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About Arlene

Rock N' Roll

Into the New Year

  • Decorations, Music, Games

  • Supply List



"Rock N' Roll into the New Year" is one of my favorite events. Although I normally host this event in January, you can host it at any time. Simply switch the name around a bit and it becomes "Rock and Roll" into Summer,  Spring...etc. You can even change it to "Rock and Roll into the New "School" year...a great way to send them back to school.

As long as you have LOTS of the '50s and 60's music, a few fun competitions, easy to eat food and some cute decorations...there is no right or wrong way to host your Rock-N-Roll event. 

Time: 2-3 hours (I normally host this event on a Friday 6-9 pm).


Bonus: Promote this event as a "date night" for mom and dad! Drop the kiddos off and spend some time together...or with other couples from the church. 

View the pics below and get started on your own "Rock N' Roll" event.

Sample Pics

Sample Pics
Flyer and Slide Sample
Rock and Roll Into The New Year Flyer 2022.jpg
Rock and Roll Into The New Year Slide 2022.jpg


A Rock and Roll into the New Year event is...all about the music.

Give the children a few simple instructions and then let the music guide the event.

Start the music before the children arrive. It is a perfect mood-setter. (I play it while I

am setting up for the sets the mood for me as well.)

1. As the children arrive, guide them to the hula hoops. Instruct them to practice

while they wait for everyone else to arrive.

2. Once everyone has arrived, have the children select a seat at one of the tables. This seat is where they will sit each time you take a break from the action (eating, sundae's, coke floats, etc.) This will be their SPOT for the evening.  Their "SPOT" is where they will leave anything that they brought with them...coats, sweater, their extra pair of socks, any prizes that they may win and any food that they are still snacking on.  

3. Decorate your tables in advance. Place party favors at each SPOT...cute plastic (lens removed) glasses for them to wear, lots of bubble gum scattered around and a

bottle of coca-cola for each of them. (plus anything else you choose). I generally create boy tables and girl tables. I place black boy style glasses at the boy's tables and colorful girl styles at the girl's tables. I do allow the kids to move around so if they want to move to a different table then they simply switch the glasses around.

4. Once the children have their SPOTS selected and settled in, gather the kids into the

center of the room for dance lessons.

Let's Rock-N'-Roll


The evening will begin with dance lessons.

 A good part of the evening will revolve around this section so read it closely.

You may teach the dance lessons yourself or you may ask another leader or youth to take on the task of learning and teaching the dances.

It is a good idea to have a separate playlist ready with the 6 dance/activity songs on it.

You will be teaching the children how to do the twist, the hand jive, and the bunny hop. These are all super, super, super quick and easy dances and the kids LOVE them.

You can find dance instructions on you-tube.

It doesn't matter if the children dance correctly...the fun is the dance itself. 

Start by teaching the Bunny Hop first. It is the easiest dance and everyone is busy

looking at their own feet instead of anyone else. This is also a group dance...not an individual dance...makes it easier for the children to learn. (Basic conga line)

After the children have learned all three dances, explain to them that they are to rush to the center of the room and start dancing any time they hear one of these three songs. 

 The first one who gets to the center of the room wins a small prize (very small prizes)


Play a few seconds of the Bazooka bubble gum song, the hula hoop song and the

limbo song for the children. Explain that they are to  listen for these three songs as well...when they hear one of these songs play, they are to:

  • Run select a hula hoop and start twirling 

  • Run grab a piece of bubble gum from the table and attempt to blow a bubble. (Most of them will already have gum in their mouth.)

  • Run grab the limbo stick 

(The 3 choices listed above obviously depends on which song plays.)​

Mix these above 6 songs (Bunnyhop, twist, hand jive, Bazooka bubble gum song, hula hoop song and limbo song) into your playlist. I would add one every 2-3 songs to keep things lively and kids entertained.  

For instance:

At the Hop (Danny and the Juniors)

Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley and the Comets)


Rock and Roll Music (Chuck Berry)

Rockin'Robin - Bobby Day

Yackety Yak - The Coasters


Please Mr. Postman (The Marvelettes)


Sh-Boom - (The Chords)

Splish Splash - (Bobby Darin)


Tutti Frutti - (Little Richard)

Be Bop a Lula - (Gene Vincent)



Why Do Fools Fall in Love - (Frankie Lymon & the teenagers)

Johnny B Goode (Chuck Berry)

Mama Said (The Shirelles)


Shake Rattle and Roll (Big Joe Turner)


Once you have taught the 3 dances and explained the contests, start the music...and

serve hot dogs, chips, and soda.

Save the sundaes and coke floats for later in the evening.

If a dance song or contest song begins during mealtime...let them run do the dance

and then return to finish their meal. Tonight is about fun...not manners. :)






Work in ice cream sundae's, photo booth time  and coke floats into the evening

(space these 3 activities out approx. 30-45 minutes apart.)


Have a few extra items laid out and available for the children to do at any time. Items that they can pick up and do whenever they are bored...such as the hula hoops, checkers, etc.

Some kids get bored very easily...having an extra distraction or two for these children is always a good idea.

Be prepared with some off the cuff competitions anytime that the

kids seem to be getting restless. 

Toss in a Limbo competition, a spur of the moment twist or hand jive competition, A hula hoop  "around the arm" contest, a hula hoop "around the neck" contest, etc. You don't have to wait for the hula hoop songs to begin...just throw in an actual competition to whatever song is playing at the time. 

 You can also announce a BIG bubble blowing contest in 10 minutes...then 5...then 3, etc. Kids are allowed to pick two pieces of gum, chew it and be prepared for the BIG contest! 


Or... pull out the socks and sock slide/dance to song or two. The kids just put on socks and slide around on the floor to the beat of the music.  

Note: Kids socks will be wet from their sweaty shoes. Ask them to bring an extra pair of socks. Have a few extra pairs on hand for kids who

forget to bring theirs.

Make sure to write down your "spur of the moment" activity ideas and post it where you can see it easily. It isn't easy coming up with extra things to do while in the middle of an event.



Have extra activities ready to go but forget about them if the kids are having fun!

These extra activities are to be used as a "time fillers" or "mood changers" only!

 Toss in an extra contest or two and then get back on schedule once one of the activity songs begins to play.

Let the children be your guide! If they are having fun...let them have fun!

When the gang gets restless...toss in a quick and easy activity.


Make sure that you dress up for the event as well...participate with the kids!

Rolled up jeans, a white shirt and white socks are great...a puddle skirt is even better.


Take Pics, Take Pics, Take Pics!

Take short video clips, take short video clips, take short video clips!

If you have extra help, assign the picture-taking duties to someone else!


Know anyone with a classic car? My husband brought out 1960

Chevy Impala last year and the pics are adorable!

Set up a fun photo booth! Take a break from the activities later in the evening and get some cute pics! 


Make sure you have some extra help with this event.

It should run smoothly however dividing up the work is always a good idea!

This is a perfect event for some kids from your youth (student ministry) department.

Consider having help with the following:

  • Someone to teach dance lessons 

  • Someone to help at the food table (basically...making sure the

kids don't over-do)

  • Decorating

  • Sundae table

  • Coke Float Table

  • Set up

  • Photographer


Have your dance/activity flash drive ready near the end of the evening.

Start the dance/activity music when the parents begin to arrive.

Parents will LOVE to see the children dancing and having fun!



Table Decorations:

Consider decorating your tables with red and black table cloths, red napkins, bottles of coca-cola, fun eyeglasses for each seat, bubble gum, etc

Other colors will work as well however the red and black theme is easy to do, easy to find and appealing to both boys and girls.

Create a cute photo booth with 50's/60's props.


Watch after Halloween sales to purchase some cute props cheap!

Create a fun photo booth for taking lots of great pics!



The music is KEY to a successful 50's/60's evening.

It will be your guide for the entire evening. Activity songs will be mixed in sporadically with your 50's'60's songs guiding the event along. 

Download 50's or 60's music from i-tunes. You will need approximately 15 songs

(If you already have some 50's or 60's music then you are all set)

Create a playlist, hit start and let the music run all night long.

Lineup Suggestions:

At the Hop (Danny and the Juniors)

Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley and the Comets)

Rock and Roll Music (Chuck Berry)

Rockin'Robin - Bobby Day

Yackety Yak - The Coasters

Please Mr. Postman (The Marvelettes)

Sh-Boom - (The Chords)

Splish Splash - (Bobby Darin)

Tutti Frutti - (Little Richard)

Be Bop a Lula - (Gene Vincent)

Why Do Fools Fall in Love - (Frankie Lymon & the teenagers)

Johnny B Goode (Chuck Berry)

Mama Said (The Shirelles)

Shake Rattle and Roll (Big Joe Turner)

Big Girls Don't Cry (The Four Season) 

Stupid Cupid

Wipe Out (The Surfaris

Yakety Yak

Splish Splash (At the Hop Album)

Bye Bye Love (The Everly Brothers)

Please Mr. Postman (The Marvelettes)

See you Later Alligator (At the Hop Album)

Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard)

Rockin Robbin - Bobby Day

That'll be the day (Buddy Holly)

Tossin and Turnin (Bobby Lewis)




Dance Lessons: 

Hand Jive

Bunny Hop

The Twist

Hula Hoop Contest

Bubble Gum Blowing Contest

Sock Slide - Use any songs

The Limbo Song/Dance

Download the following songs from i-tunes

Hand Jive (Willy and the Hand Jive- Johnny Otis)

The Twist (Twist and Shout - The Beatles)

Bunny Hop (Ray Anthony and his Orchestra)

Hula Hoop (Georgia Gibbs Version)

Bazooka Bubble Gum Song (Shari Sloane Version)

The Limbo Dance

Mix these 6 activity songs into your playlist.  Just mix them in between some of your songs. For instance, play 3 songs and then one of the activity songs, play two songs and then another activity song, etc.


The object here is that when the kids hear one of the 6 songs playing, they race to the center of the gym (room) and start that particular activity. For instance, when the kids hear the "Bunny hop" playing, they race to form a line and do the bunny hop.  If you mix them in often, kids will stay entertained.


Create cute serving bowls for your corn chips by using a 33 album. 

Instructions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Turn a stainless steel bowl upside down and center the 33 album on top of the bowl.

Place the bowl and album inside the oven. Watch closely! Album will start to droop on the sides forming a cute serving bowl. This only takes a few seconds so watch closely. When the album starts to droop take it out of the oven. Do not allow the albumt to melt around the bowl...just heat until is starts to droop (scallop) around the edges. Album will not stick to the bowl. 

Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few seconds, remove album from the bowl. Use pot holders.

Wash bowl (album) but do not soak long enough for the label to come off.

Albums can be found for around .50 at thrift stores...or ask your members for their oldies!

Supply List

Supply List
Make sure to save all re-usable decorations and
supplies for the next time you do this event...including your music loop. Save time & $$$

Simple Foods

  • Hot Dogs

  • Buns

  • Mustard

  • Ketchup

  • Corn Chips

  • Bottles of Coca Cola Individual bottles for the tables plus several 32 ounce bottles for coke floats and bottle refills. ** Single glass bottles of coca cola can be quite expensive if you are on a budget. You can simpy use red plastic cups and fill with the 32 oz bottles. You can also purchase the bottles of coca cola, wash and save for the next time you have the event. Just use a funnel and pour the cola slowly.  Make sure to fill the bottles (before the event takes some time)

  • Ice Cream (For coke floats and Ice Cream Sundaes

  • Sundae Toppings - Chocolate, Strawberry and Caramel, Whipped Cream (Cans), Cherries, Sprinkles


  • Portable Sound system with speakers (music will have to play loud to get over the noise of the kids having fun) 

  • Microphone 

  • Flash drive with the 50's/60's music PLUS the activity music mixed in. (See section above for instructions)

  • A separate flash drive or folder with JUST the dance lesson and activity songs on it:  You will want to have the following songs on it... The twist, handjive, bunny hop, bubble gum song, hula hoop song, the limbo song/dance. This drive/folder will be used to teach the dance lessons only!


  • Paper Plates or Hot Dog Boats

  • Napkins

  • Ice Cream Scoops

  • Bowls - Ice Cream Sundae - small, clear plastic bowls or cups

  • Coke floats - Clear Plastic Cups

  • Straws

  • Plastic Spoons

  • 33 Album bowls for the corn chips. (See instructions above)

  • Decorations (Table cloths, balloons, old 33 Albums, etc.)

  • Fun plastic eye glasses for each child (you can find many styles on clearance at oriental trading...just pop the lenses out. 

  • Photo booth props - Whatever you can find to make it fun. 

  • Camera

  • Table Cloths (Red and/or Black Plastic)

  • Table Decorations - Whatever you choose


  • Tub of Bubble Gum (Bubble Gum Blowing Contests)

  • Hula Hoops (Have enough for each child)

  • Limbo Stick (Broom stick will work)

  • 2-4 Tall - Ice Cream Sundae glasses to use for photo booth (You can find these at thrift stores pretty easily.

  • Whistle (To get attention)

  • Extra socks for kids who forget to bring a pair

  • Someone to teach the kids various dances (You can assign a different dance to several different people and have them each teach one dance if you wish)

  • Dance Songs (See dance suggestions above)

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