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It Is Easy To Make An Ice Skating Rink In Your Yard - The Way We Made Ours

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

What do Canadians do in Winter? Among many other things, they skate!

Irene is ready for her ice skating class
Irene is ready for her ice skating class

Our daughters are active kids, and being Canadians, we thought it was essential that they start to learn how to enjoy snow and cold outdoors. Living in a country where half the year is cold does not mean that we have to stop enjoying the outdoors!

Irene was already enjoying snow and ice. At times when I am cleaning our driveway, she stays out and plays with snow for hours. Just like me, she is an all weather girl. Sofia is not so much though, not yet.

So, in the Winter of 2021, I finally decided to go for it. We would build an Ice Skating Rink on our backyard! Irene was 6-year old at that time and Sofia was 3. That was 2 years ago and I am very pleased that we did it at that time. The result of that DYI project of that time is that Irene and Sofia both love to skate now. They now go to regular skating classes and aim to learn figure skating.

While planning for the project, I saw that one of my neighbors got a full ice rink package from Amazon. I decided to go custom.

My plan was to build a frame made of 1 inch x 6 inches x 8 ft lumbers. Got a strong large white tarp from Amazon too. I measured a rectangular area that would be 3 foot smaller all sides than the tarp; remember to keep ample extra room as it will become shorter when the rink is filled with water and it will become very difficult to fix. With all the water in the rink, the sides of the tarps need to rest very comfortably on the top of the frame, and on the grass outside the frame. As the backyard is not completely level, I had to buy few more pieces of the lumbers to make the corners higher so that water does not overflow. Once I had the materials, it was a matter of a hammer, nails and a impact driver.

Once the frame was in place, we wrapped the tarp over the frame all sides to create the pond. Next, it was time for water. It was not difficult, filled the pond in no time. It was already cold, around -15 degree Celsius when we built the rink. After we filled it water, we waited two days for it to become solid ice. Remember to turn off outdoor water sprout once you are done.

One thing that we did not anticipate. It snowed, and that was not good for the rink. As the ice was still not completely solid, snow got stuck with the water and eventually became hard and created very uneven surface in places on the rink. Got it sorted eventually by breaking it and by flooding it with more water.

Something that I must mention. I have very clearly learned as a parent that we need to participate in the activities of our kids if we want them to fully enjoy what they are doing. Same rule goes with skating, swimming, crafts or anything else. So, when the kids were learning to skate, I did too. I never did skating before, I did it with them. I know I am not very good at it, but I don't fall anymore!

Isn't that an achievement?


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