We’re here to help you plan a safe and enjoyable ski event. As with any new activity, learning the core skills is important. Once participants understand the basic movements, they will be equipped to play ski fun games to further enhance their technical skills. Allowing time for independent play and exploration is also valuable, when introducing youth to this lifelong sport. View the Ski at School Guidebook, a comprehensive document designed for teachers delivering ski events at school, including plans (29 pages).

Introducing the Sport – Sizing & Lesson Plan

We recommend that you use a separate time block to work out sizing and teach children to put on the ski equipment separate from the first on-snow ski session. You may also want to review the lesson plan with the children, having them practice the core movements and games without skis.

Basic Skills

There are five core cross-country skiing skills that help new skiers learn to move safely. The skills, listed below, can be taught in game-like situations, i.e. tapping their imagination, or challenge skiers to see how many times they can practice falling down and getting back up in 30 seconds. The core skills are very useful for children to learn before playing more involved group-based games. Most children love learning through play! Discover 30 Cross-Country Ski Games.

1. Fall Down & Get Up

Practice falling down, then getting up. Lie on your back like a bug with arms and legs sticking up in the air, with skis parallel. Then swing skis to one side. Next, turn over. Kneel on skis with hands on skis. Stand up.

>Video – Getting up

2. Turning Around

How to turn around 360 degrees by doing a start turn. Stand with skis parallel. Open skis up to make a pizza slice. Move left ski so that it is parallel to right ski. Move right ski to make a new pizza slice. Repeat.

> Video – Star turn and hokey-pokey game

3. Slowing Down

Learn the snow plow to slow down or stop. Many skiers use the snowplow when going down a hill. When sliding downhill, move tips of skis into a triangle or pizza slice to slow down.

>Video – Snow plow

4. Climbing Hills

Practice the “duck walk” or herring bone to climb hills. Put skis in the shape of an open “V” (pizza slice with the tips of skis open and the tail ends together). Step up hill with weight over the centre of the ski.

>Video – Duck walk / herring bone

5. Gliding

Practice gliding. Imagine you are kicking a ball. One leg kicks forward, then plants, the other leg follows.

>Videos – glide instruction

>Video – introduction

Ultimate Guides

Cross-country skiing 101. Tried-and-true information to increase your skiing knowledge.

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