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How to Teach a Child to Rollerblade

author image Barbara Dunlap
Barbara Dunlap is a freelance writer in Oregon. She was a garden editor at "The San Francisco Chronicle" and she currently specializes in travel and active lifestyle topics like golf and fitness. She received a master's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been a Knight Foundation Fellow.
How to Teach a Child to Rollerblade
child wearing rollerblades Photo Credit: Kane Skennar/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Most kids love the idea of rollerblading, but they may not be so enthusiastic when they take their first few falls. Dress them in protective gear so falling won't hurt so much, and introduce them to the sport slowly and safely. Once your children get the hang of it, you may not be able to keep up with them on their skates.

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Step 1

Outfit your kids with well-fitting protective gear. Essentials include helmets, elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards, because most children catch themselves with their hands when they fall. Inline Planet also recommends padded shorts under the kids' clothes so falling backward won't hurt so much.

Step 2

Help your child put on his skates, and let him walk on a flat patch of grass to develop balance. When he's ready, find a slightly slanted area of pavement, and have him roll down it with you walking next to him. Skater Simon Wrang says to help him back up the slant and let him roll down again until he's comfortable to do it on his own.

Step 3

Demonstrate how to skate after your child has learned to roll. Start rolling with your skates parallel to each other. Lift your right foot and put it in front of the left one as you roll. Draw your left foot parallel to the right one, and set it in front. Have your child practice this procedure. Take to your skates again, and as you step forward with one foot, push back with the other. When your child does this, she'll be off and skating.

Step 4

Teach your youngster how to stop using his heel brake. Most recreational skates have a brake that lets you stop by using friction. Show your child how to step forward with the skate that has the brake, and raise his toe. This will engage the brake, but children should put their arms out in front of them in case they fall.

Step 5

Show your child how to fall safely. She should try to fall forward so she doesn't hit her head. Also, if she falls forward, her knee and wrist protection will soften the impact.

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