Roller Skating 101: A Parent’s Guide for Teaching Kids to Skate

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As a parent, you’ve probably found yourself eager to share new experiences with your child, and when the persistent requests for roller skates emerged, it was time for a new adventure. Roller skating isn’t just about fun; it’s an opportunity for physical activity and quality bonding. If, like most parents, you’re a bit new to the roller skating scene, fear not. In this article, I’ll share some valuable tips based on how I introduced my child to the world of roller skating.

Get Right-Sized Roller Skates

When you begin this roller skating adventure with your child, opt for reasonably priced skates. I’d recommend doing the same, but here’s a tip: never compromise on size. Roller skate sizing is just like shoe sizing, so if your child’s shoe size is 5, make sure to get roller skates in the same size.

If you don’t get the right-sized roller skates for your kid, it may cause him blisters frequently, and he may have to deal with sore feet every day. Learn more about the other dangers here.

Start with cheaper skates because, let’s face it, interests can change. Your child may either lose interest in roller skating or become so engrossed that better-quality skates become a necessity. You can find some great options for boys and girls on Amazon at very reasonable rates.

Go-To for Boys


Girls’ Top Pick

SULIFEEL Rainbow Unicorn


Wear All The Protective Gears

Safety is a non-negotiable aspect of roller skating. Falling is inevitable when learning, so it’s crucial to prepare your child for that. The most important protective gear is the helmet, considering the vulnerability of the head. You’ll discover two types: Dome Skate Helmets, which are versatile and work well for roller skating, and Performance Helmets, which offer extra comfort and speed.

Apart from the helmet, don’t forget wrist pads, knee pads, and elbow pads. You can easily find an affordable and comfortable pad kit on Amazon that comes in various colors to match your child’s preferences.

Practice Indoors First (On Carpet or Grass):

To ease into the roller skating experience, I recommend starting indoors on softer surfaces like carpet or grass. This way, when inevitable tumbles happen, they won’t be as harsh on your child. This initial indoor practice is crucial before venturing into more challenging terrains like rinks or roads.

Teaching to Stand & The Right Posture:

Setting the right foundation is key, and that starts with the correct posture. Before even putting on the skates, demonstrate the proper stance. Then, with skates on, hold your child’s hand for support while emphasizing the importance of balance. The fear of falling is natural initially, so make sure to offer constant reassurance.

Hold Your Child’s Hand & Practice Duck Walk:

The duck walk is a fundamental step in building balance on roller skates. After demonstrating the walk yourself, hold your child’s hand while they attempt it. This slow and guided approach, combined with continuous support, allows your child to gain confidence in the duck walk.

Skating With One Skate:

After a couple of days of duck walking practice, introduce the concept of skating with one leg. It turns out to be a fun and exciting challenge for your child, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the learning process.

Learning to Glide:

Gliding is a stage where falls are more common, so extra attention is necessary. Start with the push-and-glide technique, offering support during the initial attempts. Emphasize controlled speed, and make sure your child feels comfortable before encouraging independent gliding.

Learning to Stop:

Stopping is a crucial skill to master. Teach your child two primary stopping techniques: using brake pads and the T Technique. Safety is paramount, and these methods provide effective ways to come to a halt. Recommend a video on stopping techniques for additional guidance.

Practice, Practice, and Practice:

With the basics in place, consistent practice becomes the key. Take your child to inactive sports courts or quiet sidewalks, engaging in regular practice sessions. Introduce friendly races to make the practices more enjoyable and engaging.

Skate With Your Child:

To enhance the bonding experience, consider joining your child on skates. Learning together not only creates a supportive environment but also adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the entire process. It becomes a shared adventure for both of you.

Bonus Tip: Send Him to The Rink To Enhance His Skills:

Now that your child has grasped the basics, consider enrolling them in a skating rink to further enhance their skills. Skating rinks provide an excellent environment for skill development, and it’ll be a fantastic opportunity for your child to grow even more confident on skates.

As you lace up your skates and hit the pavement, the joy of roller skating awaits. Teaching your child to roller skate is not just about a new skill; it’s a journey of shared experiences and lasting memories. So, to all the parents out there embarking on this adventure, happy skating!

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