The Littlest Skiers

How young can you start 'em?
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In the lifelong human experiment known as child rearing, one question looms large: How young can you start 'em?

When it comes to skiing, the simple answer is"very young." You just have to accept one crucial principle: Be prepared for "ski" outings that involve very little skiing.

I started skiing with my daughter Ariel when she was two years old. Before I'm accused of being pushy, reckless, selfish, or worse, let me explain: "skiing" was really just playing in the snow with skis on her feet. A cross-country ski outing might consist of a slide down the driveway, or skiing 100 yards on groomed trails. Then it was inside for hot chocolate. Downhill skiing was usually one or two runs at the ski area. Then you guessed it a sprint for the hot chocolate machine. Maybe I should rephrase this and say that my daughter started drinking hot chocolate at age two with skis on her feet.

The point is, skiing is incidental for kids under four. Playing in the snow is the real attraction. And all the time you spend sliding down snowbanks in the early years is well spent. Your kid is learning to love the winter environment, which will soon pay dividends as you introduce them to skiing, skating, and other cold weather pastimes.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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