Hiro, my youngest son, turned 2 yrs old a couple months ago. For Christmas, he got a pair of ski boots, size 14.5 mondo. As far as I can tell, no one makes boots smaller than that. He can stick his little foot into the boot without unbuckling it. And he does that quite often. Lately, several times a day. Then he clomps around the house. At least he doesn't sleep in them -- something he did when he got them. I think the toes of everyone in the house have been stepped on by Hiro and his ski boots.
Given his enthusiasm for the boots, I assumed he would be equally enthusiastic to ski. Plus he talked a good game, telling Bart that he was going to go ski with him. But when the actual moment came and I latched him into his little skis he freaked out a little bit. And since Christmas, he hasn't been willing to entertain the thought of skiing. Just boots. The sight of skis causes him to wrinkle his face and cry a bit.
However, this week, we had a breakthrough moment and as of yesterday, Hiro has decided that boots and skis go well together. So, tonight we had our first ski lesson -- dryland training, on carpet. Here is a video (I am "daddy" and "Buster" is Hiro's nickname):
My other two kids, Ethan and Miya, both started skiing at 2ish or 3. I'm definitely not a pro at teaching kids, but here are the steps we have generally followed and that seem to work:
Step 1: The Tow I've found that towing the kids around initially and letting them get the feel of having their feet bound down and sliding on snow (or carpet) is a good way to start.
Step 2: The Pizza Slice Once they are comfortable and happy being towed, we take it to the next level: the "Pizza Slice," which with an edgy-wedgy is quite easy for a little person. All he or she has to do is step outwards.
Step 3: The Harness I have a harness made by Lucky Bums that has worked well. I've yet to try it on Hiro, but I will soon. With the harness on, I can control which direction they go, and stop them if necessary. At first, I use the harness a lot to control them, but soon enough, they pick up the snow plow.
Step 4: The Turn I struggle with teaching my kids to turn. They like to just go straight. But, one way that is effective is to simply reach one arm up into the sky. I ski in front and we play follow the leader with me raising my arm and the child doing the same thing, causing him or her to turn.
Step 5: Ditching the Edgy-Wedgys Depending on the kid, this may be hard, or it may be insignificant. With my daughter, I found that her 3 year old legs weren't strong enough to keep a snow plow without the assistance of edgy wedgies. Some instructors say that edgy wedgies are evil, but I think that for small children they work miracles. So, my thinking is, use them until the kid doesn't need them anymore.
I think Hiro is ready for the Harness. We'll see.