The Summer Olympic Games provide the perfect inspiration for families and friends to create an Olympic competition. Friendly competition teaches children about teamwork and how to be a gracious winner or loser. Before starting your backyard Olympics, consider holding an opening ceremony and ask Olympians to take an oath of good sportsmanship like athletes do at the Olympic Games.
Call some friends or relatives and invite them to join your family for some games to play in the yard or a local field. Consider creating paper medals for the events. Some event ideas include:
• Running Long Jump: With a running start, see who can jump the farthest from a line marked on the ground.
• Relay Race: Use a stick or baton to hand off between runners while they go on a designated path. If you don’t have enough runners for a race, have participants race to beat their own time.
• No Water Synchronized Swimming: Have groups pick music and choreograph a short routine to see how in sync they can stay.
• Balance Beam: Paint a straight, even stripe on a flat section of lawn, which is the "balance beam." Ask participants to perform a series of increasingly difficult maneuvers without straying from the stripe. Award points for completion of each maneuver. Some fun suggestions include: walking forward, walking backward, hopping on one foot, doing front rolls, doing cartwheels.
• Hula-hoop-a-thon: Kids keep their hoops moving as long as possible and are eliminated when their hoops touch the ground.
• Discus: See who can throw a frisbee the farthest distance.
• Water Balloon Shot Put: See who can throw a water balloon the farthest distance.
• Pool Noodle Javelin: Each child gets three attempts to see who can throw his or her pool noodle the farthest.