So, you’re thinking it might be time to take your kids skating? Great idea! Skating is not only a fun activity, but it’s also great exercise.
If you’re like most parents, you probably have some questions about how to get started. Here are a few tips to help you teach your kids to roller skate or rollerblade:
Why Teach Your Kids to Roller Skate (Or Rollerblade)?
First of all, we have to cover the most important question: why should you bother teaching your kids to skate in the first place?
There are actually quite a few benefits to skating, both for kids and adults. Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider getting your kids on skates:
7 Benefits of Teaching Your Kids How to Skate
1. It’s Fantastic Exercise
Roller skating or rollerblading is a great workout. It’s low impact, so it’s easy on the joints, but it still gets the heart pumping and the legs moving.
In fact, skating is such a good workout that many people use it as a way to lose weight or stay in shape. If your kids are little balls of energy, skating is a great way to help them burn off some of that excess energy.
2. It Teaches Coordination and Balance
Skating is also a great way to help kids develop coordination and balance. These are important skills that will help your child in other sports and activities.
Plus, as your child’s coordination and balance improve, they’ll be able to skate faster and do more tricks. This can be a great source of pride for kids and help them build confidence.
3. It’s A Fun Activity the Whole Family Can Enjoy
Skating is just plain fun. There’s something about gliding around on skates that appeals to kids of all ages. Skating is also a great activity for the whole family to enjoy together. It’s a chance to bond with your kids and have some quality time together.
Unlike some other activities, it’s relatively easy to learn how to skate. With a little practice, most people can be skating around like a pro in no time.
And, if you’re skating outdoors, it’s also a great way to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Skating is a fun, healthy activity that the whole family can enjoy!
4. Skating Promotes Balance
Another reason to teach your kids how to skate is that it helps them develop balance. This is an important skill for kids to have, not only for skating but also for other activities like biking, running, and playing sports.
Skating requires good balance in order to stay upright and move forward. As your child practices skating, they’ll develop the muscles and coordination needed to maintain their balance. This can help them in other activities and sports as well.
In addition, skating is a great way for kids to develop proprioception. Proprioception is the ability to sense where your body is in space. It’s what allows you to walk without looking at your feet, for example.
Proprioception is an important skill for all kids to have, but it can be especially helpful for kids with ADHD, autism, or other sensory processing disorders. Skating can help these kids develop a better sense of their bodies and how they move through space.
5. Satisfies a Need For Speed
When your child gets good at skating, they’ll probably want to go faster. And that’s okay! Skating is actually a great way to help kids satisfy their need for speed in a safe way.
As your child gets better at skating, they’ll be able to skate faster and do more tricks. This can be a great source of pride for kids and help them build confidence.
Plus, skating is a great way for kids to release all that extra energy. If your child is full of energy, but you don’t want them bouncing off the walls, skating is a perfect outlet.
6. Promotes Creativity and Dedication
If your child gets particularly good at skating, they may start to develop a passion for it. This can lead to all sorts of creative outlets, from choreographing skating routines to designing their own skateboard decks.
Skating can also be a great way to teach kids dedication and perseverance. It takes practice and effort to get good at skating, but the rewards are worth it.
As your child continues to skate, they’ll likely set goals for themselves and work hard to achieve them. This can be a great way to teach kids the value of dedication and hard work.
Plus, when kids see that their hard work pays off with improved skating skills, it can help them build confidence and self-esteem.
7. Teaches Proper Safety Techniques
Not only do children need to learn about safety gear, but they also need to learn how to fall safely and also stop.
Most importantly, skating is a great way to teach kids about proper safety techniques. Before they start skating, make sure they know how to put on their helmet and pads correctly.
Show them how to fall properly, too. It’s inevitable that kids will fall when they’re skating, but it’s important that they know how to fall safely. Teach them to tuck their arms in and roll when they fall, rather than putting their hands out to break their fall.
And finally, make sure they know how to stop safely. This is especially important for kids who are skating outdoors. They need to know how to stop quickly and safely in case they need to avoid something in their path.
Teaching your kids proper safety techniques is an important part of skating. But it’s also important to remember that skating is a relatively safe activity. The risk of serious injury is low, especially if kids are wearing the proper safety gear.
Skating is a fun, healthy activity that can help your child in many ways. So don’t let the fear of injury hold you back from letting your kids enjoy the fun and benefits of skating. With the proper safety precautions, skating is a great activity for kids of all ages.
Now that you know all about the benefits of skating, it’s time to get out there and give it a try! If you don’t know how to skate yourself, there’s no need to worry. Just put on your own safety gear and let your kids lead the way. They’ll be skating like pros in no time.
Ready to get started?
Let’s take a look at some tried and true strategies used to teach kids how to skate.
How to Teach Your Preschooler or Kindergartener to Roller Skate?
If you are starting young, there are some special considerations to take into account. For one thing, younger kids are still developing a sense of their bodies and how they move through space. This means that they might not have the coordination or balance needed to skate just yet. That’s okay because there are several things you can do to help them develop this balance.
1. Start With Balance Exercises
That’s why it’s important to start with some basic balance exercises. These exercises will help your child develop the coordination and balance needed to skate.
One simple balance exercise is to have your child stand on one foot. Hold their other foot and help them stay balanced. Then, let go and see how long they can stay standing on their own.
You can also try this exercise with a small ball. Have your child hold the ball in one hand and then try to balance on one foot. As they get better at this, they can try to balance the ball on their head or even throw it in the air and catch it while they’re still balanced.
These exercises might seem simple, but they’re actually helping your child develop the coordination and balance needed to skate. So don’t skip them!
2. Use a Stool or Chair to Help Them Balance
Another way to help your child develop balance is to use a stool or chair. Have them stand on the stool and then hold their hand while they practice balancing.
Once they get the hang of it, you can try putting the chair a little further away so that they have to reach for your hand. This will help them develop their balance even more.
You can also try this exercise with a small ball. Have your child hold the ball in one hand and then try to balance on the stool. As they get better at this, they can try to balance the ball on their head or even throw it in the air and catch it while they’re still balanced.
Remember, the key is to start slowly and progress at your child’s own pace. Don’t worry if they don’t get it perfectly the first time. Just keep practicing, and they’ll eventually get the hang of it.
3. Start With the Right Roller Skates
In the beginning, it’s best to choose roller skates over roller blades. Roller skates are easier for kids to balance on because they have four wheels. This makes them more stable and less likely to tip over.
Of course, you can always start with roller skates and then switch to roller blades once your child is more confident on their feet. But if you’re just starting out, it’s best to stick with roller skates.
When you’re ready to buy roller skates, make sure to get a pair that fits well. The skates should be snug but not too tight. They should also have a strap that goes over the foot so that they don’t fall off while skating.
If you’re not sure what size to get, it’s best to go to a store so that you can try them on. This way, you can make sure they fit well and are comfortable before you buy them.
4. Use Protection
Before you start skating, it’s important to put on the proper safety gear. This includes knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet.
You might also want to consider wrist guards, especially if your child is just starting out. Wrist guards will help protect them if they fall and put their hands out to break their fall.
Once you have all the safety gear in place, you’re ready to start skating!
5. Start Slow and Progress at Your Child’s Pace
Once you have the roller skates and safety gear, it’s time to start skating. But don’t go too fast! Start slow and progress at your child’s pace.
If they’re having trouble balancing, hold their hand while you skate together. You can also try skating behind them and holding onto their waist. This will help them feel more secure and give you a chance to catch them if they fall.
As they get more comfortable, you can let go and skate next to them. Just make sure to stay close in case they need your help.
Once they’re skating on their own, you can start teaching them how to turn and stop. To turn, they just need to lean in the direction they want to go. They can use their hand to help them balance while they’re turning.
To stop, they can simply put their foot down and dig their toe into the ground. They can also try using the handbrake on their roller skate if they have one.
6. Work With an Even Surface
When you’re first starting out, it’s best to stick to an even surface. This could be a paved road, a driveway, or even a smooth sidewalk. Avoid any cracks, bumps, or uneven surfaces.
If you don’t have access to an even surface, you can try skating in your backyard on the grass. Just make sure the grass isn’t too long, or it will be difficult to skate.
You can also try skating in a park, but be careful of any obstacles like trees or picnic tables. These can be hard to see and avoid, so it’s best to stick to open areas at first.
Once your child is more confident on their skates, you can start skating in different places. But always be aware of your surroundings and watch out for any potential hazards.
7. Use Cones or Other Obstacles to Help Them Practice
Once your child has developed some basic balance, you can start to add in some obstacles. This will help them practice skating around things and navigate different terrain.
One way to do this is to set up cones or other objects in a line. Then, have your child skate around them. As they get better at this, you can make the line wider or add in more objects.
You can also try this exercise with a small ball. Have your child hold the ball in one hand and then try to skate around the cones without dropping the ball. As they get better at this, they can try to balance the ball on their head or even throw it in the air and catch it while they’re skating.
This is a great way to help your child improve their coordination and balance. And it’s also a lot of fun!
8. Encourage Them to Practice Often
The more often your child practices skating, the better they’ll become at it. So encourage them to skate as often as they can.
If you don’t have a lot of time to skate together, you can try setting up an obstacle course in your backyard or driveway. This way, they can practice on their own when you’re not around.
You can also try taking them to the local skating rink. This is a great way to get them more comfortable skating around people. And it’s also a lot of fun!
How to Teach Your Elementary-School-Aged Child How to Skate
Now, if you’re looking to teach an older child how to skate, many of the above principles are the same, but they’ll probably get through the basics faster. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are teaching an elementary-school-aged child how to skate.
1. What Would They Like to Start With? Roller Skates vs. Rollerblades
First, you’ll want to decide whether they want to learn how to roller skate or rollerblade. If they’re not sure, you can always try both and see which they prefer.
If they choose roller skates, you’ll need to find a pair that fits them well. They should be able to walk comfortably in them and have enough room to wiggle their toes.
If they choose rollerblades, you’ll need to make sure they’re the right size. They should be able to stand up in them and have enough room to move their feet around. They should also be able to tighten or loosen the laces as needed.
Once you have the right equipment, you’re ready to get started!
2. Teach Them How to Put on Their Safety Gear
It’s important that your child wears the proper safety gear when skating. This includes a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.
Show them how to put on their helmet correctly. The straps should be tight enough that it doesn’t move around but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable.
Next, help them put on their elbow pads. These should go on the inside of their elbows.
Finally, help them put on their knee pads. These should go on the outside of their knees.
Once they have all their safety gear on, they’re ready to skate!
3. Start With the Basics
As with any new skill, your child will need to learn the basics of skating before they can move on to more advanced techniques.
They’ll need to learn how to stand up in their skates, how to push off, and how to stop. They might also need to learn how to turn and how to skate backwards.
All of these skills will take some time to master. But once they’ve got the hang of it, they’ll be skating like a pro in no time!
4. Practice With Obstacles
Once your child has mastered the basics, you can start to add in some obstacles. This will help them practice their skating skills and build up their confidence.
You can set up cones or other objects for them to weave in and out of. You can also have them jump over small obstacles.
As they become more confident, you can make the obstacles bigger and more challenging. For example, you can have them jump over a small hurdle or skate through a narrow space.
With enough practice, your child will be able to overcome any obstacle in their way!
5. Teach Your Child Street Safety
More than likely, your child is going to want to use their new skates as an alternative to their bike to get around town. That’s great! But it’s important to teach them street safety first.
Make sure they know to skate on the sidewalk, not in the street. And teach them to look both ways before crossing the street. You should also teach them that if there is not a sidewalk, they should skate on the far right side of the road.
It’s also important to teach them about traffic lights and stop signs. They should know to stop at red lights and stop signs and to only cross the street when it’s safe. Teaching them hand signals for turning and stopping is also a good idea.
By teaching your child street safety, you’ll help them stay safe when they’re out skating on their own.
Finally, make sure they know to wear bright clothing so drivers can see them.
It’s also a good idea to equip them with a horn or bell. This way, they can let cars know they’re there.
By teaching your child these street safety rules, you’ll help them stay safe while they’re skating around town.
6. Help Them Find the Right Skating Spot
One of the best things about skating is that you can do it almost anywhere! But some places are better for skating than others.
When you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to find a flat, smooth surface to skate on. This could be a sidewalk, a driveway, or even a parking lot. Avoid areas with cracks, bumps, or other obstacles.
Once your child has mastered the basics, they can start skating in different places. But it’s still a good idea to avoid areas with a lot of traffic or obstacles.
Some good places to skate are parks, bike paths, and quiet streets. These places will give your child plenty of room to practice their skating skills without having to worry about cars or other obstacles.
7. Skate Together
One of the best ways to bond with your child is to skate together. This will give you a chance to teach them new skills and help them practice the ones they already know.
It’s also a great way to spend some quality time together.
8. Have Fun!
Skating is a great way to exercise and have fun. That said, be sure you encourage your child to enjoy it!
Let them skate with their friends, play games, and explore new skating spots. The more fun they have, the more likely they are to keep skating for years to come.
Teaching your child how to skate is a great way to get them active and spend time outdoors. With a little patience and practice, they’ll be skating like a pro in no time!
How to Help Your Child If They’re Struggling
Now, even if you follow all of these tips, there’s a chance your child might still struggle with skating. If that’s the case, don’t worry! Here are a few things you can do to help them:
- Don’t get frustrated. Skating takes practice. So, encourage your child to keep trying.
- Help them find the right skates. If their skates don’t fit well, it will be harder for them to skate. So make sure they have a good pair of skates that fits well. Ask them if the skates are comfortable and if they can move their feet easily.
- Encourage them to take breaks. Skating is tough! So, it’s important to give your child breaks. Let them rest when they get tired and have a snack or drink to refuel.
- Help them practice at home. If there’s no rink nearby, you can still help your child practice skating. Just mark off an area in your yard or driveway with some traffic cones. This will give them a place to practice without having to worry about cars or other obstacles.
- Find a skating class. If your child is really struggling, you might want to sign them up for a skating class. This will give them the chance to learn from a professional and practice with other kids their age.
- Encourage them to practice. The more they practice, the better they’ll get. So encourage them to skate as often as they can.
By following these tips, you can help your child overcome any struggles they might have with skating. And before you know it, they’ll be skating like a pro!
The Bottom Line
Skating is a great way to exercise and have fun. But it’s important to teach your child how to skate safely.
By following these tips, you can help your child learn how to skate and enjoy it for years to come. So, lace up your skates and hit the rink!