As your children grow, they will begin to express an interest in a variety of activities and hobbies. It’s easy for them to enjoy summer activities because it’s as simple as throwing on some shoes and heading out the door. But when it comes to winter sports, it might be more challenging to foster their interests because of a shortened season, varied weather patterns, and all the items needed to stay safe.
If you live in a climate with no snow shortage each year, you’re in luck. Your kids will experience winter annually, and their curiosity about what they can do will peak as they grow. So if you’re ready to introduce your kids to a winter sport, let’s discuss some of the best ways to go about it.
Keep Safety and Comfort in Mind
By centering safety and comfort, you can help them adjust to the needs of the winter season and keep concerns at bay. Sometimes, kids lose interest in being outside when it becomes too cold for them or when the ground fills with slush. Invest in all the necessary gear to keep them comfortable regardless of weather conditions to encourage them to continue playing.
Consider the various winter activities they’re interested in or that you do as a family unit and equip them with their gear. A helmet, boots, and a quality monosuit are essentials in most winter sports, especially those with machines. And the truth is, something as simple as their own snowmobile monosuit can help them build excitement and get more involved.
Look for Signs of Readiness
Looking for signs of readiness is key. Often as parents, we age our children without realizing it. We place expectations on their performance, and when they can’t keep up or exceed expectations, we grow disappointed. This will directly impact their ability to perform or gain confidence about a new skill.
By keeping their individual readiness in mind, you’re fostering their interest levels in a healthy manner without setting any expectations. This way, when they choose something new or unique to them, they can master it at their own pace.
Remain Thoughtful and Aware
The ultimate goal in encouraging a winter sport for your child is to help them find an activity they love, keep them physically active in the cold months, and have fun. When things become forceful, you may experience some resentment or rebellion, and the goals go down the drain.
Remain thoughtful about their interest levels and stay aware of how things are progressing. If you find that they’re increasingly uninterested after trying something for a season, maybe switch to a new activity next season.
Consider Their Personal Physical Abilities
A child’s personal physical abilities will always be custom. You may have a set of twins, where one is more athletic than the other. This happens, and that’s OK. When you’re aware of the natural physical capabilities of your children, it’s much easier to navigate the most feasible winter sport for them. A more athletic child may thoroughly enjoy skiing, while a less athletic or agile child may find that snowmobiling is all they can manage. Foster their natural ability and follow their lead.
Psychological Factors Matter
There is physical ability and readiness, and then psychological readiness. If they are experiencing something challenging in their personal life, they may not have much interest or ability to perform physically.
In the same regard, psychological readiness can relate to their ability to master the skill set. If something is too advanced for their psych, chances are they will grow disappointed, disconnected, and resent the sport.
Watch a Variety of Sports
One of the easiest ways to introduce your kids to winter sports is by having them watch these sports play out by professionals. Televised events and games are easy to help kids foster curiosity around a sport because you can set the scene for them and make it memorable.
Pop some popcorn, dim the lights, turn on the fireplace, or do whatever works best for your family. Sitting to watch a game or activity can support their personal feelings of inspiration and enthusiasm.
Consider Playthings That Encourage General Interest
Consider investing in introductory playthings that mimic real-life winter sports. If your child has expressed a lot of interest in a particular winter sport, but their physical or psychological readiness is a limiting factor, investing in a mock version that’s their size can help them practice and develop the skills they need.
These things are easy for them to use because they can practice in the backyard, at a nearby park, or in the driveway with friends. Some options to consider include the following:
- Mini snowboard
- Snow boots
- Play skis and poles
Invest in Their Curiosity
Investing in their curiosity is a part of the game. This might mean you buy equipment and gear they’ll use once, or maybe they’ll use it for the next 10 years. The problem many parents face is not knowing which it will be.
Regardless of the outcomes, investing in their curiosity will help support their involvement and reinforce their confidence. This all matters when you want them to find something they enjoy, particularly in the wintertime when it’s easy for them to hide away and play video games.
Another great way to invest in their curiosity is to find things to do while on family vacations. Spend some time trying activities and exploring new parts of the town or country. This can show them all the opportunities and possibilities and encourage them to try new things.
It’s possible that your kids like summer activities only, and that’s fair. It’s easy to throw their shoes on and go, right? Hopefully, with this helpful list of ways to introduce them to winter sports, you can foster their activity levels all year round and show them new, exciting things to do.
When you’re ready to invest in the seasonally appropriate gear, partner with Peak Boys. We carry a range of essential tools, gear, and equipment to support a newfound love of winter sports, regardless of experience level or age.