Help your child maintain her balance while she is learning to skate.
So, your tot has mastered all forms of movement on dry ground and is excited to hit the ice. The idea of teaching your toddler to figure skate may seem daunting, but a few skating tips and a lot of safety gear will keep your kiddo safe and ensure everyone enjoys the outing. Your little one will be skating circles around you in no time, so lace up those skates and bundle up your tot -- it's time to hit the rink!
1Check the fit of your kiddo’s skates -- too big or too small skates will be uncomfortable and can lead to extra falls or blisters. The skates should be snug enough to offer support for your little one’s ankles. A properly fitted skate should keep your toddler's heels from slipping while allowing enough room for him to wiggle his little toes.
2Outfit your little one with safety gear. Your toddler is sure to be wobbly and take lots of spills on the ice, so safety is key. Your child should wear a helmet, knee pads, wrist guards and elbow pads whenever he is on the ice. The pads will also help reduce his fears of falling, as it will hurt less when he takes a tumble.
3Help your child walk around in the skates with skate guards on to get used to the feel of his skates.
4Teach your child the safe way to fall down, to reduce the chance of injury. Falling onto his side protects the tailbone from a backward fall and the face from a forward fall. Show him how to slide onto his hip and tuck his chin if he feels like he is going to fall. To stand, he should roll onto his hands and knees and place one foot between his hands, followed by the other, before slowly standing. Have him practice falling and getting up a few times before moving on.
5Ease your child into skating by teaching him to use a special ice walker to help maintain his balance. If an ice walker is not available, skate behind your tot and hold him under the arms while he begins skating.
6Instruct your child to march in place to begin learning the mechanics of skating. Once he’s mastered that, move on to marching forward with his toes slightly pointed out.
7Transition to marching in place for eight to 10 steps, followed by a gliding on two feet. Your kiddo's feet should be together, with knees slightly bent.
8Teach your child the “swizzle” by starting with the heels of his skates touching in a “V” shape. Show your tot how to push his skates outward then back in to make his toes touch, before repeating the swizzle again. The lines his skates make on the ice should resemble a football shape.
9Show your child how to stop using the “T-Stop” method. Have him place one foot in front of the other at a 45-degree angle, and then have him place his rear foot to the instep of the front foot, forming a “T” shape.
- To keep your tot warm and cozy, dress him in several thin layers. This helps trap body heat to keep him warm. HealthyChildren.org recommends toddlers be dressed in one more layer than an adult would need to wear.
- If you are seeking outdoor skating fun, only skate on approved ice. Look for a sign from the recreation department stating that the ice is solid enough to skate on.Ensure your child does not have any gum, cough drops or candy in his mouth as it is a choking hazard when he falls down.
Things You'll Need
- Figure skates
- Knee pads
- Wrist guards
- Elbow padsIce walker