At What Age Can I Get My Child Started With Ice Skating?

Little Children Can Learn to Ice Skate!

Children of All Ages Can Learn to Ice Skate
Children of All Ages Can Learn to Ice Skate. Christopher Futcher / E+ Collection / Getty Images

With just a little bit of instruction, children that are about six to eight years old can learn to ice skate rather quickly, but very young children can begin ice skating lessons geared especially for tots and preschoolers when they are about four or five years old.  Three year olds won't do a lot of gliding and may cry, but if a parent wishes to introduce a child to ice skating that early, it is okay.

Keep in mind that some ice arenas will not accept children under three into their learn to skate classes, but some parents are very anxiious about getting their little ones on to the ice, and it is possible for children younger than three to ice skate.  To help parents who want to get their toddlers on ice skates, many ice arenas offer tot ice skating lessons or "Parent and Me" ice skating classes for children that are around two and a half to three years of age.

Tip:  Roller Skating Can Make Ice Skating Easier for Little Ones:

Little children won't get wet or cold on roller skates, and roller skating rinks offer very inexpensive programs for toddlers and preschoolers.  Little children can walk around a roller skating rink on locked roller skate wheels, and when little ones fall down while roller skating, they usually don't cry since they do not get wet.  After a young child's roller skate wheels are loosened and after he or she can roll around a roller skating rink on roller skates, the transition to ice skating comes naturally.

From's Figure Skating Expert Jo Ann Schneider Farris:

I began skating when I was eight years old.  My brother Billy was six years old and my sister Lynnellen was five.  By today's standards, becoming a figure skater at the age of eight is "kind of late," but in the 1960s, beginning to skate at the age of eight was "just about right."  My brother and I mastered basic ice skating skills quickly, but my sister, who was only five, spent a year gliding around the rink by pushing only with one foot.  (That drove my parents crazy!)

As soon as my own three children could walk, my husband and I began spending our weekends at athe roller rink.  We'd push our kids around the roller rink in strollers, but soon, they'd climb out and skate around the rink (on locked roller skate) wheels instead.  Soon, the roller rink loosened those wheels and they were rolling around the rink and having a blast.  

When I took my children to the ice rink after they could already roller skate, there were no tears and they didn't mind the cold or getting wet if they fell down on the ice.  Roller skating makes the transition to ice skating easy and natural.  My children just skated around the ice rink without any formal ice skating lessons, so I highly recommend that parents that are anxious to get their little ones on ice skates consider trying roller skating first.

Happy Skating!