Unless you own your own ice rink or have access to a pond that is always frozen solid, your children's best bet for a place to hone their hockey skills is your driveway. Here are some of the things you will need in order to turn your driveway into an off-ice practice arena for your kids.
Buy a Regulation-size Hockey Net
While you could just set up cones to simulate a net, having an official-size net will allow your children to practice top-shelf and wrap-around goals. In addition, you can purchase targets that you can position at the four corners of the net for them to shoot at. There are also specially designed targets designed like goalies with cutaways for the "five holes"—the spots where a goalie is most vulnerable.
A Smooth Driveway Surface
If your driveway has a lot of cracks or potholes, you should hire a service to fill them. A cracked driveway will make it hard for your children to practice their stickhandling skills as the rough surface will cause the puck to jump erratically. Plus, a crack or hole could cause your child to take a nasty spill. Once the cracks are filled, you should have your driveway seal coated to protect the surface and to provide an even smoother surface for your child's hockey practice sessions.
Buy Street Hockey Pucks or Balls
Regular hockey pucks can't glide on asphalt or concrete surfaces like they do on ice. So that's why you need to purchase inline hockey pucks, which are designed to glide on these type of surfaces. Of course, inline pucks work best if your driveway is smooth and crack-free. Some players like to use hockey balls, but they do have their detractors who claim that these balls don't do a good job of simulating the feel of a puck.
Hire a Coach
Ask around your rink to see if there are any coaches willing to come out to your house to help your child with dry-land training such as shooting the puck and stickhandling. It's not unusual at most rinks to find talented college or high school players that coach youth players. For example, in Connecticut, two high school varsity hockey players started a business where they train players in their own driveways.
With a little preparation, your driveway can become the perfect substitute for a day at the ice rink for your child.