Skiing down a mountain

JG describes a game she learned from her mother and would do to kids she babysat

What was skiing down a mountain?

JG: “So you know how little kids love to be bounced up and down on people’s knees? Skiing down a mountain was basically just bouncing a little kid on your knee but with a background story. Mom used to do it to me, but she was the one who made it up. She said she wanted to put a background story to it to make it more interesting because it made more sense if there was a story. And then I really liked it so I would do it to kids I baby sat and you when you were a baby”

What do you do?

JG: “So you put a little kid on your lap and bounce them around like normal, but then you say “skiing down a mountain” again and again. Eventually you yell “TREE!” and you swerve your knees to the side like you’re avoiding a tree. There was some other ones too, like rocks and moguls. For moguls you would do really big bounces. It was kind of open to interpretation. All the little kids loved it, it was a lot more exciting than regular bouncing a kid on your knee. Sometimes I’d do you and your cousin Louisa at the same time, you guys loved it. I just remember really liking it when I was little and I would watch Mom do it to Justin too when he was little. So then I did it when I started watching kids”

This piece of folklore displays the importance of regional differences. While bouncing a child on your knee could be adapted to have many different stories, it’s significant that this story involved skiing, mainly because the game originated with JG’s mother in Colorado where skiing is very prevalent. A child would immediately recognize the parts of the game because most children in Colorado learn to ski at a very young age.