I wonder who thought it would be a fun idea to put four wheels on the bottom of each shoe and see what happens?
A bored kid with a very creative imagination is the first thing that comes to my mind!
Actually, the patented version of roller skates were created by a man by the name of James Leonard Plimptom in 1863, with the first recorded use of roller skates going all the way back to 1743.
I personally like the notion of a child coming up with the idea myself.
Whatever the history of roller skating may be, it has held the test of time as a way for both children and adults alike to cruise magically over the ground at high speeds while going forward, backward, and in circles. While roller skating may look like a piece of cake to someone with their feet flat on the ground, it does take some getting used to. Here are some simple steps to take when you teach kids to rollerskate.
In this article:
1. Gear up
Trips, slips, and falls are to be expected while learning how to roller skate. A child that is not geared up properly with protective gear will undoubtedly have a tumble that results in scraped knees and a bruised ego. There is also the possibility that they will not want to make a second attempt for fear of further injury. We want our children to be unafraid to take some risks in life and not give up due to a minor failure. A helmet, wrist guards, and knee and elbow pads will give them reassurance that it’s okay to fall down, dust themselves off, and try again.
2. Learning the basics
Once your little one is dolled out in their new gear, it’s time to teach them the basics. Have them bend their knees and lean slightly forward, as if they are about to do a sprint. Begin their practice by having them gently walk their skates.
If your child is particularly wary, you can have them practice this on the carpet. This will help them to learn the balance that they need to roller skate properly. After their confidence has built, have them try rolling their skates. This is where mom or dad’s hand comes in handy. Finally, have them alternate each skate slightly off the ground while stepping forward in a diagonal direction and propelling themselves forward. This is the final step towards roller skating perfection.
3. Practice makes perfect
Roller skating is a skill that takes some practice. The hardest part of learning how to ride a bike is learning how to maintain balance. Learning how to roller skate is a different story. It takes balance, ankle strength, leg control, and attention to specific movements. Expect a lot of tumbles and some possible frustration from your child as they learn this new skill. Each child learns at their own unique pace.
Practicing at their personal level will help them to overcome any fears that they may have, while allowing them to get used to the perfect leg movements needed to roller skate. Fortunately, just like riding a bike, they will never fully forget how to roller skate once they have learned how. Once your child has mastered the basics of roller skating, there will be no stopping them!
4. Graduating to tricks
Now that you’ve taught your kiddo the basics of roller skating, it’s time to show them how to skate with style. I mean, skating in a circle is fun at first, but showing off a few tricks to friends is definitely cooler!
5. Backward skating
Have your child equally distribute their weight on each leg on a flat surface. Make sure they do not lock their knees.
There are two ways to skate backward:
- The first is to have them push their legs out to the side and then back in. The two actions should make the shape of a figure eight.
- The second way is to distribute most of the weight to one leg while pushing off on the other. These actions should resemble the ‘S’ shape.
6. Walking on the moon
Okay, we said five tips, but here’s a bonus!
Once your child has mastered the art of skating backward, you can show them how to ‘moonwalk’. Toe stoppers are essential for this particular trick.
Have your child place one skate pointed down on the toe stopper and the other skate flat. Have them push off with the stopper while gliding backward on the other skate. Simply repeat the steps while alternating feet.