Go for the gold with these fun athletic activities
The Summer Games start this week in Rio, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in and watch them on TV—get your family together and create your own outdoor events. You can easily built a fun obstacle course in the backyard with things you find around the house. You’ll need at least four people to make two teams, but the more the merrier! Invite other kids in the neighborhood, family members, friends and classmates, and get ready for some friendly competition.
Preparation and Opening Ceremony
Preparing for your event can be just as fun as the games themselves. While you’re setting up the obstacle course of events, here are some activities for the kids:
- Medal Station: Have the little ones put together medals while you’re setting up obstacles. Ribbons are perfect for the string, while felt, foam or tin foil are all great options for creating the gold, silver and bronze “medals.”
- Team Uniform Design: After choosing teams, get creative with uniforms and team names. You can even have the kids paint their own t-shirts to represent their teams. If your Summer Games involve kids of all different age groups, consider sorting the teams by age so everyone can participate in the same events.
- Torch Making: You can’t have an opening ceremony without a torch. Tin foil is perfect for creating pretend torches. Red, yellow and red felt is great for the “fire.”
For the opening ceremony, play some music and have the kids march around with their homemade torches and uniforms. Announce each team and let them run out into the yard for a big round of applause.
Section off different parts of your backyard and dedicate each one to a different event. Here are some ideas for replicating different sports:
- Cycling: If your kids are old enough to ride bikes or tricycles, section off a portion of the yard and let them ride around on a designated path or circle.
- Running: There are tons of kid-friendly races you can try. Whether it’s a three-legged race, a sack race, or a relay race, choose the one you think your little ones will enjoy most.
- Long jump: Gather together some sticks and place them in the “long jump” section of the yard. Have the kids take turns standing behind the “starting line” stick and jumping as far as they can. Use another stick to measure the distance of each jump.
- Swimming: If you have a pool in your backyard, hold swimming events in the shallow end with swimmies, so everyone can participate. If none of the kids are quite old enough to swim in a race, help your little ones choreograph a synchronized swim routine.
- Gymnastics: One fun idea for a gymnastics event is to stretch out a long rope and pretend it’s a balance beam. The kids can take turns walking across gracefully like gymnasts. Tie a long ribbon to a stick to create the rhythmic gymnastics portion of the Summer Games.
After the Summer Games have come to an end, line the kids up and take turns announcing each of their names to accept a medal. Play some fun music and make sure everyone is clapping for all the participants.
It’s always fun getting the family together, but the Summer Games give you the perfect excuse to host an all-day summer event. These are just a few ideas for building your own outdoor games, but don’t be afraid to get creative! There are tons of events you can re-create that your little ones will love. Have your own ideas for backyard games? Share them with us on Facebook!