Roller skating is another faster, more exciting way of walking. We use our feet to balance, and propel ourselves along. Children learn to walk when their muscles are strong enough. In the same way, your child must be developmentally ready to take their first steps on roller skates.
How to Tell When Children Are Ready to Begin
Age is not the only indicator, although it is a good place to start. By age three, a kid should have acquired sufficient balancing and coordination skills. If in any doubt, consult a paediatrician first. Not everybody turns out to be an ace roller-skater. Is your child confident enough to take their first steps on roller skates? Are they naturally athletic? Do they want to do it?
Safety First, Before First Steps on Roller Skates
Your child is going to fall over more than a few times while learning. Even ace roller-skaters lose their balance when they become too daring. Begin every session with a safety talk. Make sure your child, and you are both wearing helmets, knee and elbow pads before you put your boots and skates on. Set an example. Children learn by copying parents.
The Three Stages of Learning to Roller Skate
Always buy roller-skates that are age appropriate. Remember, kids need time to comprehend and remember as they go through these stages:
- Preschool Stage – Learning to assume the ‘v-shape’ skating position, and pushing along with the foot they naturally put out first when walking.
- Through to Third Grade – Putting away baby skates, wearing proper ones, learning to flow smoothly, and how to stop safely.
- Up to Sixth Grade – The first steps on roller skates are over. Now it is time to learn figure-of-eights and skating backwards.
Then it is time to disengage, as your child becomes a young adult through their teens. Your job as teacher is over. Your task is to encourage them as they find their own skating style.