I am so excited to get my kids back on the ice since the pandemic hit. In my city, it’s quite difficult to get kids enrolled in some of the more popular activities such as skating or swimming, but I did it!
So then I went searching for the answer on how to dress the kids for indoor skating since it’s been so long and I didn’t really find what I was looking for…
So maybe I can help someone else by writing out how I dressed my kids for their skating lessons.
The Rink Dress Code
The first thing I did was look into the skating rink’s dress code. Because our lessons were hosted by the city, they did have some strict requirements for skates and helmets.
We were not allowed to have a soft boot, a moulded boot, or an adjustable boot on the ice. Hockey skates and learn to skate skates were green. Figure skating skates were also ok.
As far as helmets went, all sports besides hockey and snowboarding/skiing ones were not allowed either.
Before anything else, safety comes first. When it comes to indoor skating, whether it’s ice skating or roller skating, protective gear is non-negotiable. I did notice a lot of the kids in our class did not have knee pads or elbow pads and wrist guards, but my kids are accident prone, so they had all the gear.
This includes knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and a proper helmet.
For young children, especially those taking their first lessons, this safety gear is essential.
Falls are part of the learning process, and we want to ensure our little skaters are protected.
Knowing what to wear to skating lessons was the biggest challenge – clothes are hard!
I wanted to strike that balance between being warm enough to handle the -5C ice rink temperatures, but not too warm that skating is tough because it’s too hot.
This is how I dressed all 3 of my kids ages 3-10.
- Base layer of leggings, thin socks, long-sleeved shirt. (This is what all my kids wear)
- Comfortable pants they can run in (not jeans). These will work well.
- Snow pants like these over the pants and a sweater on top of the long sleeve t shirt.
- Thin gloves like these, a helmet(all my kids have one of these) and their ice skates.
I found that the kids were quite warm in this outfit, even a little bit hot!
I did bring their winter jackets to the rink just in case they were cold during the lesson, but honestly they moved around enough that they were perfectly warm in the sweater layer – even a little bit hot!
Now to be fair, we do have warm sweaters up here in Canada, so if your sweaters are kind of thin due to your outdoor climate, you may want to double up the sweaters or grab a winter jacket, or wear a light sweater and a light jacket.
A neck warmer is also a great idea…I wouldn’t get a scarf for kids because it could unravel, but a neck warmer like this is a good idea.
For beginners, comfort is key. Think of clothes that allow freedom of movement – nothing too tight or restrictive. As kids progress, their apparel might change.
Renting Skates Vs. Buying Skates For Lessons
If your kids are just starting, rental skates at the indoor rink are a good option.
They’re great for figuring out the right size and style for your child without the commitment.
But if skating becomes a regular activity, investing in their own skates can be a good idea.
We were considering renting skates too, but being in Canada we have TONS of outdoor rinks to skate on 8 months out of the year, so we may as well own them. I mean we used to own skates just a few years ago but then the pandemic hit and we outgrew the skates (and gained a kid).
Bringing Snacks For After Skating
Beyond clothing, it’s important to pack healthy snacks and water.
Skating is an energetic activity, and our little skaters need to stay hydrated and energized!
I usually bring Made Good Granola Bars (I buy in Bulk at Costco) and water for everyone. This is good enough until we get some dinner in our bellies after skating.
- Socks: Thick socks, but not overly bulky socks are best to keep your feet warm without compromising the fit of the skates.
- Clothing Style: Preferences vary, but avoid overly tight or bulky clothing that restricts movement. Skinny jeans might be too restrictive, while fleece pants or a pair of leggings offer more flexibility.
- First-Time Skaters: If it’s your first time, opt for comfortable and protective clothing. Don’t forget gloves or mittens to protect your hands.
- Skating Skills: Dress according to your skill level. Beginners might want extra padding, while experienced skaters might opt for more streamlined outfits.
- Special Features: For roller skating, luminous wheels or decorative elements like the Zuca collection can add fun to your outfit.
- Summer Months: Lighter clothing is advisable for roller skating. A light jacket or long-sleeve shirt might still be needed for indoor ice rinks.
- Winter or Cooler Climates: Layering is essential. Consider fleece pants, long sleeves, and thicker jackets.
- Dress Code: Some events might have specific dress codes (like black or white dresses for figure skating shows).
- Casual Skating: For a casual public skating session or an ice skating date, focus on comfort and warmth, but feel free to add personal style.
- Towel: You’ll want to bring a towel like this to dry off your skates after the lesson so you don’t get rust buildup and ruin your skates.
1. What is the most important thing to consider when dressing kids for indoor skating?
Safety and comfort are paramount. Choose clothing that allows easy movement and protective gear to prevent injuries.
2. Should kids wear thick socks for indoor skating?
Yes, thick socks, preferably not too bulky, are good for warmth and cushioning inside the skates. Avoid overly thick wool socks as they might make the skates too tight, or your kiddo might get sweaty feet and then get sores.
3. Is a bike helmet necessary for kids while indoor skating?
Absolutely. A properly fitting bike or hockey helmet is essential to protect against head injuries, especially for beginners. Our rink does not allow a bike helmet, so it’s only hockey helmets for us, but some rinks allow the bike helmet.
4. What are some great options for indoor skating clothing for kids?
Fleece leggings or yoga pants, long pants, and comfortable long sleeve shirts are great. Ensure the clothing is not too loose to avoid getting caught in the skates.
5. Should kids use intermediate skates and blades for indoor skating?
This depends on their skill level. Beginners should start with basic or entry-level skates for better stability, while intermediate skates are good for kids who have more experience. My kids just got basic skates that can also be used for hockey!
6. Are luminous roller skate wheels and fancy roller skate wheels like Atom Wheels suitable for indoor skating?
Yes, they can be fun for kids, but make sure they’re compatible with the skating rink’s surface and the type of skating your child will be doing. So you need blades for an ice rink, but wheels for a roller rink floor.
7. Is it necessary to buy kids their own ice skates for indoor ice skating?
While not necessary, having their own skates can ensure a better fit and more comfortable skating experience.
8. What protective gear should kids wear for indoor skating?
A helmet is a must. Additionally, consider wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads, especially for beginners or if they’re trying more advanced moves.
9. How should kids with long hair be dressed for indoor skating?
Long hair should be tied back securely to avoid obstructing vision or getting caught in any equipment.
10. Are face masks required for kids when indoor skating?
This may depend on the rink’s policy, particularly if they have health and safety regulations. Always check with the rink beforehand.
11. What kind of clothing should be avoided for kids when indoor skating?
Avoid very tight or very loose clothing, bulky or heavy jackets, and dresses or skirts that might hinder movement or get caught in the skates.
12. Are there any additional accessories recommended for kids when indoor skating?
Neck warmers can be useful for warmth, and a light jacket might be needed in colder indoor rinks. Extra padding or protective clothing can be added for beginners for added safety.
- A study highlights the importance of protective sports gear for children and notes that sports-related injuries continue to rise, with over 3.5 million cases reported annually among children in the United States. This underscores the necessity of protective gear like helmets, knee pads, and wrist guards (Milanaik et al., 2019).
- Research from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program database reveals that fractures to the radius and ulna are the most common injuries in in-line skating among children, with many not wearing protective gear like helmets or wrist, elbow, and knee protectors. This emphasizes the importance of protective gear to minimize injuries (Ellis et al., 1995).
- An article from Pennsylvania Medicine suggests various safety measures, including the use of protective gear while engaging in sports activities like skating, to prevent injuries in children (McGreevy, 1993).
- The importance of safety guidelines and protective equipment to minimize pediatric recreational injuries is highlighted. Protective headgear, mouth guards, wrist, and shin guards are all effective in preventing injuries (Flynn et al., 2002).
- A study discusses the role of protective equipment in injury reduction in contact/collision sports, focusing on the head, face, and neck. This is relevant to sports like skating, where the risk of head and neck injuries is significant (Dolan & Kriz, 2017).