Roller skating is one of the numerous leisure activities both parents and kids can perform together. That is a kind of a fun physical activity – it helps your kid to improve his vestibular system and maintain a healthy life style, and moreover, to find new friends.
What to start with
Before you begin to teach your child how to roller skate, you need to provide him with the items of protection. If you don’t do that, you put the child’s health at risk.
Safety measures for roller skating:
1. choosing roller boots that suit your kid’s feet;
2. purchasing protective elements;
3. psychological preparation.
So, the roller skates sure must match the size of the child’s feet. In no event should you buy the ones for the kid “to grow into” or vice versa, too small size ones. In the first case, the child will not be able to properly control the rollers; in the second one, his foot can deform if he spends much time shod in them.
Protective skating gear:
– knee pads,
– elbow pads,
– wrist pads,
– and a helmet.
Once the child adapts to roller skates and can stand on them, you can start training.
How to train
1. You need to teach the child through play, so that the process is both interesting and fun.
If it didn’t work today or the child has fallen down – in no case should you shout at him, as any step on the roller skates requires patience.
2. In the beginning, teach your child to perform easy exercises. As soon as he masters them – teach the complex ones.
3. First, your child needs to master proper posture. This is the most important part of the basic training. If the child learns to stand correctly he will easier and faster learn to roller skate afterwards.
The proper posture looks like this: the toes are apart, the heels are together, the knees are slightly bent, and the entire body is tilted forward. It is important to tilt not with the shoulders but with the entire body!
Let the kid stand next to a support (a wall, a furniture item) and try to stand on the roller skates while holding the support with both hands and then with one.
4. Let the child master the posture by walking “here” on the lawn or a carpet at home, then go out on the asphalt and master the skill there.
5. Is your child not confident on the roller skates? Take him by the hands and pull the child. Explain to him that his feet should be parallel to each other.
If the kid is a bit afraid to roller skate, take him by the hands when he is in a proper posture and pull him to yourself. Tell the child that he should move forward by pushing off with the right foot and then with the left one according to the posture.
First, you need to teach your child to perform simple exercises, because they are much easier. If you begin to teach the child more complex ones he will not succeed, he will fall down, get nervous and abandon this activity not even having started.
Draw circles with the pieces of colored chalk on the asphalt. Your child will have to go round them.
To start with, show him how to move – heels together, toes apart. Then he evenly spreads the feet apart around the first circle and brings them together again.
Explain to the child that he should not bring the feet together tightly since there’s the next circle and he needs to go around it as well, and so on.
2. “A snake”
The child positions the feet parallel to each other while pushing off with the heels, going from side to side, feet are together. Once the child learns how to perform this movement forward, you can teach him to perform “the snake” backward.
3. Figure “Eight”
This exercise is similar to the exercise 1, but here the child needs to cross the legs.
And how to stop?
There are lots of ways how to stop on roller skates, and the simplest one is to stop against an obstacle. This can be a lamppost, a tree, you, or one of the kid’s friends. Watch your child so that he doesn’t hurt.
Another good way to stop for a beginner is to jump out onto a lawn and run a few steps there.
These methods are good, but don’t let your child get used to them and teach him to use a brake at the back of a roller boot as soon as possible. For this, the child extends one leg and raises the toes thus pressing on the brake with the heel. Simultaneously he bends the other knee sitting a bit.
When performing the exercise “Flashlights” let the child bring the legs together while tilting his body a bit forward and the roller skates will stop.
How to fall down?
When roller skating it’s very important to know how to fall down. The child should try to fall down only forward. Falling down should be as “slippery” as possible. Here’s the sequence of contact with asphalt:
1. knee pads,
2. elbow pads,
3. and only then wrist pads.
At a low speed, the сhild can fall down only on the knee pads.
If the child started to fall backwards, he must quickly bend his knees and lean forward. Thus, he either keeps the balance or falls down on the knee pads.
And not the best but an acceptable option is to fall down on a side on an elbow pad.
Remember that the worst thing is to fall backward on the extended arms.
Safety rules when roller skating
In addition to the protective equipment, there are other important rules you should consider and teach your child.
– The boots must be firmly fixed and laced, becoming a continuation of the kid’s feet.
– If the child is a beginner, avoid overcrowded places and do not let him go to the roadways.
– Do not roller skate on the sand and puddles, these will disable the wheels very quickly.
– Avoid roller skating on a wet asphalt, since that requires extreme care.
– Always monitor the speed of the child’s movement.
– Be especially careful when young children appear on your way.
Both following all these rules and persistence in mastering roller skating techniques will allow the child not to get hurt seriously and safely enjoy his freedom of movement.
These are all the basics your kid needs to know to start roller skating. And later on, he can learn much more! Tricks, jumps, high-speed skating and hockey – there are lots of opportunities for little fans of roller skating.