Even with the holiday season quickly coming to an end, natural and indoor ice rinks will remain open for a few more months. Going for a skate is a great physical activity that’s fun and healthy. Additionally, it’s the perfect family outing on the weekend. If your family has a few young ones, here are some tips on how to safely ice skate with young children.
You want to start your children off slow since the sensation of ice skating is entirely foreign to them. At very young ages, kids lack proper motor skills for walking, let alone navigating a slippery surface on blades. So they should practice before hitting a busy skate night or community pond.
First, hold your children’s hands as they get used to their skates—practice on other surfaces where they can adjust to shoe weight and balance techniques. Then, introduce them to the ice on less-busy days, preferably mid-day during the workweek. Once they feel comfortable with the activity, you can gradually introduce them to higher traffic, larger ice rinks and ponds!
Use Proper Fitting Gear
When taking their kid skating, parents’ biggest mistake is providing them with ill-fitting gear, protective equipment, and winter clothing. Finding snug skates is an even bigger challenge if you’re renting equipment for the day.
That’s why you should purchase shoes that are certain to fit their feet—these products are much cheaper than adult sizes, and they prevent many ice-skating injuries. Additionally, helmets, knee pads, and wrist guards must fit snuggly to protect them. Lastly, prevent cold-weather injuries by suiting your children up in the proper outerwear clothing.
Empower and Encourage
Once your child takes to the ice, you’ll find that they become more confident in their abilities over time. You can boost that state of mind when you consistently empower and encourage them to succeed. It’s much like learning how to ride a bike—congratulate them as they master their skating skills, and don’t be afraid to let them practice without your physical support. Ice skating boosts a young child’s confidence within themselves, allowing them freedom and the ability to make mistakes. Over time, they’ll gain enough skill to attend a family skating outing!
Ice skating comes with inherent hazards and potential injuries, but with practice and commitment, a child of any age can quickly master the activity. Knowing how to safely ice skate with young children allows your family to enjoy a day on the ice this winter season!