The Joys of Ice Skating

People have been ice skating for thousands of years; first as a means of transportation, and later for recreation. You and your family can continue this tradition of going ice skating at your local ice rink.

An ice rink with several skaters, and a Christmas tree in the background
Ice Skating at Skyline Park in Downtown Denver


Out and about:

Throughout the winter small outdoor and indoor ice skating rinks pop up around the city. Some seasonal rinks are:

My Favorite is the seasonal outdoor rink in Skyline Park in Downtown Denver:

The season outdoor ice rink at Promenade Shops at Centerra:!centerra/x7gi7

The seasonal outdoor ice rink in Downtown Louisville:

The seasonal outdoor ice rink in Nederland Colorado:

The outdoor ice rink in Colorado Springs (this rink closes in mid-January):

Ice skate on a lake in Evergreen Colorado:

This website has links to other seasonal outdoor rinks around the state:


Many of these rinks close for the season soon, so feel free to go to your closest indoor year round rink. Some of these rinks are (for these rinks, check their public skate schedules to see the open skate times):

Big Bear Ice Arena:

Joy Burns Arena at the University of Denver:

South Suburban Ice Arena:

The Edge Ice Arena:

The Ice Ranch:

Apex Center Ice Arena:

Ice Centre at the Promenade:

Boulder Valley Ice:

Check the individual rink’s websites for hours, price, and other information.

Your Turn:

Once you have gone on a skating trip with your family, you can make your own miniature rink at home.


For this project you will need:

Cardboard box with a smooth bottom, shoe boxes or shoe box tops work well for this project


White stiff paper or cardstock

Markers, crayons, or other drawing material


Paper clips


Markers, paper, tape, box lid, scissors, pencil, paperclips, and magnet to be used to make your ice skater and ice rink

To make your rink, first prepare your box. If you have a colored box, and you would like to make it white, feel free to cover it with a white piece of paper or a piece of wax paper.  I have decided to use the inside of the top of a box, so I don’t have to do anything with mine. Please make sure this surface is smooth so that your skaters can move easily over the surface of the box.  Also, feel free to decorate your ice rink however you want, just be sure to leave the center space on the box clear so that your skaters have a place to skate.

A cardboard box top that is an example of what can be used as an ice rink
Cardboard box top to be used as an ice rink


Next, make your ice skaters. To do this, draw your skaters on a piece of cardstock using your various drawing tools. I recommend not making them any taller than 2- 3 inches. If they are taller than this, they will have a hard time standing up when you attach them to the paper clip. Artist note: If you want a more vintage look to your skaters, visit the website, and do a search for “ice skaters” and “winter” to find a wide variety of drawings and pictures of old-timey ice skaters. You may have to do a little bit of digging on this site to find them, but they are there.

Pencil drawing of ice skater
Pencil drawing of ice skater
Skater colored with marker
Fully colored skater


Once your skaters are all drawn, cut them out of the paper.

Ice skater drawing being cut out with scissors
Skater being cut out

Next bend your paper clip so that it forms an “L.” To do this grab the two top curves of the paperclip and pull them away from each other, until the paperclip forms a ninety degree angle.

Paper clip being bent into a "L" shape to create a base for the skater
Paperclip being bent into a “L” shape.

Next, tape your paperclip to the back of the skater at their feet. You may have to play around with how you tape the paperclip on the skater, so that is stands up without falling over.

The paperclip is being taped onto the back of the skater at its feet so the skater can stand up
Tape your paperclip onto the back of the skater

Some skaters will stand up better than others.  I’ve also found that if you pull apart the bottom wire so it forms a “v” and wrap this bottom part with some tape, it works a little better.

The skater is on the rink, and it stands because of the bottom the paperclip forms a "v"
The skater stands better when the bottom of the paperclip is pulled into a “V”

Now you are ready for your skaters to go for a test skate. To do this, place your skater on the top of your rink with the paper clip side down. Hold the magnet on the underside of your cardboard rink until the magnet attracts the metal of the paper clip. You can then use the magnet to drag or “skate” the skater over the top of the rink.

The skater skates on the cardboard rink
Skater skating on your homemade rink

How is this similar or different to your experience skating on a real ice rink?

Is there anything you can do to your skater or rink to make this work better?

If you want to do other ice rink projects and experiments, google “make your own toy ice rink” to find a wide range of projects that you can do at home.  For a smaller version of an ice rink (this is originally where I got my idea) visit the Small World Land blog for their Altoids tin version:

Happy Skating!

We here at Inquisitive Lantern would love to see your and your children’s projects. Please share them and your feedback at the end of this post. Please note though that Inquisitive Lantern will approve all posts for their family friendly content before they become public.

2 comments on The Joys of Ice Skating

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