Things That Can Help When You Teach Young Children To Ice Skate
A backyard ice rink can chase away your family's winter blues but can leave black and blue bruises on your young children as they learn to skate. It can also chase you right into a chiropractor's office if you spend hours bent over trying to teach your little ones how to ice skate. Teaching young children to ice skate can be challenging. However, it can be easier when you gear yourself and your children with the right equipment and teaching aids. Here are a few things that can help make things easier for you and your young children.
Cushion their falls
It's inevitable that your little ones will fall as they learn how to ice skate. Cushion their falls by making a padded pair of shorts to wear over their clothing. To do this, you'll need two pairs of shorts, pillow padding, and a sewing kit or a sewing machine. The shorts should be a bit larger than their regular size so the shorts can fit over top of their snow pants.
Take the shorts and place one inside the other. Then take the pillow padding and place it in the back of the shorts. Sew the pillow padding to the shorts then sew the shorts together. Essentially, you'll be making a cushioned bottom for your little one to land on.
It's also a good idea to provide your children with knee pads, elbow pads, waterproof mittens and a helmet. Keep several pairs of mittens handy so you can swap them out when they get wet from the ice and snow.
Buy or make an ice skating scooter
An ice skating scooter is a trainer that young children can hold on to and push as they learn how to control their feet and bodies on the ice. Basically, an ice skating scooter is a walker that is made to glide on the ice. It has a bar across the top that a young child can hold onto, with legs that provide stability and balance.
While ice skating scooter can be purchased online or in some sporting goods stores, they are fairly easy to make at home. All you'll need is PVC pipes and connectors. The shape is similar to soccer and hockey goal posts. Other than saving money, the best thing about making ice skating scooters for your children is that you can customize them to comfortable heights for your children to hold on to.
Use toys to distract them
An ice rink, even a small one in your backyard, can be a big, scary place for a young child. Use toys to keep your children from being scared. Place toys in the rink for your children to scoot towards so they have a goal to reach. However, make sure the toys are soft so your children will not get hurt if they fall on them. A family of rubber duckies is perfect.
When your children reach the toys with their scooters, instruct them to let go of the scooter's handrail to reach down and pet the duckies or other toys you choose. When they do this, tell your children to place their hands on their knees and bend at the knees instead of bending over at the waist. This can help naturally teach them how to control their center mass.
Reward them with hot chocolate
As a reward for all their hard work while they learn to ice skate, give them some hot chocolate. What's great about this reward is it can help warm their bodies up after being outside in the cold. Place the hot chocolate in a coffee urn to keep it warm. Give your children a place to relax by putting down some carpet remnants for them to sit on.