As soon as their motor skills allow it? Maybe.
When we get asked this question, we answer on a case by case basis. It’s so dependent on the child, we consider the parents opinion on the following areas:
Motor skills i.e. how developed are their movement patterns like walking, climbing, running, baby ninja moves
Understanding How do they take instruction from people that aren’t their parents, do they have experience interacting with other children they don’t know?
Weather proof Depending on the time of the season – how do they deal with the weather? Like really cold days being wrapped up in a million layers or heavy snowfall days?
Experiences What other activities have they participated in already, sport clubs, nursery etc?
Off the back of some of this information we decide if they’re ready to give skiing a go in a ski school structure and whether that should be private lesson or group lesson. The first outcome we look for at the end of a lesson, is for your child to say, “can we do that again tomorrow?” If we get the right introduction to skiing, we’ll hit that outcome always.
As a rule of thumb we suggest between 3 years old and 5 years old they take a private lesson for no more than 2 hours. A ski resort is mind blowing for a mind that’s only been understanding the world for a few years. Becoming familiar with the environment, the equipment and the boundaries can be overwhelming. Having an understanding teacher that slowly introduces all these new things prevents a sensory overload!
6 years and over, we recommend joining our amazing small group lessons. These range between 2 and 4 hours long and have no more than 8 in a group, most of the
time it’s 6. The children learn incredibly well with other children of the same, size, ability and mind. At this stage they’re old enough to work independently and deal with the changes in environment whilst learning something new.
Speak to your ski school or instructor to discuss the best place for your child, our rules of thumb moves accordingly, we’ve had 2 year olds that move and understand like 4 year olds so, why not get them going sooner!
PEAK Snowsports TOP TIPS for skiing with Kids
- Careful with the practise – Although there needs to be a high amount of practise to progress the understanding of skills to a place of habit, too much or incorrect practise could make our teachers job that little bit harder. We always recommend following the teachers advice at the end of the lesson in regards to how much skiing should be done after the lesson and more importantly on what type of terrain.
- Ensure your kid(s) are dressed appropriately, layers are key in the cold winter months. Adjust accordingly for spring skiing – sign up to our newsletter for the next series of tips on layering for skiing
- Double check boots fit snuggly – only one pair of socks in the boots!
- Make sure your kid(s) know where their lift passes are stored
- Helmets are compulsory for kids in France
- Eyewear – we recommend goggles and sunglasses
- Snacks – slow release energy snacks are ideal. If it’s cold they’ll be burning more energy than normal
- Have a contact card in your kid(s) jacket for emergencies
It’s not just about the skiing
At PEAK we don’t just teach kids how to ski the mountain, we also develop areas like:
- Map reading and navigation
- Accident / Emergency procedures
- Snow, weather and avalanche safety
- Ways of learning to get the most out of their time with our teachers
- Understanding equipment and how we use it in different situations
For more advice on kids ski lessons you can visit the PEAK Snowsports website – their friendly team will be happy to recommend the best options for you and your children.