Fun Olympic Activities for Kids
The Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics start on August 5, and the summer games are a great time to engage your children and get them excited about participating in sports. Get the kiddos in the Olympic spirit by hosting your own backyard sporting events.
Trampolining has been part of the Olympic Games since Sydney 2000. With individual competitions for Men and Women, Olympic trampoline gymnasts perform acrobatic movements such as twists and somersaults in mid-air, and are awarded points for difficulty, execution and flight time.
Host your own trampoline event with a Springfree Trampoline. Encourage participants to come up with their own trampoline routines incorporating popular jumping elements, like half and full twists, seat drops, flips and somersaults. Depending on the ages of your children, you can assign adjusted points for difficulty and artistry.
Athletics: Discus, Javelin & Hurdles
In Olympic throwing events, each athlete has three attempts to throw a heavy metal-tipped javelin and 3 attempts at a throwing disc. Throwing pointy or heavy objects should be avoided for children, but you can recreate your own safe throwing events with common toys. Put those pool noodles and Frisbees to good use. Mark off a line in the yard and throw the noodles and Frisbee as far as possible. Don’t forget to keep a tape measure handy to record the results.
Adding hurdles to the traditional foot race can add an extra element of excitement. Make your own kid-size soft hurdles using hoola hoops. Bury the edge of the hula hoop in the sand during a beach trip or secure the hoop to the ground with simple tent stakes.
Unless you have some leftover bows and arrows from your child’s Hunger Games infatuation, you can use a simple homemade mini marshmallow shooter to host your own archery event. Here’s a step-by-step guide from the folks at Real Simple on how to use a balloon and paper cup to create this sweet little slingshot. Your kids can compete for distance and accuracy.
Basketball made its Olympic debut at Berlin 1936. Don’t have enough participants for a team? Try seeing who can make the most free throws during a set time frame or have a shoot off with each shot moving one step back. The child able to make a shot from the farthest distance wins.
If your kids are dramatically different ages, investing in a Goalsetter adjustable basketball hoop will let you change the height of the hoop to even the playing field.
No need for expensive metal weights. Instead, reserve a few empty gallon milk jugs. Fill the jugs with varying levels of water or sand and tape the cap close with duct tape to keep the contents secure. Start with lifting the lightest jugs and move on to progressively heavier jugs. Each child must lift a pair of milk jugs to their shoulders, hold them there for two seconds and then raise them all the way above their head and hold for another two seconds.
These are just a few of the events your can host from the ease of your backyard. But you can also take your family Olympics to other venues like the pool for swimming events or tennis courts for tennis.