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There's A New Game In Town

August 18, 2009 by By Christina Lent

Elsa Astacio literally takes a spin in a giant hamster ball Aug. 12 at Ibach Park in Tualatin.

Elsa Astacio literally takes a spin in a giant hamster ball Aug. 12 at Ibach Park in Tualatin. The ball is just one activity Jan Schroeder offers with her new Games2U business.

You can call her a pied piper.

When Jan Schroeder pulls up to a park in her Games2U party truck, it’s only a matter of time before children of all ages rush over to get a closer look.

That’s exactly what happened last week as she set up camp at Ibach Park in Tualatin for a training session with her four-member staff.

“I love this,” Schroeder said as Portland Christian School youngsters swarmed around Games2U’s giant hamster balls and a ball-shooting U:Bot. “My goal is to get all the purple shirts down here.”

Had adult chaperones with the summer program not intervened, children wearing those matching shirts would have enthusiastically volunteered to participate in hearty rounds of Booger Wars and laser tag or to take turns driving the robot and experiencing one of the 4-D movies in the mobile theater.

As it was, they had to settle on watching preschool assistant Deana Dace climb into a giant hamster ball and get it rolling across the field.

“It was super fantastic,” Dace said after her test spin in front of her cheering young charges. “It would be excellent for developing large motor skills. It’s also a great cardio workout and just super fun.”

Those words were high praise to Schroeder, who launched the new Beaverton-based entertainment business a couple weeks ago.

Games2U offers an array of interactive games and entertainment for birthday parties, team building events and school fundraisers. Schroeder’s territory covers communities west of the Willamette River.