If you love ice skating, you’ll know the several benefits for adults. But, it can be equally beneficial for kids. You may be wondering when is the right age to ice skate with your toddler. So, Can a 2-year-old ice skate.
There’s no specific age for when a kid should start skating. Any kid who can walk can skate, so a 2 year old can skate. But in most cases, age 3 is when people start teaching kids how to ice skate. You need to get them the right skates and other accessories such as a helmet, gloves, knee pads, etc.
Teaching kids how to skate is different from when adults are learning. For kids, the priority should always be to have fun, and once the kid starts looking tired, the session should end. Here we discuss the right age to teach kids ice skating, the right skates, necessary equipment, and tips to ensure the best experience.
How old should your child be to start ice skating?
There’s no particular age to start teaching a kid ice skating. Most experts believe once the child can walk, they can also balance on skates. So, a child of two can skate. But 3 is usually the most common age for most kids. Even skating classes that accept kids start from 3 years and upward. Whether your child can skate at two depends on their physical capabilities and whether they can understand and do what you ask them to do. It’s better to wait till the kid understands simple instructions. Starting age generally varies for kids. So, you’ll have to determine the right age for your kid.
What is the Right Ice Skate for Kids?
When teaching kids how to skate, the type of skate matters a lot. The best skates for this are plastic skate boots with adjustable straps, which will work for kids as their feet grow bigger. Get one with a strap similar to that of a ski boot. This type of skate usually has a soft inner boot that can be adjusted. This provides more comfort and cushion for the little feet. The skates are in junior sizes. You should take your kid along to get something that’s exactly their size. If you’re getting one that’s like size or two bigger, make sure they’d still fit snugly after they wear a couple of thick socks.
The best skates are single-bladed adjustable boots with the blades extending backwards beyond regular skates, preventing the child from falling backward. However, don’t get one with the rocker-style blades just yet. While those might improve agility, they can also lead to multiple falls.
You should avoid a skate with a toe pick. While most skates have it for stopping on ice, it won’t serve the kid well. In most cases, most kids fall forward and face down when they use the toe stop. Fortunately, several brands make children’s skates without toe pick. How, if you have no choice but to get one with toe pick, you can still get it. You have to teach your kid how to use it or grind it off.
It’s also advisable not to buy skates immediately. Instead, you can rent. New skates cost a lot, and kids grow out of them so fast that they only can use them during the winter. Most rinks rent out skates, and you can call ahead to confirm. You can also check for fairly used ones.
Skating Accessories that kids need
When taking a child to ice skate, you should take lots of accessories along. These include:
The helmet is compulsory for kids learning to ice skate. Falling on ice can be very painful and even harmful. Having a helmet prevents this. You can use s bicycle helmet or go-ahead to get one with a cage.
2. Gloves or Mittens
The biting cold isn’t exactly an ideal place for kids, so they need as much insulation as they can get. Gloves can provide this insulation for kids along with other thick clothing. But gloves also serve another purpose. They help kids push themselves back up after falling. You can get ice hockey gloves or use simple mittens.
3. Knee pads
Falling on ice is common, and life needs every protection possible. Knee pads can cushion simple falls, whether forward or backward. It also helps to wear knee pads to protect against bruises from falls.
4. Wrist Guard
This is an optional accessory, but there’s no reason to if you can get it. Usually, kids will try to brace their fall using their hands. This can be painful and hurt after multiple falls. Wrist guards help to minimize the pain and protect their wrists.
5. Elbow pads
It’s also optional to use this, but kids tend to fall on elbows too. If they do it enough times, they get bruises. You can use elbow pads to prevent any bruise on your kid’s forearms.
6. Padded Pants
Is your kid falling backward and constantly on their bottom? Get a padded pants to cushion the fall and protect the backside.
Tips For Teaching Your Child How To Skate
When teaching kids how to skate, here are tips to follow:
- Be sure that you’re ready to start skating
- Get all protective equipment and gear that you can afford
- Use a kid-friendly rink with a limited crowd
- Determine if you’ll be holding them, or you’ll use a training aid such as an ice walker. With an ice walker, make sure they don’t lean forward so they won’t fall when trying to skate without it later.
- Be very patient throughout the exercise and know when to call it a day.
- Enroll them in a class to learn the basics
Age isn’t an obstacle to skating as long as the child can walk. So, a child between two and three years can skate. Skating is beneficial to the kid in multiple ways as it helps them be focused, improve their strength, encourage them to be athletic, and boost their mental strength. But before taking your child to the rink, make sure they understand and follow simple instructions. Also, you should be very patient.