Suffering from Olympic fever? Play your own games at an Olympic-themed birthday party or stage a mock Olympics. For small gatherings, divide children into two teams. For larger groups have several teams with each team representing a different country. Begin with opening ceremonies and end with medals for each contestant.
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Frisbees act as the discus in this mock event, with each person on the team getting an opportunity to throw. The game can be played two ways: for distance or accuracy. Measure ahead of time, marking the distance in increments of two feet. The team with the greatest cumulative distance wins. If playing for accuracy (a good alternative when space is limited) players aim for a target. The target can be a bull's-eye or a hula hoop on the ground. Points are given for each hit and the team with the most points wins.
In this relay race, the baton is a spoon. Provide each team with a bucket of water, a spoon and a glass. Teams line up at the starting line, behind their bucket. Place each team’s glass at the finish line opposite them. The first person on each team dips his spoon into the bucket and races to the finish line, depositing the water into his team’s glass. He then races back and hands his baton to the next team player. This is a timed event. The team with the most water in their glass when the time is up, wins.
Make a simple target (paint or draw one on a cardboard box) and blow up several long, skinny balloons. The object is to hit the target with the balloon “arrows.” Come armed with patience and a sense of humor. Those balloons can have a mind of their own.
Soccer Cone Race
Players race while dribbling a soccer ball with their feet. Arrange soccer cones so players have to wind in and out of the cones between the start and finish line. Teams race one player at a time until everyone on the team has played. The team with the fastest overall time wins.
In this mock equestrian event, children race a stick horse through an obstacle course. Use whatever is handy to create obstacles to jump over, but keep in mind children will be jumping with their horse so obstacles shouldn’t be too high. Adults setting up the course can practice first to be sure the course is practical.