X-Treme Games

Length of Program

1 hour

Program Description

This X-Treme Games program will give teens an opportunity to participate in fun physical activities and to learn about extreme sports that get adrenaline going. Many suggestions for activities for teens are provided from which librarians may choose, including the following.

  • Teens demonstrate their skill with bikes, skateboards, or skates
  • Participate in a paintball party
  • Learn about Poi and practice Glo Poi
  • Participate in a Hula Hoop® Jam
  • Participate in field day activities

In addition, many suggestions are provided for guest presenters, including bike and skateboard enthusiasts, mountain climbers, motorcyclists, skydivers, and water skiers. Guest presenters can talk about their experiences and show equipment and films. Design your program based on the talents and skills of your teens and community members, your budget, and available outdoor facilities.

Extreme games and sports are very popular with teens because of the element of danger and because most of the sports are not in the mainstream. They are often variations on more traditional sports. For example, snowboarding is a combination of surfing and skiing. To learn more about extreme sports, visit Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_sport.

Developmental Needs and Assets

This program helps teens build assets such as setting boundaries and expectations, using time constructively, developing a commitment to learning, and developing a positive identity. The activities provided in this program will allow teens to set higher expectations for themselves, to see that reading can be fun, to learn to plan and make decisions, and to develop personal power and gain self-esteem.

Books to Display

  • A Beginners Guide to Very Cool Skateboarding Tricks by Aaron Rosenburg.
  • Aggressive Inline Skating by Ann Weil.
  • BMX History by Brian D. Fiske.
  • Boards: The Art and Design of the Skateboard by Jacob Hoye.
  • Climb! Your Guide to Bouldering, Sport Climbing, Trad Climbing, Ice Climbing, Alpinism and More by Pete Takeda.
  • Extreme Sports: In Search of the Ultimate Thrill by Joe Tomlinson.
  • Paintball by Teri Sievert.
  • Rippin’ Ramps: A Skateboarder’s Guide to Riding Half-Pipes by Justin Hocking.
  • Snowboarding by Clive Gifford.

Books to Booktalk

  • Amped: How Big Air, Big Dollars, and a New Generation Took Sports to the Extreme by David Browne.
  • Awesome Athletes by Ron Horton.
  • How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen.
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
  • Maximum Ride: the Angel Experiment by James Patterson.
  • MX: The Way of a Motocrosser by Davey Coombs.
  • Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson.
  • Tony Hawk and His Team: Skateboarding Superstars by Lita Sorenen.
  • Within Reach: My Everest Story by Mark Pfetzer and Jack Galvin.


Prepare a display with books, DVDs and CDs about extreme sports. For example, display non-fiction books on paintball, skateboarding, field day games, and other sports that teens like to play. Enhance the display with ropes, flags, orange safety cones and other props.

Bulletin Board

Create a bulletin board with pictures of people playing extreme games. These might include BMX biking, skateboarding, paintball, snowboarding, and surfing. If you know of teens who participate in these types of sports, provide a picture and a profile of them and include the sport they play, why they enjoy that particular sport, and the title of their favorite book.


Provide high energy snacks such as Wasabi peas, poki sticks, Gatorade, water, granola bars, dried fruit such as dried apricots or cranberries, and trail mix.


Give the teens some interesting and cool items relating to sports. Some examples are whistle bracelets, surfboard key chains, medals, and other items that can be purchased online from party supply stores such as Oriental Trading Company at www.orientaltrading.com.

Games and Activities

Strut Your Stuff

There are many teens in every community who can do great tricks on their bikes, skateboards, or skates. Sign the teens up to demonstrate their talents. Provide a space in the library parking lot for this activity. Provide music and a portable sound system and ask a teen volunteer to MC the event.

X-treme Paintball Art Party

Fill water balloons with tempera paint. Make sure to use the powdered, water-based paint. Lay out butcher paper in the parking lot or on a grassy area outside the library. Have the teens make extreme art by throwing the balloons at the paper to make designs. Hang the art in the library or give each teen a section to take home. If you decide to hang it in the library, ask the teens to sign their names on the artwork. This activity can be messy, so invite the teens to dress accordingly and have smocks or extra shirts on hand for them to wear.

Glo Poi

It is believed that Poi originated with the Maori people of New Zealand. Today it is an exciting performance art incorporating dance, juggling, and spinning a variety of objects, including torches, fluorescent streamers, and glow sticks that make beautiful circular patterns in the air. Invite a Poi performance artist or performing group to demonstrate Poi dancing and juggling. Provide glo sticks or balls so the artists can teach teens some Glo Poi. For more information, see Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poi_%28juggling%29.

Hula Hoop® Jam

Hula Hooping isn’t just for kids anymore. Hula Hoopers are found at festivals and concerts of jambands such as The String Cheese Incident. Celebrate World Hoop Day on August 8, 2008 (see www.worldhoopday.com). Host a hoop jam and invite a Hula Hoop® group to the library for a demonstration. Invite a drumming circle to play. Provide plain hoops, fitness hoops, and/or LED hoops for the teens to try. Or let the teens make their own hoops from polyethylene tubing. They can cover them with fabric or plastic tape, or glow-in-the dark, patterned, or sparkling tape. They may be made with clear tubing and filled with plastic balls, glitter, or even water to produce visual or audio effects when used. For more information, see Hooping.org Magazine at www.hooping.org.

X-treme Field Day

Create a field day event for your teens. Have 3-legged races, egg tosses, relay races, and sack races.

Prepare a track for the 3-legged race. The teens form pairs with their legs tied together and the first team to run the length of the track wins the contest.

The egg toss can be messy and you may want to lay a plastic mat on the floor or parking lot before you begin. The teens form pairs and begin by standing close together and tossing the eggs. After each toss, the pairs take one step back and toss the egg again. If a pair drops their egg, that team is out. The last pair with an unbroken egg wins. Provide prizes such as ribbons for the winners of each race. Provide towels, soap, and water for teens to wash the raw egg off their hands. Allergies to eggs are relatively common. List this activity in your flyers and publicity, and prior to play announce that some people are allergic to eggs. Suggest that teens who are allergic not participate in this activity.

Climbing Wall

Set up a portable climbing wall or other inflatable extreme sports equipment at the library. Party suppliers and local sporting goods stores may be willing to donate the equipment or provide it at a discount. Teens will enjoy trying an extreme sport in a safe environment. Have plenty of adult supervision. Check local ordinances regarding inflatable or mobile equipment that is set up on city or county property. Liability insurance to cover any damage to the equipment may also be required by the rental company. Look locally for the equipment, and check out some of the options at Fun Makers.com at www.fun-makers.com/interactive.html.

More Activities

The 2006 Texas Reading Club manual includes a program with additional ideas for your extreme sports event at www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/projects/trc/2006/manual/yaextreme.html.

Guest Speakers

While many extreme sports can not be fully demonstrated in the library, the athletes may be able to demonstrate exercises that improve their technique, how to use a specific piece of equipment, or a tricky move. For example, surfers have to learn to “pop up” from a flat position on the board to a standing position, which they must practice on dry land before hitting the waves! If the sport does not lend itself to any type of demonstration, ask the presenter to share video clips, slides, or photographs. There are sports enthusiasts and athletes in every community. Here are some for you to consider for your program.

  • Invite a local bike shop owner to discuss various types of bikes and the extreme sport or trick for which they are used.
  • Invite a skateboard enthusiast or the owner of a local shop with skateboards to show and discuss various boards, wheels, and accessories.
  • If you have a local gym with a climbing wall, invite an instructor to talk about climbing, climbing equipment, and to tell stories about the sport.
  • Invite a variety of extreme athletes, such as a mountain climber, motorcyclist, skydiver, or water skier, to talk about their experiences, show equipment, and perhaps show films.
  • Invite a breakdance group to perform for the teens.

Web Sites

This web site from ESPN includes information on events currently happening, news, and gossip. It also includes video clips and podcasts.
Xtreme Sports
A Think quest project that highlights extreme sports, the techniques needed to be successful at them, and injuries people can sustain while practicing the sports.

Video Games

  • ATV Off Road Fury.
  • Formula One Championship Edition.
  • Forza Motorsport 2.
  • SSX Blur.
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.


  • All My Crazy Friends. (105 minutes)
  • Inside X: ESPN’s X Games IX. (60 minutes)

Professional Resources

2006 Texas Reading Club: Extreme Sports
The Texas State Library’s site for the 2006 manual includes program ideas on extreme sports.
ALA Reading Challenge
ALA and the WWE sponsored an event for reluctant readers. This webpage has book lists and event ideas for those who like the WWE.
Extreme Sports
Wikipedia, the online wiki encyclopedia, features an informative article on extreme sports.
Hooping.org Magazine
This is a hub for the worldwide hooping community and the one-stop online source for all things hooping. It provides advice, instructions, videos, photos, and other helpful information for hoopers.
Oriental Trading Company
An online business that has party favors and interesting gifts.
Page last modified: August 15, 2011