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Make-Your-Own Indoor Olympics

By Jessica Hensley

The Olympics are here! Watching the games with your family presents a unique opportunity to expose kids to an amazing world of different sports and athletes from around the globe. But who says they're just a spectator sport? Why not make your own olympic games at home and let the kids get in on the fun? You never know where a little olympic practice may take them.

Here are our top 5 tips for planning your own indoor olympics:

1. Pick a fun set of four to five events to compete in.

Be creative, use what you have available, what your space allows and what will be fun for all of the kids "competing" in the games. Dig through the toy box and you may be surprised by how many things are perfect for a little friendly indoor competition. Things we like are:

2. Setup a scorechart & design-your-own medals

Grab your chalk and a chalkboard and chart the "athletes" and the events. Keep it simple and score the events based on gold, silver and bronze. If children are of mixed ages or activity levels, consider scoring on other factors, such as "fastest player," "silliest player" and "most creative player," giving each child an opportunity to stand out. Pull out the art supplies and design medals for each event.

3. Have children design their own uniforms

Explain to children that the olympics bring together athletes from all over the world. Incorporate a lesson in geography by having children select a country to represent, perhaps a country from their own heritage. Use that country's flag colors or symbols to design a "uniform." Or have children pick their own teams based on animals, favorite sports teams or favorite shows. Let them be silly and get into character.

4. Start the festivities with an opening ceremony

Build enthusiasm for the event by staging an opening ceremony. Have children wear their uniforms as they march around the living room to their favorite song. Give the youngest or oldest player a flashlight to carry as a symbol for the torch-lighting.

5. Finish the day with a medal ceremony

When the games are completed, host a medal ceremony. Sing the Star Spangled Banner as the children stand on boxes or other homemade platforms wearing their medals. If the anthem is too challenging for younger kids, stick to children's music.

 

Most importantly, make it fun. Use our tips to get you started, but make it up as you go along and let your children's ages, interests and creativity guide the day. For extra fun, videotape the day's events and have the kids perform their own commentary while watching the replay. They will have a blast doing it and you will have memories to hold onto until the next Olympics roll around.

 


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