Few things in this world are cuter than watching a bundled-up five-year-old glide down the bunny slopes on miniature skis. You might have even seen a few participating in Vertical Challenge races (which are open to all ages and ability levels). Maybe the sight of these young skiers makes you wonder if your kids are ready to dive into the wonderful world of winter sports. But how young is too young?
Of course, parents are the ones that know their kids the best, so they’ll always be the most equipped to decide when it might be appropriate for their little ones to try a new activity. Nevertheless, if you’re on the fence about the decision, we do want to make sure that parents are aware of the benefits of learning to ski for children. We bring you ten of them:
Connect with nature
These days, there’s a lot of scientific evidence to support a claim that, intuitively, makes a lot of sense: spending time close to nature, and away from screens, can work wonders to boost mental health and help us cultivate a sense of peace.
We might think that only adults need this kind of break, but most kids also spend a lot of time immersed in digital worlds and can benefit from some time away just as much as us grown-ups.
Bond with other kids (or their siblings)
Ski lessons are a great way for kids to make new friends around the resort and bond with them over the shared challenge of learning a new sport. If you happen to have two kids not too far off in age, they might even be able to attend the same group class and, that way, spend some quality time together.
Unlock a new family activity
Maybe you’ve always hoped that skiing would be an activity that the whole family could enjoy together. Well, that dream can only come true if the kids learn to ski! Even if you think your kids are a bit too young, you might reconsider if you take into account that cultivating a love for a sport at an early age tends to lead people to appreciate it more later in life.
Learn proper form from the beginning
A major benefit of ski lessons is that first-timers learn the most effective way to ski right off the bat and don’t incorporate any bad habits. Skiers who learned by themselves or with a family member or friend who’s not a professional instructor often find that they have to unlearn bad posture as they advance.
Incorporate best safety practices
Another advantage of learning to ski for children is that safety always comes first in the classes. So, in line with the previous point about learning correct form, one of the most important reasons why we recommend ski lessons for children is that instructors will prioritize safety and make sure kids know all the tricks to reduce their risk of injury on the slopes.
Get some good exercise
Exercise is so important for both mental and physical health. Skiing is a great workout for just about every part of the body, including the heart. Plus, if your kids associate exercise with a thrilling activity like skiing, they’re sure to learn that movement is fun, instead of feeling like it’s just an obligation. That mindset sets them up for healthy habits as they grow.
When you learn to ski, you fall down and get up again. You try to learn a move and it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, so you try it again and again until it does. Ski lessons can teach your child one of the most important life lessons: some things are hard but they’re still worth doing.
This benefit relates to the last point: kids experience increased self-esteem when they try something difficult and eventually succeed at it. And there’s another factor here: they’ll know that they were placed in ski lessons because their parents also believed that they could do it.
Give parents some solo ski (or relax) time
Ok, so this one is a little less about the kids and more about their parents. While the kids are busy at their ski lessons, parents can put the time alone to good use by going to hit the big slopes. Or by just taking some time to relax and maybe hit the hot tub.
Have lots of fun!
Here’s one last reason that might be simple, but we think it’s just as good as the rest. Ski lessons are a blast. It’s a joy to know that your kids are laughing and playing in snow, challenging themselves to try something new, and making memories that they’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Once your kids have mastered the basics in their lessons, you’ll find Vertical Challenge events a low-stress spot for them to put their new skills to use. Our crew takes special care to make sure every young skier completes the run with a smile. Our free races help you reinforce the fun they can have participating in snow sports and you’ll have a great time, too.