After being stuck indoors with chickenpox, we felt Lily deserved a treat. She loved watching the Winter Olympics and decided she wanted to head to the ice rink and try skating for the first time.
This is probably the perfect time to point out that I CAN'T SKATE! Ice skate, roller skate, I just can't do it no matter how hard I try. Matt on the other hand, masters most activities in around in 10 mins. I fell over, Lily fell over, Matt fell over but it was still one of the best family activities we've done together.
The great thing about skating is that it requires a lot of energy and after being stuck indoors for a week, this is just what Lily had. It's also a physical test as well in some ways. Balance is key and it's a challenge for children and gets them thinking about how their body moves and works. Another positive is that it's a way to make them face the unknown. I'm a big believer in letting Lily really explore the world around her and sometimes, I feel letting your child feel fear or anxiety can be a good thing. It gives them an opportunity to tackle it and see how their actions can help.
You have to find a good ice rink. A good ice rink makes all the difference! We headed down to Sliverblades in Gillingham Kent and it was fabulous! They really cater for children and have skating aids for them to help prevent falling as much as possible. They also really helped Lily embrace the whole Winter Olympics vibe! The staff pointed out some of the pictures they had of olympic style events (speed skating was one) and that if Lily kept trying, she could learn to skate well.
Growing up I was never really into sport. I would watch F1 and loved it as a spectator, but in terms of trying it, I never did and I'm so glad Lily is the opposite. By being interested in a sport it may help her keep fit and active throughout her life.
As a family trip, it was great fun. It was something that none of us were confident in doing at the start and felt like a real bonding experience and it will be one of those trips we talk about in ten years time. Making those memories as a family is what's important.
Be prepared for your ice skating trip!
Remember to keep warm!
It's an ice rink, it's cold. Remember your coat and good pair of gloves will help you if you do fall over!
If you're not a strong skater, don't feel like you have to rush. Take your time to get used to the ice and get your balance.
Check for family friendly times
If you're taking younger children with you who haven't been before, then I strongly recommend checking to see when the children/family skate is. The rink is normally less crowded at these times and also isn't packed with super speedy skaters. It makes the environment more fun and relaxed for children, making them feel more comfortable.
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