It is difficult to imagine children in snowy weather without skates and skis. But no matter how simple these devices may seem, you should not teach your child to ride them ahead of time.

We asked a movement therapist: when can a child be taught to skate and ski

Winter for a child is a time of activities. It is difficult to imagine children in snowy weather without skates and skis. But no matter how simple these devices may seem, you should not teach your child to ride them ahead of time.

Artem Ranyushkin, a movement therapist, creator of the Children's Body School and the author of his own technique for correcting children's legs, eliminating valgus, varus and straightening the back, spoke about what needs to be done before buying skis, skates and equipment for them. 


Valgus is a pathology, accompanied by flattening of the feet and their "filling" inward. The installation of the legs with valgus corresponds to the X-shape.

Varus - bending the legs outward, has an adverse effect on the knees.

Artem Ranyushkin, movement therapist

No matter what the advertisement promises to you, there is no useful transport for children. There is only dangerous and "conditionally useful". I consider tolokars, balance bikes and scooters to be dangerous transport, and skates, rollers, skis and bicycles to "conditionally useful" ones. With dangerous vehicles, everything is simple: you need to give it up. There are many nuances with "conditionally useful". Even while skating and skiing on all of us, the joints are overloaded, and this, in the presence of problems, contributes to their aggravation. To minimize harm to health, certain rules must be followed. Today I will share my recommendations to help your child ride safely.

1. How to check if a child has good foot control: test

World practice shows that children are usually put on skis and skates at the age of 2.5-4 years. But before you introduce your baby to winter sports, even if he is healthy, you need to check his readiness. 

You can put children on skis and skates only when they learn to fully control the foot . This usually occurs closer to 5 years of age, although there are exceptions. 

To check how the child controls the muscles, it is enough to conduct an easy test: ask him to pick up the pencil from the floor with only his toes.

  • If the child completed the task without any problems, you can start skating.
  • If there are difficulties or the object could not be lifted, it is better to postpone the purchase of skis and skates and start practicing various exercises for the feet until the child learns to use his legs. Otherwise, he simply will not be able to hold them in the correct position, so the foot will fall either inward or outward. Incorrect technique, in turn, will provoke such serious curvatures as varus and valgus. 

2. The mistake many parents make when they find out about a curvature of the feet in a child, or why sports is not a cure

But when it turns out that a child has health problems, parents often make another mistake and send their children to sports. It seems to adults that constant classes in the section will help to solve two problems at once:

  • the child will learn to ride properly;
  • curvatures will disappear by themselves.
But this will not fix the problem.

Artem Ranyushkin, movement therapist

For clarity, consider the example of hockey. Hockey players are always tightened with the laces on the shins, which is why the ankle is completely fixed. In itself, this is not dangerous, but in the process of training, athletes not only skate, but also wield a stick. Therefore, when they leave the classroom, they have one part of their legs relaxed, and the other - overextended. As a result, the feet will deflect to where the main load fell, and curvature will develop over time. 

In addition, if a child has leg or spine problems, they will not be able to follow the coach's instructions correctly. Therefore, work on curvatures cannot be replaced by sports. This does not mean that you need to prohibit the child from any activity. The main thing is to combine classes in the section with therapy . 

And even if your child is completely healthy, be sure to take a few lessons from the instructor. The coach will help the child learn riding techniques and safety rules. 2-3 sessions with a professional will be enough to reduce the risk of possible injuries and curvatures. 

So, before buying skates or skis, weigh the pros and cons and contact a competent specialist. Believe me, it is better to explain to children that this is dangerous than to deal with curvatures later. Remember that your child's health is only your responsibility.