I remember the first time I went ice skating.
My parents took us, and I must have been around eight years old. I remember the initial confidence and the sudden surprise about how difficult it actually was once we got on the ice. I remember flailing limbs, not a whole lot of balance, and all four of us spending most of the session working our way round the rink by clinging to the sides.
With time and a bit of practice, I grew to really love ice skating. I had a white pair of ice skates that a family friend had handed down, and I definitely had aspirations to go pro at one point ; )
Last week we were invited along to a really special event at the Tower of London ice rink, to have an ice skating lesson with the stars of Disney’s Frozen on Ice.
Ice Skating with children at the Tower of London
Because I loved ice skating so much as a child, it’s been firmly on my list of ‘things to do with the kids at some point’. I had figured we’d wait until they were a little older than six or three, but this opportunity felt like the perfect time to introduce them to the ice in a low key ‘Let’s just see what happens’ kind of way.
Arlo, Rory, and myself got to get our skates on and gain some tips from the cast of Disney’s Frozen on Ice. It was really nice to get to be the one to do something fun with the children. I usually hand a lot of that stuff over to Sam, especially since Otto has arrived. But let’s just say that ice skating is far from Sam’s forte, so I took the reins on this one whilst Sam met us at the rink after work to be on baby duty.
Having no idea what to expect when taking young children ice skating, we quickly realised that some kind of balancing aid is a must – the penguins and banana sledges were invaluable at helping them feel more confident on the ice.
Rory having a skate with Hayley from Shutterflies daughter
After our skating session, we also had the chance to watch the cast show us some of their moves.
I’d kind of written off ice skating with the kids at this age. At six and three, I thought they were a bit too young and that the fun would cease as soon as they realised they couldn’t just zoom round the rink, let alone stay upright. But I was completely wrong.
Rory was happy sledging around on his banana, but Arlo was really eager to master skating with one of the penguins. Every time he fell, I expected that to be the last straw. I braced myself for him to say he’d had enough, that it was too hard. But it never happened. It was slow going at first, but he could feel himself getting better, and that drove him forward. By the end of our session, he was twice as fast as he had been at the start, and twice as confident.
Watching Arlo on the ice that day made me super proud. Later that evening, Sam told me that he had felt the same – watching everything from the sidelines, he too had been beaming with pride at Arlo’s unexpected resolve.
Sometimes it’s easy to make assumptions on behalf of my children. I find I do it especially with Arlo, who wears his emotions so clearly on his face and is often quite predictable with his likes and dislikes.
Seeing all his determination on the ice that day made me think of something that I try to tell the kids ALL the time. “Don’t knock it before you’ve tried it”. It was a reminder to never be too quick to dismiss new experiences without giving them a go.
Because you never know what you might be missing out on.
I’m taking part in Vlogmas this year, uploading a daily vlog to my YouTube channel up until Christmas. I’ve made a little video of our ice skating experience that you can watch here:
Thanks to Disney and Mothers Meeting for inviting us along to ice skate at the Tower of London. Disney Frozen on Ice is currently touring the country, you can check here to find your nearest venue.