When can you start teaching a child to skate?

February 27, 2014 Off By Laura TMOT
It’s fun, it’s cheap, and it’s good exercise. Roller skating is an ideal activity for children of just about any age, but how old do they need to be, and how do you teach them?

Age

You can actually begin teaching a child to skate as soon as they’re able to walk, with the only caveat being that you need to be able to find skates in the right size, which isn’t always easy if you have very young children. The main difficulty with skating is maintaining balance, but most children have the skills once they’re comfortable walking for long periods of time.

Skates

Beginner skates are relatively easily obtainable for children between the ages of two and four. They’re usually sturdily built, with a variety of safety features to help avoid accidents when first starting out. This usually involves having wide wheels to help with balance, and stoppers that help to prevent going out of control. Always start with these, as they’ll make learning much easier, even if your child is in the age range that could be using normal skates.

Once your child is older, and used to using skates, they can move on to roller blades, also known as in-line skates. As the name suggests, these are the ones that have all wheels in a line, rather than one on each corner. They are harder to master, but will often allow the user to go quicker. There are lots of different styles to choose from, and these are the skates that professionals and enthusiasts use when performing tricks.

Safety

Safety is paramount when skating, which is why there are two things to bear in mind.

The first is of course safety outdoors. Once your child is confident using, they are likely to want to play outside with their friends on their skates. You should take extra care to explain how they can skate safely when cars are around – it’s not a good idea to allow a child to skate unsupervised until they’re full able to control their movements, which includes stopping without a problem.

The right safety gear is also essential to avoid all of those scrapes and bruises. Make sure they have a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads.

Skating is a great activity for children. Not only does it have health benefits, but it also teaches a lot of transferable skills. Balance can help with learning to pogo, control helps with being able to skateboard, and the safety messages for dealing with the streets and roads are useful in everyday life. As soon as your child is ready and interested, teach them to skate!

Victoria Harrison is a mother of three and ‘home zoo’ manager; when she isn’t surrounded by kids and animals she writes for online audiences on a range of topics. Passionate about her home and family, she aims to share her knowledge and experiences and make a few friends along the way.

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