Ice skating

It is probably the most famous Canadian winter sport and also the most accessible for the whole family. Let’s go skating!

Skating is one of the cheapest and accessible sports of all. Each town has its own arena or skating rink to entertain both children and adults. Some families even make one in their backyard with the help of their neighbours. So, why not skate?

Here are some ice skating tips for children
  • Wearing a helmet (a hockey helmet, not a cycling helmet) is highly recommended.
  • Always check if the skates are the right size and that they will firmly hold their ankles. To avoid buying a new pair every year, swap with your friends and look in bazaars and second hand shops.
  • You should have your blades sharpened every year.
  • Lace your skates all the way up! If your children complain a bit at first, it is because they are not used to have such tight and high shoes but it is essential.
  • Dress your children appropriately. Don’t stack the pairs of socks. Buy a good pair of thermal socks instead.
  • If you are skating indoors, your child should still wear nylon pants to keep him warm. It is more comfortable than his winter suit. Don’t forget the gloves, it will reduce the risks of cuts (with ice or with the blades).
How to teach your child to ice skate - Kino-Québec tips
  • Choose places that are not overly crowded or times that are quieter.
  • Dress your child in comfortable clothes in which he will be neither hot nor cold.
  • A child who begins to skate should wear a helmet. If your child already has knees and elbows pads for other sports, he could wear them for his first skating experiences.
  • Teach him the correct basic position. He must:
    • Slightly bend his knees. Lowering his center of gravity will promote stability;
    • Keep his arms on each side of his body or slightly forward. It will help him keep his balance and protect himself if he falls.
  • Learning side push and weight transfer from one leg to the other will be gradually integrated.
  • When fitting, only one pair of socks is required. It is the same when you go out. Only wear one pair of insulated socks.
  • Stand in front of your child and hold his hands because he should not turn around to look at you. Ideally, an object should support him. Traffic cone (soft) or Easy Skate supports (around $50) are ideal tools.
  • Learning to skate is like learning to walk. If your child always uses the same leg to push, ask him to use both.
  • Don’t forget to reassure your child. It is indeed slippery and it hurts a bit when he falls. If he feels confident, learning will be easier and he will be proud of the results.
  • Spruce up the lessons with games. Learning will be appealing and more fun. Don’t forget that playing is essential in the development of a child.
  • Teaching a child to skate is a gift for life. In addition, skating is a cheap, fun and accessible family activity.

Source: Kino-Québec

Image de Nadine Descheneaux

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