One of the things that amazes adult skiers as they observe a 3-foot-tall projectile rocket past them on the snow is how fast and how quickly children learn how to ski. The reason? Kids keep it fun, simple, and challenging.

Most ski schools across the country divide kids into several age classifications, beginning at 3 years old. Kids younger than that don't have the motor skills or attention span to take part in an all-day class.  Once they're old enough, it's important that they get properly fitted with skis and boots and have garments that will keep them warm throughout the day.

The first day should be devoted to maintaining balance on skis, so they can walk forward and backward and side-step up the hill. These basic skills are extremely important so that they can feel capable of being a member of the group. If they can't, they're likely to get frustrated easily and feel inferior to the other students, and not have fun.

After mastering how to walk and maneuver on a flat slope, most ski schools will teach kids the difference between "french fries" and "pizza." French fries means that their skis are parallel to one another for straight tracking and going fast. Learning how to put their skis in a pizza position gives them the basic tool to slow down. The rest of the day should be spent playing games and controlling their skis between french fries and pizza. Those two skills should be all they need to learn on their first day ski safely and under control.