your toddler grows each season. 

Also, if your child is skiing, don’t forget to buy an edgy wedgy. A lot of parents find these helpful to keep kids ski tips together.  

Other Pro Tips

  1. If your child is still in diapers, bring warm wipes. To do this, simply add hot water to an insulated mug or thermos, then add the wipes. Voilà, warm wipes. 

  2. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. I don’t know if this is a pro tip per se, or just a general parenting tip. But for real, whenever you go for an outing come equipped with the most snacks you can carry. Snacks are a parent's best friend. 

  3. Have fun! It is all about the attitude you bring to the mountain. You’ve worked hard to get your child to the slopes, now let loose and add as much levity as you can. Throw snowballs, fall down, laugh, and be silly with your child! 


Lastly, be sure to check out where kids ski free in Utah and avoid paying a hefty price for your toddler to ski just a few runs.  

Any other tips you have? Comment below!