Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Benefits of Skating for Sensory Seekers

OK, so I've been recommending this a lot lately...  skating, whether it be ice or roller.  There are many benefits to trying this activity.  Great heavy work (got a high energy or sensory seeking kid?), balance, and self-esteem boost to name a few.  Your child will sleep well that night!  The trick is to find a place that will let you and your child approach the challenging task in your own way so as not to frustrate your child with too great a demand.

  • Roller rinks will tighten the wheels so they roll less... try tightening them down so your child can walk on the wheels at first, then slowly loosen them.  It might take a session or two to get to gliding, but this way they can advance at their own speed.
  • Although they may seem harder, some kids respond better to rollerblades type wheels all in a row vs. the traditional roller skate two wheels in front two in the back.  Try both kinds to see which one your child can move better.
  • Ice rinks often use metal frames or even big orange cones for the kids to hang onto while they're learning to skate.  It is harder than roller for sure, but if you're up for the challenge or a hockey or figure skating fan it's worth a try.
  • If your child is pretty much skating, but still nervous, try holding a wooden spoon between the two of you... when you and he feel he's ready, you let go of the spoon.  Sometimes they'll keep right on skating holding onto that spoon, watching them realize they're doing it alone is great!

Challenging himself on the ice!
Resting on the boards... skating is hard work!

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