When can my child be introduced to skiing?
This question is often asked by avid skiers who cannot wait to introduce their little ones to the slopes. Family skiing is great fun and mums and dads look forward to the day they can ski as a family. The general consensus seems to be the average age to introduce children to a ski school is round about 4/5 years of age. Children at this age are more willing to learn and listen to a ski instructor however it does depend on the child.
Of course, you can introduce your children to snow and they will love playing in it, building a snowman and playing with snowballs it will get them used to the cold and being outside. Some children pick up skiing early and some will get frustrated it’s the way with all learning programmes, if your child feels uncomfortable check their not too cold and their boots are a good fit. If your child is becoming distressed in the ski lesson then don’t force it, its possible they are simply not ready and there is always next year.
As with all new skills be positive when talking to your child and it’s natural if they are scared a little. The majority of ski schools don’t take children until they are 4 years old, it’s easier at this age to take simple instructions and they are able to use more of the lifts beyond the nursery slope. You may want your child to have a couple of private ski lessons before they join a group and this will help build their confidence.
They will need to get used to wearing ski boots and skis whilst first playing in the snow and a qualified instructor can gauge when they are ready to take the next step. As a family enjoying ski holidays the little ones will probably be already used to being in the snow and marvelling at the mountains. If you have an older child who is already enjoying the thrill of skiing it may be easier for any younger children to follow as they will not want to be left in childcare they will want to be on the slopes too, they will worry they are missing out!
Some children will not want to ski until they are a little older, that’s fine let them progress at their own pace; it’s a fun sport and should be treated that way. If your child really doesn’t like skiing then don’t to worry, you can still enjoy the family ski holiday as there are plenty of childcare programmes that look after children usually from around 6 months old up to 11 years. Here they can participate in games and lots of fun activities in the snow without the older children feeling the pressure of learning to ski.
Next time you visit the ski slopes enrol your little ones at the local ski school they will adapt quickly and more importantly they will have good old fashioned fun in the snow.