With kids allocating less time for physical activities today, parents have the important, additional job of getting them to play and exercise more.
Giving your kids different activities to choose from can boost their interest in being more active. Encouraging them to play many types of sports will allow them to work out various parts of their bodies. The variety of options will also ensure they won’t get bored quickly by doing the same thing over and over again.
Reasons to Include Ice Skating in Your List of Family Activities
Ice skating is an exceptional sport anyone of any age can enjoy and benefit from. As such, it is something that families should include in their list of regular must-do activities.
This sport offers a lot of health benefits, which include:
- Building and toning leg muscles
- Improving balance
- Boosting joint flexibility
- Enhancing endurance
- Helping with weight management
- Providing a complete cardio workout
Ice skating is also a fun sport that can help people enjoy to reduce their stress and worries. Due to this, it can help promote mental fitness.
Lastly, it is a wonderful family-bonding activity, especially since you’ll have to spend a lot of time teaching your children to ice skate.
How to Have Fun at the Ice Skating Rink With Your Family
If you want to introduce ice skating to your family, below are seven tips you can follow to make your visit to the rink pleasant, fun, safe and problem-free:
1. Check the ice skating rink beforehand
One of the most important things you have to do before bringing your family to a rink is to check the facilities.
Try to find out what the ice skating rink has to offer: ice skates and protective gear rental, snack stands, benches, etc. Check how well-maintained the rink is as well.
If you can, drop by the sports center or complex to find out how cold it can get inside the rink and know what outfit you can recommend your kids to wear on the day of your outing.
2. Teach your kids ice skating basic safety
Like any sports, people can get injured when ice skating. As such, it is best to discuss with your kids the different ways to stay safe while gliding on the rink.
Some of the important ice skating safety practices everyone has to remember and follow are:
- Obey all rink rules.
- Have children and first-time skaters wear a helmet and other safety equipment such as knee and elbow pads and wrist guards.
- Be alert and aware of the surroundings and other skaters.
- Always look where you are going whether skating forward, backward, or sideways.
- Do not wear earphones or use the phone inside the rink.
- Take a break when you feel tired to avoid hurting yourself and causing accidents.
Make sure your kids remember these rules and safety practices. Take the time to explain all these again before entering the ice skating rink.
3. Have everyone wear the right outfit
To minimize scrapes, scratches, and bumps, which everyone can get when taking a spin, encourage your kids to wear pants and long-sleeved tops or jackets when going to the ice skating rink.
Aside from avoiding nicks and grazes, dressing up appropriately will help everyone avoid cold-related injuries and ailments.
If you visited the rink beforehand, you would have a good idea about the temperature inside. You can then tell your family if they need to bring extra jackets or sweaters.
4. Ensure everyone wears the correct size of ice skates
When renting ice skates, make sure you get the right one for each member of the family.
Keep in mind that the ice skates everyone will be wearing will also ensure their safety. If they don’t fit properly, they won’t be able to support the wearer’s ankles effectively. This, in turn, can cause the skater to trip and fall.
Additionally, take the time to check that everyone’s laces are tied correctly and tightly. This will help the wearer avoid injury and accidents as well.
5. Guide your kids as they learn how to ice skate
During your first visit to an ice skating rink, expect to stay with your children as they learn the basics of this sport.
Hold them as they work on keeping their balance while wearing ice skates. If there are balance-helping objects available at the rink, have your children use them so that they can feel more comfortable walking and gliding.
Tell your kids that falling and slipping are part of the process of learning how to ice skate. Remind them to avoid getting frustrated about this.
Remind them as well that like any other sport, they will get better with practice. This means that the whole family needs to go back to the rink repeatedly if they want to be good in ice skating.
6. Take frequent breaks and enjoy the day
Although you want your kids to learn to ice skate and get the exercise they need, this shouldn’t be your only goal.
Get your kids to sit down and have a break every 30 minutes or so. Have them drink water or a beverage they like. There are snack stands near ice skating rinks as well, so get your kids something they can munch on.
If you are spending the whole day at the rink, you can also get lunch at the snack stands.
Lastly, take the opportunity to strengthen your bond with your children. Talk to them about things happening in school and anything they may want to share with you. Ask them if they want to try ice skating again.
When you make your family’s first visit to an ice skating rink fun and productive, you will introduce another excellent activity to your kids, one that offers great health benefits and family bonding opportunities.
Possessing more than two decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Tony Kouris joined Zayed Sports City as General Manager in January 2018. With extensive career experience, a value on interpersonal relationships, and strong negotiating experience, he is positioned to support Zayed Sports City’s strategic growth and continue to innovate the site as an internationally recognised sport and entertainment destination.