UNDATED -- Colder temperatures are on the way and it means kids are going to want to get on the ice and play pond hockey. But, officials are warning parents to exercise patience.

Mike Martin is the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources District Supervisor for the St. Cloud area. He says we'll need a few weeks of below-freezing temperatures to make ice thick enough to walk or skate on.

Martin says parents should always check the ice thickness before letting kids on.  Remember to chisel or drill holes in the ice in several locations as ice never forms evenly.

The DNR is asking anglers to be patient and extra cautious this time of year. Martin says have a safety plan in place before venturing out on the ice. It's a good idea to have ice picks, a life jacket and ice cleats on. He says to use a buddy system and tie a rope to each member of the fishing party.

Finally, it's a good idea to check with bait shops or resorts in the area for the latest ice conditions.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources