is too young to start skiing?
Most ski school programs don't start their ski programs until the age of four.
But is your toddler missing out on the fun at age two or three? Most ski school
experts agree that under the age of four, children do not have the muscle mass
or sustained attention span to enroll in an all day program. But what about shorter
programs or just some sliding with Mom or Dad? New products and programs now address
Some ski schools offer a
combination childcare/ski program. The child is invited to go outside with an
introduction to skiing, but also has the ability to stay inside if he or she desires.
The time on the snow is all about fun with some
sliding techniques thrown in. Some children flourish on the snow, while others
just aren't ready. A flexible program can address all these children's needs without
alienating the less enthusiastic children.
Most children under four
do not develop the muscle mass in their legs to stand up for more than an hour
in ski boots and on skis. Look for a program that has the child slide for an hour,
rest, get a snack, then slide again. The child will thrive and beg for more.
For parents who cannot find
a program that encourages young skiers, there are a few products out there that
enable the parent to take charge. Kid-Ski offers a variety of teaching aids, along
a video, that really encourage kids to get on skis as early as one year old. Steve
Lathrop, once a U.S. Team member, now a dad and developer of Kid-Ski, says he
got is kids on skis as early as 10 months old. "Hunter started skiing when he
was 15 months old, Britt at 10 months, Lara at 13 months. All three were skiing
independently on intermediate terrain by the time they were 2-1/2." I would have
to concur. I got Hailey out with a Kiddie Lift and Ski Leash when she was 2, and
she was actually able to ski. Of course she much preferred going up the lift than
skiing down, but that's nothing a chocolate treat couldn't solve.
For more information on
young skiers, check out the resort
pages or Kid-Ski