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Teaching Kids to Ice Skate – Tips from 1 Parent to Another

Teaching Kids to Ice Skate Tips from 1 Parent to Another


It is winter!

And there is no sport more about winter than ice skating. Some of us learned when we are kids. We hope that we are able to remember how to ice skate respectably, navigate around the rink, and perhaps even skate backwards. So when we decide to teach our kids to ice skate…where do we start? How do you ice skate? How do you teach your kids to ice skate? If you have these questions we can help with teaching kids to ice skate.


Tips to teaching kids to ice skate


Step 1 – Call your local ice rink. Our first step for teaching kids to ice skate is to know where you can go to ice skate. Check our list of New Jersey ice skating rinks. You need to know if your local skating rink has public skate times, if they offer rentals, and especially ice walkers. You may want to pick a time when it is not crowded. Avoid holiday public times as they will certainly be packed. If you have the opportunity, it may even be good for you to try it alone to make sure you can still stand up on skates. It’s important to be able to keep your own balance before teaching ice skating to your kids. I was very fortunate that I was able to remember how to skate. Going backwards was also very easy once I went around a few times.


teaching kids to ice skate

Walkers really help the first time kids get on skates.


Step 2 – Gather the right clothes and safety equipment. You’ll want to have your child (if under 8 years of age) in snow pants or water proof pants.  You can find ice skating clothes for kids like these snow pants at our affiliate link on Amazon. No one wants to learn to skate with a wet rear end. This also ensures that they will be warm enough. As an added bonus, snow pants also provide a little cushion for all the falls they are going to take. You may or may not wish to have your child use a bike helmet. I personally didn’t with one of my twins because I knew I had the walker and that I would be holding him the whole time. However, once he’s free of the walker he will have a helmet on his head. You will need two pairs of gloves. Once they fall the gloves tend to get really wet so have a back up pair like these kid snow gloves on Amazon.


Step 3 Have them walk in the skates first. Let your child get the feel of the ice skate. Show them the skate and point out the toe pick on a figure skate or how to hold their foot. They won’t have much ability to really push off even with a toe pick. So if you have hockey skates you are not really at a disadvantage. It is a good idea to let them walk around for five or ten minutes before heading out onto the ice.


Step 4 Take it slow and use the walker. Kids are far more resilient then we think. They naturally get that they have to try to keep balance. A walker really teaches them that balance. My son did start to glide a bit at the end but it was more walking and balance his first time out. Expect that and be ready to bend over and hold the walker and skate with them. You will be a bit sore afterwards because you’ll be bent over for a long time.


teaching kids to ice skate

Step 5 Teach falling and getting up! When teaching kids to ice skate teach them to fall to their side and not squarely on their rump. This prevents injuries and makes it easier for them to get back up. Teach them to use the walker to pull themselves up. This takes practice and it will take a few tries before they can do it on their own.


Step 6 Begin small techniques one at a time. While learning to ice skate, teach your kids to push off sideways with one skate and glide. Even if they want the walker discarded, it is a good idea to let them really get the hang of this before they really start to try to skate without it.

Have fun out there!


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