If you live near Chicagoland and want to get your youngster started in snowsports, you are in the right area.

[R506R, Wilmot Mountain], one of the Heartland's oldest ski areas, is credited with teaching more than a half-million Chicagolanders to ski over the last 70 years. This season they have a new teaching program for children ages 4-9.

The program takes place in Wilmot’s Winter Wonderland where it incorporates games with ski fundamentals teaching balance and building confidence. Specially trained instructors supervise the activities.

There are programs for all levels of learning. In the Terrain Garden kids learn to move on snow exploring balance, shuffling, walking, sliding, turning and stopping. In the surface lift area (rope tow) they are taught to link turns, speed control, stopping, and skier safety; everything they need to make it to top of the chairlift.

Cruisers, three different levels, continue to refine all they have learned while putting some miles on those skis.  Mites practice all mountain skiing and race training. In other words they turn them loose on the ski hill.

Three sessions for kids aged 4-6 years include lesson, lift ticket, ski rental and helmet for $130. Five sessions are $190. One session is $45. If your child has his own equipment the cost is respectively $75, $115 and $30. For 7-9 years, the cost for three sessions including equipment rental is $180 and $290 for five sessions. One session is $65. For those with their own ski equipment the cost is respectively $135, $215 and $50. Go here for more information.