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Keeping Kids Active

With the summer holidays in full swing you may already be running out of ideas of how to keep the kids entertained, or if you’re anything like me pulling your hair out because they just won’t get off their devices.

Despite having one of the best government policies on physical exercise, children in Wales are among the least active in the world with Wales also having the worst rate for childhood obesity in the UK. With the stiff competition physical activity is up against these days, YouTube, X-Box, Smart Phones etc. as parents we really do have our work cut out for us to help our children avoid the possible consequences that leading this sedentary lifestyle can have.

The government recommendation is that children should do at least an hour of moderate intensity physical activity per day but figures from the Welsh Health Survey show that just 13% of children are managing this level of activity.

A way to overcome this obstacle is to find activities that are fun! Not all kids like the same things and being forced to participate in activities that they don’t enjoy is never going to end well.

Get roller skating

Roller skating is one of those activities that just does not go out of style. Most people have at least one roller skating experience from their childhood that they remember and whether it’s a good experience or a not so good experience, guaranteed it will always raise a smile.

As a skater since the age of 5 and a parent who coaxed her three children to skate the minute they could walk, I am probably a little biased. However, putting my love for skating and my pushy parenting aside, skating is one physical activity that helps develop balance, coordination and strength. It also is great for boosting confidence and self-esteem in children of all ages.

What age is good to learn to skate?

As with introducing a child to anything it largely depends on your child, but a child can learn to skate as young as two years old and I definitely think it’s one of those ‘sooner the better’ activities. Chances are that they won’t keep their skates on for longer than 5-10 minutes at this age, but little and often is always a great way to start and always listen to your child, when they’ve had enough don’t force them to continue.

My daughter was 2 a couple of weeks ago and has only been walking around 12 weeks due to medical issues and she put her first pair of skates on 4 weeks ago and even though she still has only managed 5 minutes at a time before wanting to stop, she is skating obsessed already.

What if my children can’t skate?

It can be tempting to try and teach your child to skate yourself, but it’s never a substitute for proper tuition and isn’t something we’d recommend. Skating is an activity that requires specific skills and if not done correctly can pose a risk to serious injury.

It’s like taking driving lessons from a friend. You may learn the basics required to move the vehicle, but not necessarily the skills you need to drive, picking up bad habits that aren’t quite correct along the way leaving you vulnerable to mishaps.

Cardiff Skate School is the only dedicated learn to skate school in South Wales that offers instruction in all the basic skating techniques that you will need to skate confidently and confidently. They follow the British Roller Sports Federation Learn to Skate, Skate Smart programme covering the basics of standing and balance right through to more advanced skills like jumping and skating backwards.

It’s a family affair

The other great thing about roller skating is that it's something that the whole family can enjoy together. Cardiff Skate School also run regular public roller skating sessions. These sessions are for all ages and abilities and provide you with a perfect opportunity to brush up on your skating skills and get in a sneaky little workout (see our previous blog '6 reasons why roller skating is THE way to stay healthy').

Roller skating is a great all round activity that is suitable for everyone and is so much fun whether you're a beginner or a seasoned skater, whether your young or just young at heart and it's a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. The kids will love their new found street cred with their friends and best of all they will want to come back again and again meaning that they will be keeping active, keeping fit and keeping away from their devices and they won't even realise it!!!

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