Updated August 27th, 2023 by Alec Wilson. This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost that help run Proper Peaks.
We’ve all seen them on the slopes, the adorable little skiers with the front of their skis tied together to help them with “pizza” all the way down the hill. A lot of people see toddler skiers and can only worry about their safety, but whenever I see them rushing down the hill all I see is potential.
I see future fearless black diamond pros, but more importantly, I see future generations continuing the great skiing tradition.
If you are like me, you’ve probably been asking how soon can a kid get on the slopes? The real question you should be asking is what gear should I get for my toddler? Because the first step to getting your kids down the slopes is getting them the proper gear. Read on to find the right gear for your child by getting ski gifts for your toddlers.
1. Kids Ski Helmet
When I was little the helmet was always the most contested item to put on. Now, as an adult, I’m so glad that my parents insisted that I wear one. The helmet is arguably the most important gift you can get your child- taking the time to find one that your child will actually wear is important.
Places like REI, and Backcountry offer kids-sized helmets in an array of colors and styles–Evo even offers one with a shark face and fin on it. If you buy a helmet, good on you for protecting that child’s noggin but just a heads up we use affiliate links and I’ll probably use any small commission for lift tickets at the slopes.
We suggest finding a helmet in your child’s favorite color, or if you’re lucky there might even be one with your child’s favorite animal on it.
If your child’s favorite color or animal is out of stock we suggest allowing the child to add stickers to their helmet to personalize it (stores often have special waterproof stickers near the front or the checkout isles). You won’t believe how excited kids get with just a few stickers on their helmets.
2. Kids Ski Jacket
Giving your child style starts with comfortable, functional clothing. There is no style when your child can’t ski well because their coat doesn’t fit right. Finding the perfect coat is easier than you might think and once you find the right coat you have a gift that will keep on giving.
Not only will your child stay warm, but any picture you take of your child will turn out great too.
You can find fashionable and warm coats from brands like The North Face, Spyder, or Columbia. These brands offer children’s sizes and can be found at REI, or EVO. You will be sure to find the perfect fit and style for your child.
3. Skis: The Ultimate Ski Gift for Toddlers
Whether you are looking to keep the skiing tradition alive or you’re encouraging your child’s adventurous spirit, the gift of skis is the answer. Giving a child good equipment for their next adventure creates a contagious excitement around the child.
There are many ways to give adventurous gifts –as all these items suggest, but giving actual skis puts into motion what has probably been months of planning on your part.
To make that special moment happen, you might have to bring your child into the store to find the size that is best for them. Ski length is usually determined by height and weight. Generally, the length is somewhere between your chin and the top of your head.
This is an advanced gift, but once your child is comfortable going down greens and blues they will be ready for poles (Your child being comfortable going down greens and blues means that they can stop and steer comfortably).
As your child advances, the equipment does too, and ski poles are a great example of that.
This is another gift that you might have to bring the child into the store to find the right size for them. EVO and other stores have a ski pole size chart to help you determine, based on the height of the child, which poles to get (The smallest ski pole length is usually 32 inches).
5. Ski socks
There is a reason that companies sell special socks for skiing, regular socks are not going to keep those tiny toes warm on skis. To help your child avoid freezing toes on the slopes, get them some good ski socks.
You want to find socks that cover the calf and are made from wool. There are many patterns and colors to choose from so you are sure to find some that your child will be enthusiastic about and actually wear.
Just like toes, you have to keep those little fingers warm. For child’s gloves you want to ensure a couple of things, that the gloves allow your child to move their hand around, that they don’t cut off circulation, and that they don’t fall off easily (there is nothing worse than seeing a glove fall from the ski lift).
Using these three factors as your guide, look for gloves with elastic around the wrist or drawstrings at the end to keep a looser fit while preventing the glove from falling off.
7. Kids Goggles
If your child can’t see where they are going, they won’t have as much fun. Ski goggles are a special type of goggles because they need to provide equal protection from the snow, wind, and sun. If the goggles don’t protect from snow, wind, or sun it makes it extremely difficult to make it down the slopes.
Look to the VLT percentage to determine how protective the goggles are to the sunlight–18% for full sun and 60% for overcast. EVO has a variety of VLT protective goggles in various sizes including toddler sizes.
8. Ski Boots
Shoes are an important piece of equipment for any sport. Marilyn Monroe once explained, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” Though this saying seems specific, I believe it actually applies more generally and can be expanded to include skiers.
Essentially saying, “Give your child the right ski boots and they can conquer the slopes.”
It is important to take the time to find the right ski boots. Most people have one foot that is a little bigger than the other so when measuring for boots be sure to measure the foot that is slightly larger so none of their toes are cramped.
Finding the right boots will prevent your toddler from getting foot cramps and numb toes; so don’t be afraid to try on more than one pair.
9. Ski Harness
Everyone needs guidance when they are starting a new sport and the easiest way to give this guidance for young skiers is with a ski harness. A ski harness adds extra comfort to whoever is skiing with the child. You can gently hold on to the child without restricting the child’s sense of adventure and ability to learn the sport for themselves.
It’s a good idea to have a ski harness for your child’s first season of skiing.
10. Ski Edgie Wedgies
As I said at the beginning of the article, we’ve all seen kids with their skis held together in the “pizza.” Ski Edgie Wedgies are the tools that connect the front of your child’s skis. They are easy to attach and strong enough to stay on while your child skis down the slope.
Some parents are worried about using Edgie Wedgies on their child’s skis, thinking that it stunts their learning and therefore the child’s future skiing ability. I look at Edgie Wedgies like training wheels on a bicycle.
You put the training wheels on the bike to build confidence and get them used to the feel of the bike—after practice, they take it off and are less likely to fall.
Edgie Wedgies provide the same learning steps for skis. It gives the child a chance to practice and build up their confidence. If you are working to increase your child’s adventurous spirit while increasing their confidence, Edgie Wedgies are the best way to do it.
11. Ski Lessons
If you are looking for someone to help your child with their stance, knee bends, skis parallel, use of poles, steering, or stopping, then the gift of ski lessons is what you are looking for.
Ski lessons provide your child with the chance to practice and practice and practice on safer smaller slopes. Ski lessons allow the child to build their confidence before joining you on the bigger slopes.