Ice Skating Tips for Families
If you’re taking the kids ice skating this Winter at one of the great ice skating venues around Adelaide, here are some notes and tips which might be helpful if you’re going for the first time. Not sure where to go ice skating? Read all about Winter Wonderland Glenelg, WinterFest Pt Adelaide, SkatingAt Festival Adelaide and the Ice Arena here.
Be sure to rug up, especially if you are a spectator and not skating – it gets cold standing around. Skaters are best to wear layers – that way you can remove some clothing once you are skating and getting warmer. The kids always work up a bit of a sweat in fact and end up taking off their beanies, scarves and jackets.
If your kids are not at school the first week of July, we would strongly recommend you go before everyone is on school holidays. The ice skating rinks will not be as busy, which is great for younger kids and families in general.
At most venues an adult is required to accompany a child aged 2 to 5 years on the ice and will be required to pay admission. Children under 5 need to wear enclosed shoes for the learning skates. These are little skates that are velcroed onto the child’s normal shoes. Instead of one steel blade in the centre, they have 4 smaller blades, which is much easier for younger children to balance on. See pics below.
The smallest size shoe for children in the normal ice skating shoes is Children’s Size 12. All kids with feet smaller than this can wear these learning skates. Our kids wore sneakers with these which were fine. When my son graduated to the ‘real’ skates at 6 years old, although I was concerned it was going to be much harder for him, it took him no time at all to adjust. By the last half of the session he was skating without his penguin friend, wobbly and falling over at times, but determined and skating free most of the time.
ICE SKATING TIPS
- As mentioned above, wear layers. That way you can take things off if you get too warm, which often happens after a bit of skating.
Wear a beanie/hat or hooded jacket/top; scarf and gloves.
- Often your legs can get cold, so wearing a pair of tights under jeans or pants can help, fleecy pants for kids are a good idea too.
- Gloves offer both warmth and protection. Remind kids to try and keep their fingers tucked into a fist quickly if they fall over, rather than having their fingers spread on the ice, just in case someone skates too close.
- Ice skates are not comfortable to wear for long. Wear thick long socks and we’d even recommend wearing 2 pairs to prevent the skates from rubbing and causing blisters. Take a few bandaids with you in case of blisters – it can help reduce the whining and whingeing after (a lesson learnt from previous ice skating sessions). If you do wear thick or two pairs of socks you will likely need the next size up in skates.
- Kids learning to skate will inevitably have a few falls. Therefore their clothes, particularly their pants may get wet. Take a change of clothes or at least pants, otherwise they will get very cold afterwards, and especially if you are considering going for a meal or treat afterwards. A cold wintry wind and wet clothes will certainly get chilly.
- Ice skates are not easy to get on or off. Most kids will need help getting them on, pulling them off and tying up laces for some eg my 10 year old still needs help with this.
- Make sure you have enough Adults to adequately assist the number of children you have. The penguins/kangas are helpful but little ones may not feel confident going out on the rink by themselves with so many people on the ice whizzing around them. If you are not confident skating yourself, perhaps go with friends who can, so there are other adults who can help your child. Some older kids will not want to use the penguins but still need assistance until they feel more confident….maybe the whole time you are there.
- Even if you have a child who is a bit timid, and not overly brave with sporty things, like one of our Play & Go kids, they may still love it. Last year Mr L (5 yrs) absolutely loved the thrill of skating on the ice, and after spending some time with a penguin, was keen at the end to go solo. Kids seem to pick up these things so easily!
- HotHands hand warmers (which can be bought at supermarkets) are great for warming cold hands.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: photos by Play & Go
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