While kids with winter birthdays can't throw an outdoor pool party, they can embrace the season by hosting an ice-skating birthday party. These skating games are twice as nice when played on the ice, even for novice skaters.
The beauty of this game is that it's random who is "out," rather than basing the game on skill. Therefore, it's better for skaters who are younger or not as strong on the ice. To play:
- Number each corner of the ice skating rink. Write the numbers on small pieces of paper and place them inside of an ice skate.
- Play music while the kids skate casually around the rink, but stop the music at random intervals. When the music stops, everyone must skate to one of the corners.
- Pull one of the notes out of the ice skate and call out the number. Everyone in that corner is out of the game.
- Put the paper back into the skate, start the music again and continue playing until only one skater remains. That player is the winner.
This game is played similar to the classic party game of freeze dance.
- Kids skate along to the music in whatever manner they wish, perhaps while performing some of their favorite skating moves.
- When the music stops, all skaters must freeze in place. The last player to freeze is out.
- Play continues until all but one player has been called out. The last player left on the ice is the winner.
This game takes a little bit of strength and coordination, so it's probably better for older skaters or those with a little bit of experience on the ice.
- Have kids line up with their hands on each other’s waists, like when forming a conga line.
- Play some music and have the kids wind around the rink while linked together in the chain.
- Gradually increase the speed of the music, and challenge the skaters to speed up as the music does. Any kids who let go or break the chain are out of the game.
- Play continues until only two players are left. They are the winners.
This game is a twist on a traditional skating race.
- Make a starting line on the ice, then place two kids behind the line.
- On the start signal, these skaters may take three skating strides and then glide over the ice until they stop. The one who glides the farthest wins, while the other player is out.
- Keep competing like this in pairs of two until everyone has had a turn.
- All of the winners will then compete against each other to see who can glide the farthest to win the game.
To make the game more challenging, you could also have the second round of skaters compete with one-foot glides.
This game is modeled after the traditional party activity of hot potato, but it has been modified to play on the ice.
- Have your players skate freestyle around the rink.
- As they are skating, toss a foam ball to a random skater. That player must pass the ball off to the first player to cross his path. Kids will keep passing the ball from skater to skater until the music stops.
- Whoever is holding the ball when the music stops is out. Play continues in this manner until only one player is left. That skater is the winner.
Load up on inexpensive prizes, such as candy or $5 gift cards, to give out as prizes for this game.
- Write the names of several locations on the ice skating rink on small pieces of paper. Depending on the rink, these locations can include places like the red line, the entrance gate, the corner closest to the concession stand, and so on.
- Play music and have kids skate around the rink.
- When the music stops, a location is pulled out and read to the skaters. The skater closest to that location wins a trinket prize.
Follow the Leader
This game is played like the well-known schoolyard game of Follow the Leader, except that it is played on the ice.
- Have skaters line up on the ice. Choose one to be the leader.
- Tell the leader to skate for a few feet, performing her best figure skating techniques as she does.
- All of the other players must follow her lead by repeating the same moves as they skate the same distance. Any player who fails to mimic the leader is out of the game. If all of the players can correctly follow the leader, then the leader is out, and a new leader is chosen.
- Play continues until one player remains. That skater is the winner.
This game takes keen observational skills, so it's better for older kids.
- Write several words that have to do with ice-skating on small pieces of paper. Fold them and place them inside of an ice skate.
- Gather the players on the sidelines. One player will choose a paper from the skate, look at the word (without saying it aloud) and then “spell it out” by skating. A few suggestions for words to use include "ice," "skates," "figure 8," "rink," "blade," and "birthday" (if celebrating a birthday).
- The other players must watch the motion of the skater’s feet to try and guess the word she is writing on the ice. The first player to guess correctly takes the next turn at writing a word with skates.
Ice Skate Pass
This game takes place off the ice, so it's fun to play before or after the kids have had their turn on the rink.
- Have party guests take off their shoes and sit in a circle.
- Hand one player a pair of ice skates. Play some music.
- While the music is playing, the player holding the skates must put them on, lace them up, and then unlace them, remove them and pass them to the player on her right. The second player must do the same.
- As the skates are passed around the circle, players must hurry to get them on and off and pass them along because anytime the music stops, a player wearing or holding the skates is out of the game.
- The game continues until only one player remains.