How Young Can A Child Be To Learn To Ski?

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How Young Can Children Learn to Ski?

I’m writing this after having a one hour private lesson with 2 four year old boys yesterday. Also, I’ve taught kids group lessons and have had one boy as young as three in a lesson.

The 4 year old boys didn’t get much skiing in. They had their boots on and I got them running around in their boots (play tag with them or games like that). I also got one ski on both of them. The parents were hanging around, and were becoming a distraction, so I asked if they minded stepping back more so that I could have more of the boys’ attention. They thought that was a good idea and they left.

I was trying to get them on the magic carpet to try a short run with me helping them but we didn’t even get up there. They were more interested in playing in the snow (our hill is the only place around with snow right now, actually) and eating the snow and everything. We had fun. They had to keep their boots on, so that was good. I did get both skis on them and was pushing them around but we didn’t get on any slope and didn’t learn to stop or anything.

child-skiingPretty soon, they both wanted their parents. They were asking where they went and when were they coming back and so forth. I tried to keep their minds off of that and we just played a bit.

Finally, at the end, I brought them back to their parents. I explained what we did. The parents were actually not disappointed but pleased, which was great. They understood the challenge I had. In the end, they were happy that the kids had fun and that they had a pleasant experience. I suggested bringing them back in a year. The father of one of them told me that it was good the boys had fun so that next time, they both would look forward to coming out and would maybe then be more interested in skiing.

Suffice it to Say

So to answer the question, and in my opinion, I think children that have been in school of some sort and understand what a teacher is and know how to be in a teaching environment (and know that their parents will come back for them) have a much better chance at success in learning how to ski. I do think that what these parents of these 4 year old boys did was also a smart thing. They got them acclimated to what the skiing environment is and that it’s fun so that the next time they plan to go, the kids won’t worry about it but will look forward to going.


This article was written by Tony Herman who is a ski instructor in the Midwestern United States.

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