The right age to start skiing depends greatly on your family.
First, you must consider the temperament of your child. Are they timid, or do they enjoy new experiences and challenges?
Second, how much skiing does your family plan to do as your child grows up?
Many avid skiers agree that children can learn to ski as soon as they are able to walk.
The earlier they gain confidence in the snow, the better the foundation they have for a lifetime of skiing. Very young children can take to skiing effortlessly, whereas older children may be timid and allow the fear of falling to limit their progression.
However, not all ski fields are equipped to teach very young children.
Toddlers learning to ski will need private instruction combined with childcare, as they will tire easily.
If your family only skis once every few years, it might not be worth introducing your child to skiing at such a young age. Since they won’t remember the experience in any case, perhaps it would be best to choose a ski field that provides the right terrain and programs for the rest of the family. Your youngest child will be well looked after in the regular childcare programs.
However, if you are avid skiers and wish to foster the same love of winter sports in your children, choose the ski field that will best introduce them to skiing at a young age.
If your family only skis occasionally, the perfect time for your children to begin learning is between the ages of 4 and 6.
Most ski fields offer lessons for children ages 4 and up, which means you have the flexibility to choose your ski destination based on the experience the rest of your family is after.
4-year-olds are generally encouraged to join group lessons only if they are sociable and eager to learn new skills, while most 5- and 6-year-olds will enjoy group lessons.
Group sizes are very small, ensuring plenty of personal attention from the instructor.
For younger children, lesson times are kept shorter, and often combined with snow play and indoor activities.
Most ski fields divide lessons between both age and ability. Even if your child is older than 5 or 6–the age many skiers learn for the first time–they will be in good company.
Beginner lessons for older children are more active and exciting, and as with younger children, the groups are kept small to ensure personal attention and engagement.
Older children can usually participate in a multi-day learn-to-ski course, which helps them progress quickly while accompanied by the same peers each day.
If your entire family is learning to ski together, private lessons can be a good option if you have teens. However, children generally learn faster than adults, so splitting the family into adult and child lessons will almost always be more effective. Just leave enough free time to practice your skills together after each day’s lessons!
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