Kids Party Ideas: A Roller Skating Party

Roller skating parties never go out of style! Here are some fresh ideas to plan your child's roller skating-themed birthday party.

First, when planning the party, keep in mind the age of your child and his or her friends. Pre-teens and young teens are most likely to enjoy a roller skating party, whereas older teens might think that sort of party is too "babyish," and very young children need more supervision than can be given at a busy rink, not to mention that they might not even know how to skate! Make sure that your child is excited about the idea of a roller skating party, and ask for his or her input on games, refreshments, and other party details.

Location

Most roller skating rinks offer party packages. The price of the package is, on average, about $35 per child and includes, at the least, admission and skate rental for each child and use of the party room. Some rinks have packages that include cake and drinks, party supplies like cups and plates, and even party favors.

An all-inclusive birthday party package can certainly take away much of the stress of party planning, but if your child wants to invite lots of friends, the cost per child can quickly add up. If you prefer to plan a custom party, there are many options for locations besides the roller rink. Many parks have open concrete areas; however, look into policies for public use before planning the party. If you belong to a gym or community center, perhaps you could rent an indoor basketball or tennis court for an afternoon. And if you or another family member has a large room with a cement floor (like a basement), this can be easily converted into your very own roller rink for the day.

Invitations

Prime your guests for a roller skating party with a themed invitation. You can easily make one-of-a-kind invitations by cutting a roller skate out of construction paper, adding construction paper wheels, and "lacing up" the invitation with yarn. Or find or draw a picture of a skate, make colored copies, and glue the picture to the front of the invitation. Inside the invitation, note the date, start time, and end time of the party (afternoon parties work well for younger children, but older kids might prefer a Friday or Saturday evening party). Indicate whether the party will be outside or inside so that the children can dress accordingly, depending upon the season and weather. You also might want to ask that parents stay to help supervise, especially for children in the 6 to 9 age group.

Decorations

If the party will be outside or in a roller rink, then you can keep the decorations simple. Some colorful balloons and streamers are probably sufficient, or maybe several strings of colored lights for a nighttime party. However, if the party is inside at a private home, then you can have more decorating fun. For example, you can make your own shimmering disco ball out of small mirrored tiles or old CDs and a ball of floral foam. In addition, kids love blacklights---pick up a few cheap blacklights and some glow-in-the-dark posters to keep them amused for hours.

Refreshments

Most roller rinks have refreshment stands, which serve pizza, hot dogs, candy, and soda. Simple party foods like these are good choices for a skating party. Have plenty of drinks on hand for thirsty skaters!

Games and Activities

Of course, the kids will want to free skate, but you might also want to include some of the following skating games to keep the party moving:

-Younger children might like traditional roller skating rink games like The Hokey Pokey and The Limbo Stick.

-For older children, set up a skating obstacle course.

-Everyone enjoys a good race! Have team relay races, individual speed races, and backward skating races.

-Consider hiring a professional skater to teach skating tricks like backward skating, figure 8s, and jumps (just make sure that all kids have the appropriate safety gear).

In addition, if your child and his or her friends enjoy arts and crafts, set up a table where they can make their own roller skate pompoms. To make this simple craft, cut balls of colorful yarn into 3- to 4-inch pieces. Grab a thick handful of yarn, and tie a long piece (14 or 16 inches) of matching yarn around the center. Tie the other end of the long piece of yarn around a second handful of yarn. Trim the yarn and fluff to form pompoms. Make a second set, and then tie around your roller skates---instant style for your skates!

Favors

Don't forget the party favors! For a roller skating party, you might want to stuff each favor bag with a glow-in-the-dark bracelet, a roller skating accessory like fancy laces, or a roller skate-shaped keychain. Fill up the bags with candy and inexpensive roller skate-themed pencils, erasers, and stickers.

Safety

Once the party is planned and the guests have arrived, wouldn't you like to be able to relax and enjoy the party? You won't be able to relax if you're worried about safety! Check ahead of time that the skating location is smooth, even, and free of rocks and debris. Have plenty of adults on hand to supervise, and you might even want to request that all children wear knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets. Finally, even with precautions, accidents can happen. Have each child's parent or guardian sign a waiver that relieves you of liability, and if the child's parent is not staying for the party, have him or her sign a form that allows you to authorize emergency medical care for the child. These simple precautions will help you to enjoy all of your hard work. Now, happy skating!

© High Speed Ventures 2011