Family Events, Parenting

Ice Skating Season Has Begun

Recalling the winter months of my childhood, I have fond memories of sledding, ice skating, building snow forts and drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate. Skating is definitely one of the more difficult winter activities, but with a little practice, it is well worth it. Especially if you have the chance to make it to the arena at Nathan Philips Square, which is now officially decorated with their annual Cavalcade of Lights.

Teaching young kids to ice skate doesn’t have to be hard if you are prepared.

  • Buy a solid pair of beginner ice skates. The key to a child learning to ice skate is having a good pair of skates that fit properly. Keep your child safe from a bad fall.
  • At minimum your child should be equipped with a helmet, gloves, knee pads and elbow pads.
  • Take 5 to 10 minutes to hold your child’s hand and encourage them to walk around in the skates. This will help them get used to the feeling of the ice skates and to establish balance.
  • When you are both ready, hit the ice. Stand behind your child and support them by the elbows or under the arms to prevent a bad fall backward.
  • Once your child gains some confidence, skate backwards in front of them while supporting them by the hands. This will force your child to balance more on their own while still having confidence that you are there for support.

Remember, children under six are required to wear a CSA approved helmet while on the ice. Little children whose ankles are too weak to maintain balance on ice skates should wait a while before tackling this sport.

Click here for a list of outdoor and indoor arenas across the GTA.