The next time your kids are pent up inside because of bad weather, try hosting a Balloon Olympics! Easy on the pocketbook and simple to prepare, the Balloon Olympics can be played with one child or easily adapted for several. This activity provides plenty of opportunities for running, jumping, counting and balancing. And with balloons involved, there’s sure to be giggling too!
The night before the games, make Olympic medals by cutting circles from stiff paper or cardboard and applying paint and glitter. When dry, punch a hole and attach a ribbon or piece of yarn. Or, make the medals the day of the games, using markers instead of paint.
Clear some space and blow up the balloons.
Let the games begin! String up a rope or long scarf across a hall or doorway (the larger, the better) and play volleyball. Add a couple of rackets, and you’ve got a game of badminton.
Mark off a race course. It could be as simple as a hallway, or you could set up an obstacle course throughout your house. Can your child walk the entire course with a balloon between his legs?
Have your child balance a balloon on his fingertip for as long as he can.
Bounce a balloon back and forth on a table for a game of ping pong.
Have your child count while bouncing a balloon against a bare wall. Add a new challenge by using one of these variations: stand on one leg, clap three times, or spin around before the balloon bounces back.
Bat the balloon back and forth but don’t let it hit the floor! You can play thumbs only, elbows only, etc.
Have your child race while balancing a balloon on the palm of his hand. (Remember—keep the hand flat; don’t curve it!)
When the games are over, it’s time to celebrate! Reward your hard-working athletes with medals and a balloon popping finale!