Catch the Olympic Spirit and Let the Games Begin!

Easy Ideas to Host Your Own Backyard Olympic Games

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games begin this Friday and my family is excited. I was lucky enough to get to attend the Olympic Games in Atlanta, and ever since then I have been a huge fan of the Games. I love the athletic feats, the back stories on the athletes, and the traditions of the Games like pin trading. I was amazed at how truly celebratory the event was for athletes and audience alike. 

So, my family is really looking forward to watching our favorite events during this Summer's Olympic Games like basketball, beach volleyball, diving, and gymnastics. But it's just as much fun to host our own backyard Olympic Games as it is to watch the competition on TV. So, get the kids off the couch and see how easy it is to catch the Olympic Spirit.

What’s great about this family fun idea is you can spend a lot of time setting up and thinking about the challenges or you can just use what’s already in your backyard. Pull out those old croquet sets, use pool noodles as javelins, set up the volleyball net, or play tennis against the garage door. Look through your garage to find some games and “obstacles” that you can use to create challenges. Use your creativity and make the games as silly as you want. (I think one of the challenges should be to wash the dog, but the dog gave me the evil eye.)

If you want to make the Olympic experience more educational for the kids, have them each choose a country to compete as and have them draw that country’s flag on a piece of paper that they “parade” around at the beginning of the games. Each night during the Olympics cook a meal that reflects each country's cuisine. Have the kids show you where their country is on a map.

For inspiration, check out this big list of backyard Olympic Game ideas. Then make these Olympic Ring Cookie Treats to eat after your big competition. Finally, check out my Olympic Game Party Ideas board on Pinterest for even more game, food, and decoration ideas. 

Does your family like the Summer Olympic Games? What is their favorite sport to watch? What other games would you recommend for a backyard Olympic games day?


Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach, kids party planner, and weekly contributor to Patch.com. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs, as well as her own family fun site ChocolateCakeMoments.com.

Pam DeFiglio July 28, 2012 at 11:37 PM
These sound like fun!
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