When is it ok for my kids to start skiing?
This is a question I am often asked by new parents who are dreaming of returning to their ski holidaying ways.
Start too early and risk your kids hating it forever. Or start to late and have them fearful of the unknown. Neither option a great outcome when you have a passion for ski trips and want your kids to love it as much as you do.
What is the perfect time?
From our own personal experience, we found that starting our kids young has been the best road for our family.
Kids at a young age between 2-3 years are usually fearless, keen for exploring the world around them. It is all about adventure and discovery. They are like sponges soaking up all the information we can give them, along with wanting to touch taste and feel everything around them. Just a visit to the local playground will confirm that!
Both our boys started skiing before they turned 2. We strongly believed that if they started young, then they would have little or no fear, making it much easier for them to learn.
We also believed that being so young and little, the chances of injury would be a lot less than if they were older. Besides the benefit of being lower to the ground, by having little worry or concern, they would be more relaxed and less likely to hurt themselves.
As a family it is imperative that our holidays be something we all find enjoyment in, by being outdoors and active. Fast forward to today, where our boys are now 8 and 12 years old, and we are reaping the benefits. Our days are spent exploring the mountain together along with other like-minded families, from green fun runs all the way to double blacks. Our biggest fear now is that it is them waiting for us!
But what should you be mindful of?
Things can go awry, but that can happen in the local playground too.
So what things should you be aware of?
Kids feel the cold more than adults. This means whilst you may be fine with your choice of outfit, be mindful to ensure they have lots of layers, with good quality gloves and hand warmers, neck warmer and toe warmers. It is much easier to take off a layer when too warm, but not the other way around.
With all that growing and activity, kids burn up more fuel than adults would, so having small snacks in their pockets can help to keep them going. Think Jelly babies or Snakes!
How do you start?
Most ski resorts offer programs for the young ones. At Perisher and Thredbo, these start at 3 years of age, for a small group lesson for 2 hours.
International resorts, such as Big White in Canada, offer DayCare Plus. This allows kids as young as 2 years of age to enjoy a 1 hour private ski lesson as part of their full day care experience. The lessons take place in a designated area just for them. This is often the best start, as they can enjoy both indoor and outdoor play thru the day.
Kim Mason is a personal travel manager with over 23 years industry experience. She is a snow travel specialist and is the creator of Snow Safaris, an Australian ski touring company with the vision of making snow holidays easy for families.
If you have a question for Kim, or want to know more, contact her at: