Ollie. Kickflip. McTwist.
Skateboarding, with its slouchy street style and inscrutable lingo, can be intimidating to the uninitiated -- a category that includes most parents. If the skater you love is about to celebrate a birthday, here is all you need to throw an awesome party. There are hundreds of skate parks in the United States -- indoor and outdoor facilities with ramps, curbs, steps, concrete bowls, and other obstacles that mimic the streetscape where skate tricks were invented. Check the Internet to find one near you. Skate time is typically inexpensive or even free. Beginners can share skateboards or pick up a basic model at a discount store. And many parks rent boards and safety equipment, though they might not advertise that they do. Helmets and pads sold for bicycling and inline skating are also acceptable for skateboarding.
Hire an instructor to run the party like a clinic; many skate parks have teaching staff, or skate shops can offer referrals. A good instructor will teach everybody something new and consonant with his or her ability. When the kids' energy starts to lag, lure them off the ramps with a tailgate lunch and take-home backpacks filled with stickers, comic books, and candy.
1. Start with 10-by-12-inch plastic shopping bags. Remove handles. Lay bag flat. Use a grommet tool and hammer to fix two grommets near bottom and one near top center, as shown. A hole punch will work too.
2. Thread a 1-inch-wide-by-54-inch-long shoelace through each bottom grommet. Pass both laces through the top grommet; knot all laces on inside of bag to secure.
3. Close top with Velcro dots; edge with bright hazard tape.
4. Fill with comic books, candy, hinged key tags with picture inserts, stickers, chain wallet, and a palm-size skateboard.
Chain Wallet How-To
Start with a 3 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch sheet of craft foam.
1. Lay an 11-inch piece of striped grosgrain ribbon lengthwise down the center, and tape in place using low tack tape; fold the extra 1/2 inch over on one end, and tape. (Don't secure with pins -- they leave marks.) Decrease the tension on your sewing machine, and stitch the ribbon along both edges. Remove tape.
2. Turn over, ribbon side down, and fold up the bottom third with the unfinished edge. Stitch both sides closed to make a pocket.
3. Apply Velcro strips to the outside bottom of the pocket and inside the top flap. Use a grommet tool to install a grommet in the flap. Attach a long ball-chain key ring.
Flag Garland How-To
We made our flags using 12-by-18-inch sheets of craft foam (each sheet makes two flags). Each flag measures 9 inches across the top and has a 2-inch wide blunted tip. Use a ruler to draw straight lines from points 1 1/2 inches down from the top corners to the two points at the bottom that form the tip; cut out. Punch holes at 1 1/2-inch intervals along the top edge of each flag, and string on a clothesline, leaving a small space between flags.
Air: To ride with all four wheels off the ground, or a move done this way.
Backside: Approaching an obstacle with one's back facing it; the opposite of frontside.
Carve: To perform a wide, sweeping turn toward an obstacle.
Goofy-Foot: Riding with the strong (generally, right) foot forward; the opposite of regular-foot.
Fakie: Skating backward with the weak foot forward on the board.
Grind: To ride with the trucks along the edge of a curb, bench, or other ledge; or a move done this way.
Nose Grind: A grind on the front truck only.
50-50 Grind:A grind on both trucks at the same time.
Ollie:The basis of most tricks; the skater hits down hard on the tail end of the board and jumps up as the nose rises and the board takes off.
Nollie: An ollie performed by jamming down on the front of the board instead of the tail.
Kickflip: Skater flips the board over and lands back on it.
Half-Pipe: A U-shaped ramp.
Caballerial (or Cab): An advanced trick performed on the half-pipe; skater rides fakie, does a 360-degree turn in the air, and lands riding forward; named for pro skater Steve Caballero.
McTwist: Another advanced move done on the half-pipe; skater does a 540-degree turn upside down
Boardslide: The skater lifts the front end of the board over a rail and slides along on the underside of the deck between the trucks; opposite of a lipslide in which the back end goes over the rail.
Noseslide: A slide done along the underside of the front end of the deck.
Deck: Layers of laminated wood ply with a raised tail and nose.
Grip Tape: Material applied to deck for traction.
Trucks: Cast-metal housing for axles and wheels, they also help the board turn; attaches to deck with nuts and bolts.
Wheels: Made of urethane compounds; specific to various terrains.
Bearings: Two within each wheel with a spacer in between.
Egg Salad Pinwheels
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Carrot and Cucumber Refrigerator Pickles
Tex-Mex Chopped Salad
Caramel and Almond Popcorn
Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts
Apricot Fruit Leather Rolls