Do you love skating and wish to pass on that love to your kids? Well, you can team them how to skate too. Teaching them early makes it possible for them to master it faster and adapt more easily than adults. So, how long does it take a kid to learn to skate?
You can start teaching your kid to skate from when they’re two to three years old, and you can expect them to be master it in a year. If you want your child to learn how to skate, you need to: enroll them in classes, teach them to maintain balance and fall right, get the right gear, and be patient.
However, the duration of learning may vary based on the type of skating they’re learning. In this article, we discuss how to teach a kid skating.
Teaching Kids How to Skate
Kids can start learning how to skate as soon as two to three years old. How long it’ll take them to master it will depend on your goal. They can learn basic skating within a few weeks. But it’ll take more time to learn not to fall and more than a few lessons to be able to glide effortlessly. It’ll generally take a year for a child to achieve two CanSkate badges. Depending on the natural aptitude and effort that the child puts into learning, it might take more or less time. But if your goal is for a child to become an international pro-level skater, it might take as much as ten years.
How to Teach Kids Skating
If you want your child to learn skating, here are the things you’ll need to do:
1. Enroll in Kids the Skating Classes
When teaching kids how to skate, it’s best to start off the rink or ice. You can try getting them into a skating class where they’ll learn all the basics in a controlled environment. Skating classes for kids usually use a rubber surface, a soft ensign for the kids to fall on. On this kind of surface, kids can learn how to use their legs, push, put one leg up, etc. Skating classes for kids usually start from three years and older.
2. Teach them how to fall
Once the kids have learnt the basics, it’s time to get them on ice or rink to learn the practice. Kids will fall quite a few times on ice or rink. So teaching them how to fall and get up is essential. The confidence to fall and get up is important for kids. Once they can comfortably get up on their feet, they’re ready.
3. Use Different Techniques to Teach How to Maintain Balance
Maintaining balance is also important when skating. You can teach your kids this through various methods. First, let them March on the spot to learn how to shift their weight from one leg to another. Once they’ve mastered this, they can start walking forward and backward on ice and practice other techniques to find balance. Teaching kids to find balance is crucial, and most skating experts recommend that the kid be standing straight. Using chairs isn’t advisable as it would make the kid lean forward. If you want to support a kid trying to find balance, the better way to do it is to put hands under their arms. They’ll be more comfortable knowing you’re holding them. You can further encourage them to keep their head up and stretch their arms like wings to balance. The learning process starts with marching on ice. Continuous matching will eventually build up into a glide.
4. Be Very Patient
When teaching kids to skate, the goal should be to have fun. Don’t push kids to continue once they’re tired. This is because you’ll need to exercise a lot of patience for them to get each technique right. There’s no reason to rush them when there’s a whole life ahead for them to practice and get better. You should also be patient in terms of the age they start skating. Some kids can start as soon as they can fit their boots on, while others want to wait till school age. It’s your duty as a parent to figure out what’s right for your kid.
5. Get the Right Equipment
When teaching your kids to skate, the right skate is everything. A skate must fit because if your feet are moving inside the boot, there’s no way you can balance your feet. If the kid is learning figure skating, you should get beginner skates because they have longer blades. You should take your child along when buying the skates so that they’re properly fitted. Bring along the socks you’ll normally wear at the rink so they can wear them while trying out the skates. Don’t get something that’s a size or two larger, thinking they’ll grow into it. That doesn’t work for skates, as extra-large skates could cause injury. It’s also better to skate with laces or Velcro closures rather than buckle. Buckles can get broken. When buying skates, you can get secondhand instead of new ones. That’ll save you money as the kid would grow out of it in a few years. But you have to be selective about the type of used skates you’re buying. Make sure it’s actually in good shape. Also, sharpen the blades regularly if you’re getting figure skates.
Apart from skates, another essential piece of equipment to consider is the helmet. Get a Canadian Standards Association-approved ice hockey helmet that fits snugly over a toque for your kids. It’s unnecessary to get a face cage, but it’s essential to use a helmet.
You should also ensure the child is well protected against the cold if they’re learning figure skating. Dress them in snowsuits and waterproof mitts. They should also have warm clothes and socks. Make sure all the clothes are lightweight and don’t wear jeans or similar fabrics.
6. Be safe as a parent
As the parent teaches the kid how to skate, you need protection. If it’s ice skating, be dressed in the right outfit down to your skates. You can’t support your kid on ice while wearing Street shoes. You should also never carry a child on the ice.
Whatever your goal, you need to exercise care when teaching kids how to skate. There’s no need to rush anything, and you must ensure they’re fully protected before getting started.