As we get further in to winter, kids become more restless. The whole family is ready for the weather to break so that everyone can get outside and burn off some energy. We still have a few months to go before it warms up and spring sports and activities begin. However, there are some activities you can do in the winter to keep the family moving and have fun. Both roller skating and ice skating are great ways to get exercise in the winter.
If skating is new for you or your children, start with roller skating. Roller skates can be locked or adjusted to control the speed at which the wheels roll. This is helpful for beginners until they develop their balance on skates and learn the motions needed to move forward and stop. Roller skating rinks are warm and dry compared to ice skating rinks. This will make the falls that do happen when learning easier on the kids and allow for a more enjoyable day.
Once comfortable on roller skates, try moving on to ice skating. Ice skating takes more skill, balance and coordination. Comfort on roller skates can make the transition easier, but learning to ice skate will require patience. For very young children, double bladed skates may be available to make it easier for them to balance. Once you learn the basics, more advanced skills can be learned through individual lessons or sports like figure skating and hockey.
Roller skating and ice skating are great activities for children because they build flexibility, muscle strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. Through group lessons and sports, this can also be an opportunity for children to develop and build social skills.
It is important to remember safety while skating. Helmets are recommended for children. Consideration may also be given to wrist and knee pads while learning. Rink surfaces are hard and proper padding can prevent injuries. When ice skating, dress the kids in warm, water-proof gloves and clothing to keep them comfortable all day.