Skating is not only great exercise, it's a fun activity the whole family can enjoy. Whether you are roller skating, in-line skating or ice skating, the activity can be even more enjoyable with skating games. Many games typically played on dry land can be successfully modified for the skating rink -- basketball, for example -- but you can also play games specifically to build confidence on the ice.
Traditional Children's Games
Play the popular children's game "Four Corners" on roller skates. One player is chosen to be "it." Designate four areas of the rink and label them with a number or color. Players skate to an area and "it" calls out one of the numbers or colors. All the players in the corresponding area are out of the game and must sit down. The remaining players skate to another area and the game continues. When there are only four players left, inform them that only one player is allowed in each area. "It" continues calling numbers until only one player is left.
Ice Skating Games
Set up a fun obstacle course tailored to the experience level of the participants. Use markers to draw the start and finish lines on the ice. You might also draw a wiggly line for skaters to follow or two lines skaters must stay between. Include objects for the ice skaters to skate around and set up small jumps -- by laying a stick on two blocks -- for participants to jump or step over.
Games for Beginners
Help beginning skaters to develop confidence with a game to build skill. Get a selection of different colored cups, with small plastic toys in matching colors. Each player is given several toys in each color, and the first one to place all the toys in the matching cups is the winner. Make the game easier by moving the cups closer together, and as players' skills improve, gradually up the difficulty by increasing the distance between the cups.
Play a relay race by splitting the participants into two teams. Split each team into two halves. Each half should stand on opposite sides of the rink. Participants from each team take turns skating from one side of the rink to the other and passing a baton -- or any convenient object -- to another team member until every team member has crossed the rink. The team that completes this the fastest is the winning team.
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