Teaching Children to Skate

Man wearing skates with small child wearing skates
Here are 9 tips for teaching children to skate. These based on some Google research and my own experience. (These tips work for teaching adults to skate too.)
  1. Adjust your expectations. As long as kids are on the ice longer than the time you spend tying up their skates, it counts as a successful outing in my books. 
  2. Make sure the skates fit well, not too loose or too tight. 
  3. On the ice, face the child and skate backwards slowly, with the child's hands resting lightly on yours. 
  4. Repeat the following frequently: "Bend your knees. Look up, don't look at the ice. That's it, you're doing a terrific job!" 
  5. Children need to fall a few times to learn to keep their balance. 
  6. Pushing a small chair or prop around the ice can give children confidence but I don't think it helps them learn to keep their balance on their own. 
  7. If you can, go skating with other children who are slightly better skaters. Peer pressure can be an amazing teacher. 
  8. Lots of short outings are probably better for learning than one long day on a rink. 
  9. Stay warm, have snacks and take breaks. When people are cold, hungry and tired, they're not having fun. Having fun is the crucial part of learning to skate. Otherwise, what's the point?

Related Post: The Best Toronto Rinks for New Skaters

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