Skiing as a whole family is a
great way to share the thrills (and spills) of this fantastic winter
wonderland. What better way for everyone to get out into the fresh air and burn
up some energy? Children love the sense of freedom as they effortlessly snake
down the slopes, rewarded for the physical challenges of their first week at
For parents, making informed decisions about the many
aspects of winter family holidays can be a bit tricky, so hopefully the
information shown here will answer commonly asked questions regarding skiing
1. Before your holiday. For beginners an introductory session
at an indoor snow slope can be really beneficial, even if it's just to
familiarise your children with ski equipment. Young children especially may be
nervous about their first ski experience, so a trip to the local ski centre to
watch older siblings may help to alleviate these concerns....and build the
2. What age is best for kids to start skiing? Usually around 4
years is a good age to start and most children of this age are happy to be left
with an instructor. However, if they aren't happy after the first hour or two,
it may be best not to push it and wait until the following year.
3. How should children spend their time skiing? Whilst ski
lessons are vital during the first few holidays, it is also important for
children to have practice time allowing them to consolidate what they learn in
ski school. Make sure you discuss with the ski instructor how to best spend the
time outside lessons and which slopes/lifts to use.
4. What progress to expect. Unsurprisingly, different children
progress at different rates and there can be many different factors, including
age/sense of balance/physical and mental strength/confidence levels...and of
course the standard of tuition provided.
During the first week of skiing, young children (under 6)
will usually start to get the feel of holding a 'pizza wedge' between their
skis and may start to make some basic changes in direction. Older children will
very often be making comfortable snowplough turns on gentle slopes and learn to
use some ski lifts.
5. Should kids and adults have shared lessons? The simple
answer to this is 'no'. Children (especially younger ones) learn in very
different ways to adults and also tend to be more 'self-sufficient' when mum
and dad aren't around.
Shared private lessons between parents and older
children can be successful but it's vital that the grown ups switch from
'parent' to 'pupil' mode, giving their kids the freedom to learn (which
involves making mistakes). Leave the instructor to be responsible for the
safety of your children!
6. Group or private lessons? Under 6 year olds need a lot of
individual attention, primarily to keep them safe, but also to help give them
the balancing skills and confidence of learning to slide for themselves.
unless you find a ski school which offers group lessons for small groups with
multiple instructors on hand, private tuition is a great route to start with.
This will be a more expensive option than group lessons but in just an hour per
day your little one will be kept safe and happy and pickup the basics really
For children aged 6 and above, group lessons in small
classes may be a good option. A maximum class size of 6 children usually
provides a good balance between cost, individual attention and social
interaction within the group. Private lessons for small groups of similar age
age/level of children can also work really well and also keep the cost down.
You may have more questions about skiing with children but hopefully these 6 points will help. If you would like more information just drop us an email
Written by Tim Scott 08/09/2017
This article is tagged in
Ski holiday planning,
Skiing with children