Christmas Eve is tomorrow; last minute shopping is at its frenzy. Consider looking in the attic, basement, garage, or storage area for enduring gifts from the heart that will add activity to a child’s winter. Ice skates are an excellent example. Skating rinks are frozen all over Central Wisconsin and children who are exposed to winter activities are far more likely to remain active during the winter months as a teenager, young adult and adult.
Giving a child a pair of skates that belonged to mom or dad, or maybe even Grandpa, as a young child will add to the enduring quality of the skates. If there are photos of the adult skating as a child, it will help the child visualize skates as a great gift and one that will give long after many Christmas gifts are opened.
Factors to consider
The most important factor when exposing children to ice-skating is making sure their first experiences are enjoyable. A good fitting pair of skates, warm clothes, and short playtime on the ice accomplishes this. It is important to let a young child explore the ice, learn how to walk with the ice with skates using independent balance, to safely fall and stand again.
Common mistakes when teaching children how to skate
Many adults will try teaching a child how to skate by standing behind the child and supporting or almost holding the child up. This causes the to child lean back into the adult with their feet extended in front of their center of gravity. It is much better for the adult to walk or skate backwards in front of the new skater and allow the young skater to place their hands on top the outreached hands of the instructor. Holding a horizontal dowel or broom handle in front of the child will also allow the child to control their balance and let go when needed. This allows the young child to keep their center of gravity over the skates and have much more success learning balance on ice. Rather than picking the child up after a fall, allow the child to stand independently with simply an outreached hand or the broomstick to assist with balance.
Ice sating lessons are an excellent way to introduce a child to skating in a positive non-threatening way. Children will be taught the correct techniques, be skating independently at a more rapid rate, and become independent on their skates. The most important factor to consider about ice-skating lessons is the development of the skills needed to skate for a lifetime.
Find a rink near home
Free skating may be found at community rinks and rinks independently maintained by families who live on lakes and ponds. Most indoor rinks have public skating scheduled each week and lessons available for figure, hockey, or speed skating. Check local listings for availability.
Making a backyard ice rink
Ice skating tips