Once your children are old enough to be out of cribs, ski resorts generally offer excellent day-care facilities, including well-equipped indoor play areas with toys, games, slides, and swings, and staffs trained in working with children.

The more progressive ski day-care centers teach some skills to children once they reach the age of three. These skills may range from sliding around on skis inside the recreation room to a couple hours a day on the snowy slopes outside the children’s center, learning how to snowplow, the snowplow turn, and easy gliding on the snow.

There are exceptions, of course, but most children don’t have the coordination and muscle control to learn to ski until about the age of four, regardless of the fact that too many parents believe their children are going to be Olympic champs in a couple years. Parents with children in this almost - the - right-age bracket can play games involving skiing, but beware: Do not push your youngsters beyond their level of comfort and fun. That can be a turn-off, not a turn-on.

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