It’s that time again: the Summer Olympics have begun! Every four years, people around the world turn on their TVs to watch the top athletes compete. For most, it’s hard not to be inspired by how hard these athletes have worked to become the best in their sport.
For kids, watching the Olympics can be really motivational. If your kids already play sports, it can inspire them to practice more or work harder or try something new. If your kids don’t play sports, it can motivate them to try a new sport or just be a little more active.
Watching the Olympics is also a great family activity to do together! While you watch, you can highlight important life lessons not only about the importance and benefits of sports and physical activity, but also about hard work, commitment, and sportsmanship. These athletes practice for hours and hours every day and truly love the sport they play. They celebrate winning but also learn how to be happy and humble even when they lose.
In the spirit of the Olympic games, we encourage you to set up your own Kids Olympics with your family and friends! We’re sharing a short list of simplified versions of some sports you may be watching as the Olympics continue. You don’t need any fancy equipment to play – just a good attitude and some creativity. You can adjust the ease or difficulty based on the age or experience of your kids – as long as you remember to have fun!
Kids Olympics 2016
- Measure out the distance you want your kids to run
- Mark the start and finish (with cones, shoes, or anything that won’t fly away!)
- Line up the kids on the starting line, blow a whistle or just countdown “3-2-1” and watch them go!
If you want to increase the competition, bring a timer and mark down the times to track progress. You can also build teamwork by putting kids in teams of two or three to compete in a relay.
2. Shot put
- Use a small bean bag, or fill a canvas bag with rocks (just make sure whatever you use doesn’t bounce)
- Draw a circle in the ground or mark a line that kids can’t cross
- Watch and measure how far each kid throws the bag without stepping out of the circle or crossing the line
- Use a frisbee, or two to three paper plates taped or glued together
- Mark a line where kids cannot cross
- Measure how far each kid throws the frisbee/paper plates
Photo courtesy of Today’s Parent