Keep your kids busy with these summer Olympic games from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
When your kids are bored, no one in the family is happy. A summer vacation can be a great break for them, but how do you keep them busy all summer? The last thing you want is for them to spend hours in front of the TV or computer. Try something new this year and have your kids, along with the rest of the neighborhood kids, compete in their own summer Olympic games!
Olympic Rings – Start with five different colored pool noodles. Blue, black and red for the top row. Green and yellow for the bottom two. Loop them together to create the Olympic rings. Duct tape them so they overlap to create one large group of rings. If you don’t find the colors you need to represent the Olympic colors (blue, black, red, yellow and green), buy some colored duct tape to wrap around the noodles. Hang your finished Olympic symbol in a central location for your games.
Olympic Torch – Every Olympic Games starts with the passing of an Olympic Torch – and it’s easy to create your own. We used a gray Hopkins Funnel and filled it with orange and yellow tissue paper to represent the fire. Have the kids take turns running through the neighborhood with the torch, passing it along to each participant as they go.
Medals – Create medals that can be given out to the winners. Spray paint metal washers in bronze, silver and gold. Attach ribbon to them, and you instantly have prizes to give out to the winners of each event!
Flags – Print and cut out flags from different countries. Or even better – have kids create their own country to represent. Not only are they creating the name of a country, they’re also designing what it represents. This is a great craft activity that inspires creativity. Have them proudly display their flag during the opening ceremony. Let the kids play their favorite song as they stand up to introduce the country they are representing. Tell them these songs are their countries national anthems.
At that point, show the kids the list of events they will be competing in that day. We like the idea of mapping out all events on a large piece of poster board. This way you can enter in the results of each event to track for the closing ceremony and delivery of medals. Also explain the scoring at this time. Let them know someone will come in 1st, 2nd and 3rd for each event. Older kids will understand there will be winners for every event, but younger kids will not. You may want to have medals on hand for all participants to prevent hurt feelings in younger kids.
Event 1: Javelin. Create a target out of a collection of pool noodles – You can re-use the Olympic rings for this purpose. Simply attach the rings to two straight pool noodles on either side. Pound wooden dowels into the ground that are the same width apart as the target, and slide them onto the dowels. The target is now free standing and complete. Have each circle be worth a certain number of points. Kids will throw a pool noodle towards the target to score points by getting their noodle javelin through the holes. Whoever has the most points after 10 throws wins the gold for this event!
Event 2: Agility Course. Create clear start and finish lines for the course. Lay the ring station you created for the Javelin event down on the ground. Kids can navigate through this agility course like they are tires. Set up chairs with noodles across them just high enough for kids to be able to hurdle over. Whoever crosses the finish line first, wins the gold!
Event 3: Gymnastics. No Olympic Games are complete without a gymnastics inspired floor routine! Have kids create a short dance routine to their favorite song. Lay out a tarp to simulate the floor apparatus. Gather the parents in the neighborhood together and set up chairs with score cards for the judging. Base your scores on their creativity – not necessarily their skills. Tally up the scores and the highest number of points, wins!
Event 4: Shot Put. Kids love to throw things. Give them a good reason to with this shot put Olympic event. Give them a brief tutorial on how Olympians throw the shot put, or even show them a video. With any luck, they will think it’s funny and get more involved in trying to imitate the Olympians. Have them start inside a circle, you can use a hula hoop, and spin around to throw bean bags down the yard. Whoever has the shot put is that was thrown the furthest, gets the gold for this event!
Event 5: Sack Race. Why not end the Olympic Games with a good old fashion sack race. After all the fierce competition, have a little fun with this event and make it kids vs. adults. Have clear start and finish lines defined and get hopping! Whoever crosses the finish line first, wins! This one is just for bragging rights.
Closing Ceremony. No Olympic games are complete without a closing ceremony. Let the kids stand on a platform and showcase their medals. Get their chosen theme song queued up and let them stand in their glory while the song plays. Make sure they hold up the flag they created too! This is a great opportunity to take pictures and commemorate your eventful day.
After five events everyone will be pretty tired! Serve up some Olympic size snacks for the participants. Maybe you want to serve up a dish from different countries. Hot dogs for the USA, French fries for France, pizza for Italy, fortune cookies for China, etc. You can make this as easy or as involved as you want it to be. Just as long as everyone can sit back and relax now that a day of play is complete!