What to Know Before You Go Ice Skating with Kids
His little skates are shuffling and clunking across the ice as I skate backwards with what I hope is a patient smile on my face.
"I'm getting good at this Mom!" his confident face smiles up at me.
Teaching your child to skate is not a speedy process, but if you can muster some patience it is a fun winter family adventure. Kids, starting around the age of 3, can start to learn this Winter sport. Below are our top tips for a success first skate with kids.
It is easiest to learn to skate on smooth ice at a time when it isn't too crowded. Consider this when you are choosing when and where to go to best set your child up for success. Keep the time of day in mind as well. Mornings are usually the best time of day for my kids to tackle a new skill. Know your kids and what works well for them.
Ice skating is active and indoors, but it is also cold in the rink. Dress your child in warm, comfortable clothes. I highly recommend warm socks and mittens as well. Mittens are especially nice for those unfortunate tumbles on the ice.
Check beforehand at what rentals are offered at your local rink. You want skates that are going to fit their little feet. If possible, you also want double bladed skates. We bought a pair of these double runner skates for each of our twins and they did wonders for helping them get the hang of balancing on their little ankles.
It is wise to have your child wear a helmet when they are ice skating. The first time we tried ice skating we were visiting family in another state and didn't have easy access to helmets, but it's common sense that ice is hard and your child is likely to fall while they are learning. Protect those little heads!
I think this is important for all gross motor skills. Encourage your child to do as much as they can independently. It is not safe to carry them on the ice and it is also not helpful to them if they are relying on you for balance. There is nothing wrong with giving them a little support, but encourage your child to work on learning to skate on their own. Take it slowly. Stay within an arm's reach. Demonstrate the basics and let them try.
Show your kids how to bend their knees, keep their arms out for balance, and keep their body weight over their skates. If they feel like they are falling, they should return to this safe position with their knees bent and their arms out or on their knees for balance.
Every child is different. You want to encourage your child to try, but also respect their limits. When they are too tired or too frustrated no one is going to learn anything or have any fun.
comments powered by Disqus