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What Goes Sledriding
February 3, 2013 - Jen Zbozny
Sledriding with kids can be an awesome adventure or an arduous ordeal. Here are some simple tips for planning a successful sled riding adventure with your little ones.
1. Remember their legs are shorter than yours. It may not be that difficult for you to hoof it up a snowy hill but your 3 year old will tire quickly. If you have a mix of different ages, plan to pull the littlest ones up the hill. Think of it as awesome exercise for you. Start your older ones at the top of a hill, but consider starting littler ones half way down. It may be easier for all!
2. Think carefully before you head to a snow resort/ski resort location for a long day of sledding. If your kids tire quickly you'll have paid a lot of money to be sitting inside paying even more money for hot chocolates. Look for local hills that are within walking or a quick driving distance. You can have hot chocolate in the comfort of your own home where you'll be perfectly comfortable walking around in your long underwear.
3. Stash a couple of pairs of extra mittens in your pockets. Kids can't resist a handful of snow. The space between the end of the mitten and the sleeve of the jacket is an easy place for them to get cold wet snow. That means little wet paws that will soon make for a cold whiny little person. Exchanging their wet mitties for dry ones that have been warming in your pockets will happy them up in no time. Same goes for socks!
4. I invoke this trick to keep little hands toasty. I have Eve put a lighter pair of mittens on first. Then I slide a heavier (preferably with a thicker suede pad on the palm) pair over top of the lighter ones. She can still scoop up snow but her hands stay warm and dry on the inside.
5. Speaking of toasty, stash a couple small packets of instant hand warmers in your pocket. Even your most uncomfortable or least heat efficient member (always me, no matter how many layers) will be curious and intrigued by how they work - and they'll toast up little ones quick as a wink.
6. Wear your scarf. Wrap it around your neck and over your chest under your jacket.. Just before your littlest heads down the slope, take your scarf off and wrap it around their chin area. The warmth will delight them so much they'll forget they hate having something over their face. It will do a fabulous job of keeping the flying snow out of their little face. That's one more crying possibility you've averted.
7. Make pizza dough, and have sauce and cheese ready before you leave home. When you get in the door, have your elves help you apply sauce and cheese and toppings as the warmth from the preheating oven warms up your family and helps dry up the wet mitties and hats.
8. Need I say hot chocolate? The super moms out there bring thermoses with them. That's the way cool thing to do. Second to that, make sure you've prepped cups and marshmallows for when you get home. You can even premix your cocoa and sugar so all you need to do is add milk and vanilla. Boil it up in big pot and have at it.
9. A word on safety. The thrill of sled riding is magical but it isn't worth a trip to the E.R. Consider the area carefully. Teach your kids to tip out into the snow if they think they're headed into a tree or any kind of hard obstruction. Teach them to keep hands and feet inside sleds and away from any runners on classic wooden sleds.
10. Most of all, teach them that sled riding is some the best cheap fun you can have in the winter!
I hope you enjoyed the snow!
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