Taking preschoolers to the snow is much like taking preschoolers to any other exciting place or outing: it can be an incredible amount of fun, extremely difficult and frustrating, or both. To give you and your children the best experience possible, take some time to plan before your first trip. Being adequately prepared can prevent many of the problems that might arise.
First, make sure you’re prepared for the trip to the snow. Whether you are going up for a week or just a few hours, prepare for the car ride as you would for any road trip. Make sure your children have plenty to keep them occupied, that you have food and water for the journey, and that you have planned out bathroom stops. Getting to the snow with as little stress as possible is ideal in order to maximize enjoyment for parents and children alike.
The second way to make sure that taking preschoolers to the snow is more fun than painful is to ensure that you have the right gear. Warm clothes that keep you dry are a must, as neither parents nor children will want to be cold, wet, and miserable. If you don’t own good snow clothing, you should buy, rent, or borrow high-quality snow clothing. Other things that should be brought include sunglasses for children with sensitive eyes, warm hats, waterproof gloves, and sunscreen.
Snow toys can definitely make a day in the snow more fun for everyone. Preschoolers are generally (but not always) too young for skiing but sledding or using saucers on gentle hills can be a great deal of fun. Inner tubes can also be enjoyable, as can simply making snowmen or having a friendly snowball fight. Make sure that older siblings, parents, and any dogs who might have come along for the family trip are gentle with preschoolers trying out snow toys for the first time.
Finally, make sure that you leave the snow before it is too late. Parents often want to stay as long as possible so as not to waste the drive up. However, cold, tired children will not leave the snow happy and may not have good memories of the experience. To keep everyone happy and the day pleasant, watch for the signs that your children are ready to leave, and try to end the day before anyone melts down, be they child or parent.