How Early Can Children Learn to Ski?
Monday September 3rd, 2018
These are questions that we commonly get asked…
“At what age should I get my child skiing?”
“Is 2/3 years old too young to start children skiing?”
“What’s the best age to start skiing?”
“What is the youngest age you will teach from?”
And we always say that 3 to 4 years old is a good age to start children skiing but many factors should be taken into account as children are all different at this age and can develop at different rates.
If you already know how to ski you may be able to remember learning as a beginner and therefore how PHYSICAL, this sport actually is. This will be the same and more for little kids. They will experience these strange new plastic stiff boots on their feet and long plastic ‘slidey things’ attached to them for the first time.
From our experience 4-year olds (and some 3-year olds) seem to be able to cope with the demands of sliding on snow but children younger than this may struggle.
Being in a completely new and somewhat daunting snowy environment (dependent on the weather) and taking in a lot of new information can be very tiring for little brains. Children of 4 years of age may find this easier having attended nursery or already starting school and therefore will be used to receiving instruction and being left alone for a while.
Some important factors to note that will make your child’s first ski experience a more enjoyable and memorable one:
Is the child keen to learn? If they like learning new things, then they will be more likely be able to take on the challenge of skiing.
Confident to be with someone new? It is important that the child is happy to be with someone new i.e. a ski instructor. If they are happy to go off to the lesson it will make it an all-round more enjoyable experience for the child and parents!
Equipment? All the equipment they have to wear will take some getting used too, from big clumpy boots to wearing gloves all the time (we strongly recommend mittens with ties through the jacket, which makes the parents’ and children’s lives so much easier). Decent quality mittens are essential as well – it’s amazing how much time their little hands spend in the snow, making snow balls and snowmen. This will keep them warm and dry and above all happy. Also, even if your accommodation is just a short walk to the slopes let your little ones walk to the lifts in their normal shoes/moonboots and then carry their ski boots – they may be pretty over the idea of skiing if they’ve been clambering in their boots before they even start!
Is my child learning fast enough? Don’t hold too high expectations as a parent to begin with – it’s really important that the child enjoys their first time on snow. This is first and foremost if you want them to keep on doing it, stay motivated and get better quickly. All kids are different and develop at different stages, so some may take to it more easily and others may struggle more to start with – so it’s important to be patient at this age and ensure they learn to just love the magic of the mountains from the very beginning of their skiing career!