Kids & Skiing – What Age Is The Right Age?
This is the third year in a row I intended to get my now 6 year old back on the slopes. My parents have a vacation home in the Conway area, just a quick drive to Cranmore Mountain. What I love about Cranmore is that it’s very family friendly and offers more than just skiing.
My daughter actually did a one day ski camp when she was just 3 years old with her cousin and seemed to enjoy it. Her brother and I (about 8 months old at the time) watched from the bottom of the slopes. I longed to get back to skiing one day but knew it would still be a few years before I could actually leave the kids in a ski camp all day without me watching or ski with the kids myself.
Shortly after my daughter turned 4, we had good intentions to return to Cranmore. Same cousins, same plan. Unfortunately for the short time we were in NH, it didn’t climb above -5 degrees so we skipped skiing and instead went tubing with our cousins, aunts and uncles. It was so much fun!
So much fun that when she turned 5 last year and the weather was similarly cold, we skipped skiing and went tubing again. Plus last year, another cousin was with us and he was just over a year old. Not quite ready to ski, but ready to watch the kids and adults zooming downing the mountain in giant inflatable saucers. I know he was watching, eager for his turn in the tube.
So now it’s 2013 and my daughter is 6, her brother is almost 4, and we definitely wanted to get them on the slopes! Back to Mount Cranmore we went. When the day for skiing came, it was pretty cold and windy and I started to wonder how exactly I was going to make this work. They were with their other cousins this time who are a bit older (11 & 9) but not quite old enough to teach the kids or assist them on the slopes. It’s been over 7 years since I was on skis (the year before I was pregnant with my daughter) so I was definitely not comfortable taking the kids skiing. I considered enrolling them in an hour lesson but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that unless we were going to commit to several ski lessons this winter, what was the point? I started to wonder if I was just getting the kids on skis for my own sake. Wouldn’t they have just as much fun tubing with her cousins? So, we opted for a 2-hour tubing pass and took about 2-3 breaks to warm up inside.
I think in hindsight, skipping skiing this year was the right decision. I’m not sure when I’ll be willing to try to tackle this winter sport with young kids. One thing I’m considering is attempting it locally instead of saving it for one of our few trips to NH. My kids aren’t missing out anyway, their time to ski is sure to come. If you are one of the brave ones, please share your tips for make the leap from snow boots to ski boots.