Upper Arlington News

Frosty's Playground

No ice needed for this skating rink

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Students in Beth McCormick's fourth-grade class at Windermere Elementary School in Upper Arlington skate on a plastic "ice rink" during physical education class Dec. 12. SuperGames, a Worthington game company, donated use of the rink for a week. It uses hard plastic material that mimics ice and students wear regular ice skates while using the rink.

Thanks to modern technology, Windermere Elementary School students were able to ice skate indoors last week in the school gymnasium -- without the ice.

The school has set up the iceless ice rink called Frosty's Playground for the past five years, according to physical education teacher Adam Moore.

"We have it up for a week to celebrate the holiday season before our holiday break," he said. "It's a great way to teach kids to ice skate."

Students skated on the rink from Monday, Dec. 9, through Friday, Dec. 13.

Moore said the activity is also offered to celebrate successfully getting through the first half of the school year.

Frosty's Playground is provided by SuperGames, located in Worthington; the slippery plastic surface measures 45 feet by 30 feet.

"SuperGames donated the iceless ice rink, which is made of a plastic material similar to a cutting board," Moore said. "It is slippery, but a little slower than real ice.

"The kids can use real ice skates and it is a fun way to be physically active."

One of his students, fourth-grader Wendy Frank, who is also deaf, was a natural, sliding around the surface and surprising the other students with her skating skills.

"The kids were in shock," Moore said. "And if you could see her face when she went around the rink -- she was on cloud nine and was suddenly the cool kid everyone wanted to be like."

He said all grade levels were able to use the rink, although first- and second-graders learned to skate without the sharp-bladed skates.

"They learned to skate wearing their socks," he said.

Moore said SuperGames also donated 75 pairs of ice skates, in all sizes.

With the gymnasium decked in holiday lights and other decorations, the students enjoyed Frosty's Playground all week, he said.

"I love to do nontraditional activities whenever we can, because it provides an activity for kids that may not like organized sports," he said. "My philosophy as an educator is to offer opportunities for children that they will remember.

"What I like about the ice rink is that it really gives students who are not standout athletes a chance to shine," he said.

Moore said the holidays offer a chance to do something a little less traditional to "wow" the kids and keep everyone interested in physical activity.