So you are thinking of taking the entire family ice skating, but you also have a toddler to think about. Well, there is no reason for you to leave the toddler out of such a fun family outing. Ice skating should not be something that is limited to the adults or the older kids because your toddler can also enjoy such an activity together with the entire family. As long as your toddler is old enough to stand on his or her own two feet, there is no reason why he or she cannot learn how to ice skate. However, what you have to consider here is that the learning curve is certainly slower than in older kids considering that toddlers are not as developed physically. Nevertheless, here are some tips that could help make it easy for you to take your toddler ice skating.
Make sure the toddler is dressed properly
First things first, what you need to make sure here is that your toddler should be dressed for the occasion. The term already implies that ice skating is an activity that requires anyone to be well-clothed and dressed for the cold weather. As such, it is important that your toddler is dressed well enough for him or her to be able to stand the cold but still move properly. That means that the toddler should be dressed in several layers of light clothing instead of a few layers of heavy clothing. Make sure that the toddler’s socks are also light. Try not to have your toddler wear thick socks because of how it can cut off circulation. Also, jeans should be avoided as it can restrict your toddler’s movement. Instead, sweatpants or joggers might be better options for your toddler.
Get the right equipment
Part of dressing up for the occasion includes making sure that your toddler has the right kind of equipment. You should always insist that your toddler is well equipped because of how not wearing the right equipment can be quite dangerous even for adults. In such a case, you must insist on having your child wear a helmet to protect the toddler’s head from danger in case he or she falls while ice skating.
Next up, you should get skates that are as tight and as snug as possible but not too tight to the point that they can cut off circulation. Never think about giving any sort of allowance in your toddler’s skates, unlike when you are buying casual footwear. The reason is that any sort of room left in the shoes that can allow the toddler’s feet to move around a bit can cause problems when your child is trying to find his or her balance on the ice. And if your toddler can’t find his or her balance, he or she won’t be able to stay on his or her own feet. But because it will be too impractical for you to purchase skates for toddlers that are still rapidly growing, we suggest that you go for rentals instead.
Learn the basics off the ice
Before you even get started on putting your toddler on the ice to learn how to ice skate, you have to make him or her learn the basics off the ice. This can start on any kind of surface. Try to teach your toddler to march on his or her feet instead of to walk because of how marching improves overall balance. March also allows your toddler to learn how to transfer his or her own weight on each foot properly. And if you want your child to have fun learning this step, try to teach him or her to walk like a dinosaur.
Learning how to fall is essential
The truth that you have to know as early as now is that falling is normal in ice skating. Even the best fall down sometimes. That means that your toddler will naturally fall a lot of times while he or she is still learning how to ice skate. In this case, try to teach your toddler the best way to fall. The best way of falling when ice skating is to fall slowly instead of suddenly collapsing because of how it won’t hurt as much. After that, teach the toddler to get up on his or her own instead of relying on you. This process will also teach the toddler to learn how to manage frustrations because getting frustrated is natural for a beginner to learn how to ice skate.
Marching to gliding
When your toddler has already mastered the art of marching, encourage him or her to try to march as silent as possible. This will eventually turn into gliding, which is the natural type of movement that your toddler needs to master on the ice. When your child is already on the ice, do not rush things and try to have him or her march even though he or she has already mastered gliding off the ice. Do not rush the process and allow your toddler to transition his or her marches into glides at a pace suitable for him or her.
Do not carry your toddler
One of the safety basics of ice skating for toddlers is never to try to carry your toddler while you are both on the ice. This can spell disaster as you might lose your balance, slip off, and injury both yourself and your toddler. As such, it is highly suggested that you should make sure that you and your toddler are both ready to go on the ice individually and that your child can stand on his or her own two feet and learn how to balance before getting on the ice.
Do not rush things
Some toddlers can learn how to ice skate as early as three years old, while some kids tend to have a slower learning curve. What we are trying to say is that you should not try to rush things because toddlers develop differently compared to one another. Do not try to make your child learn how to ice skate at three years old simply because your neighbor’s toddler can already do so at the same age. Things like these take time, and you should try to be as patient as possible with your toddler.