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Host a Backyard Olympics Festival (page 2)

Host a Backyard Olympics Festival

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based on 169 ratings
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Updated on Jul 17, 2012

Jumping: A standing broad jump is simple to prepare if your space is small. Create some kind of marker for a starting line, and a simple stick in the ground to mark finishes. The front of the toe or back of the heel of the landing foot works well – just be consistent. Running and jumping over a low rope (held by helpers) is also an easy and fun challenge. After each successful jump, the height can be raised slightly for the next round. 

Jump rope: Whether single jumping with a short rope, group jumping with a longer rope, or even double-dutch, jumping rope is a sport everyone enjoys doing, watching, and counting, and everyone usually knows a song or two to accompany the jumps.

Balance beam: This can be as simple as a line on the ground, deck or driveway, or a raised 4 x 4 if you have one handy. Children can practice tricks such as walking with eyes closed, changing direction, turning, balancing a bean bag or small pillow on the head, one-footed balances, and fancy dismounts. Add music to enhance this event.

Rhythmic gymnastics with ball or hoop: Whether improvised or rehearsed, moving beautifully with an object is an excellent challenge. Music is essential for this event, which can be done in a designated “arena” that the children can clear and arrange for safety. Set a time limit, say, 1 minute, for the most beautiful dance event ever.

Running: Races can be short or long, depending on your space. If you have a crowd, relay races are not only fun but help children of various sizes and abilities work together. Old favorites such as three-legged or egg-on-spoon races are great for racers and viewers alike. Low hurdles and obstacles can be added for older children to go over, under, around and through.

Consider other unique events your landscape might inspire – rolling down a hill, for instance, running around the block, or climbing stairs. The children will have lots of ideas!

Finish your Olympics with a rousing Closing Ceremony with music, a parade of athletes, and the crowning of all participants for their courage and hard work. Then, let the feasting begin!

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