Not everyone's lucky enough to travel to London for the Summer Olympic Games, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the fun at home! Round up your family and friends and use these tips to stage your own version of the games.
Encourage a little friendly competition
Recruit the athletes
There's no reason why you can't host an intimate version of the Summer Olympic Games involving only your immediate family, but part of the excitement of the games is that so many countries are involved. Make your home-based competitions more fun by recruiting family, neighbors and friends to join in the fun. Before you make formal invitations, think about where you plan to host your games, how much room you'll have and how many participants you can comfortably include. Once you know how many people you'd like to involve, choose the date and make sports-themed invitations to the event.
Even athletes involved in individual sports are ultimately part of a team, so make sure you create teams during your home-based events. If you're inviting several families to participate, have each family work together, or split them up so that parents square off against kids or boys square off against girls.
If you're not inviting family groups, and you're inviting a bunch of individuals, number off participants as they arrive to randomly assign each athlete to a team. Teams can be as big or small as you'd like, but two to five participants per team is a good number to shoot for.
Prepare for the games
Once teams are formed, give them some time to come up with a team name, mascot and flag. You can keep things traditional and have each team represent a specific country, or you can get creative and let teams make up their own ideas. This is also a great time to allow teams to make uniforms, decorate posterboard with their flag and name, and prepare for the fanfare of the "opening ceremonies." Pass out plain white T-shirts, posterboard, fabric paints and other craft supplies for decoration.
Once all the teams are ready, parade in groups to the location of the events. Consider stuffing an empty paper towel tube with red and yellow tissue paper to make a "torch" that you'll keep burning throughout the games.
Enjoy the events
The Summer Olympic Games include track and field, swimming, gymnastics, basketball, weight lifting and so much more! While you may not be able to host these events in the traditional sense, you can alter them to make them new and exciting. Here are just a few ideas for the ultimate summer games:
Don't forget the awards!
Finish up your fun-filled day with snacks, drinks and an awards ceremony. Pass out medals to winning participants and make up your own special awards for the day, like an award for the "Funniest Moment," "Biggest Wipeout" or "Most Team Spirit."
Discover more ways to celebrate the summer games