If you're looking for a fun activity to occupy and engage your children and their neighborhood friends during the winter or summer break, consider organizing your own mini Olympic Games. This is especially ideal if it's an Olympic year, as the kids may already be watching the events on television and getting into the mood. There are many different ways that you can organize this type of event, but it's fun to include an educational component in addition to the athletic element. Here are some ideas on how you can proceed.
Assign Each Child A Country
The Olympic Games are all about competing for your country, so it's a good idea to assign each child who is taking part in your event with his or her own country. One way to go about this is to show the children a map of the world and have each child point to a country that he or she wishes to compete for. If you want to offer an educational component, you may wish to look online and recite three or four interesting facts about that nation. For an artistic component, you could have each child color his or her country's flag on a piece of cardboard or paper.
Play The Sports
While you don't need to attempt to recreate every Olympic sport, there are lots of options for you when it comes time to having the children compete. If you're planning this activity for the summer, short- and long-distance running is an activity to offer, as is long jump, cycling, and swimming. You can look to mimic certain Olympic sports with safer variations. Instead of the javelin throw, for example, have children throw a Frisbee in the backyard. For winter activities, skating, cross-country skiing, and hockey are all sports to consider. To pay homage to an event such as the luge, consider making a small sliding hill in your backyard and having the children slide down it.
Recognize The Winners
To truly bring the Olympic spirit to your event, it can be fun to celebrate the "winner" at the end of each event. You can make medals by wrapping cardboard circles in goal and silver foil and attaching them to ribbons. A podium made of crates or sturdy blocks can allow the children to stand at attention after each event, and you may even wish to play the winner's national anthem on your smartphone before handing out the medals. Get creative with this idea and you'll have a group of engaged children for hours at a time.
Otherwise, look for inexpensive or fun mini-break activities in nearby towns. You can look online to find Things To Do In Broken Bow, OK if you need more inspiration.