From sack races to long jump to relays, get inspired by the London 2012 games and enjoy fresh air and family time in the great outdoors.
The Summer Games provides a great opportunity to inspire your kids to head outdoors and get fit and active. The excitement of the Games is infectious, and after cheering on their favourite athletes on the TV and learning more about the importance of the event at school, they’ll be motivated to join in on some of the fun. Who knows, maybe it could be them up on the podiums one day…
Take advantage of the buzz around sport and athletics and encourage your kids to take part in some of these fun activities at their own games day.
Host your own Summer Games
Harness your children’s enthusiasm for the Olympics and take the opportunity to invite their friends over for a friendly comp in the backyard. Alternatively, if your house or apartment isn’t suitable, find a large space in the local park or at the beach. Invite a number of parents along to help supervise.
Divide the children up into teams. You could even encourage them to think up their own team names, mascots and cheers. If they’re a creative lot, supply them with large sheets of cardboard and coloured felt-tip pens and let them make some posters to support their teammates.
Try to come up with a wide variety of sports — small children especially tend to get bored and distracted easily, so it’s wise to always have a few extra tricks up your sleeve. Having a wide variety will also mean that you can cater to all skill-sets and interests. If you have enough adult helpers, you could also let the kids break off into smaller groups and choose which sports they want to play.
Summer Games inspired competitions:
- Sprints: Mark a starting line across the ground and line the competitors up in a row; the first to touch the rope or break the streamer at the end of the race is the winner. You could also form relay teams and give the kids a waterbottle baton to pass.
- Long jump: Find a soft patch of grass or mark off a section of sand on the beach and hold your own long jump comp. Take a tape measure along to record the distances and see who can jump the farthest.
- Freestyle gymnastics/dance routine: Rope off an area in the living room or backyard, press play on some fun music and allow the kids to jump around in their own improvised routine. If they’re feeling shy, encourage everyone to get up there at once and then assign first, second and third place.
- Touch football
- Sack race
- Egg and spoon race
- Apple bobbing
Prizes are also a fun part of the day, so have a hunt around in discount stores to find some quirky novelty items the kids will love. You can hand out individual prizes (or chocolate coins as medals) for first, second and third place, and also hand out goody bags to members of the winning team at the end of the day. Buy small gift bags or boxes and fill them with assorted lollies or budget toys.
5 Ways to entertain the kids for free
Family game night ideas
7 At-home activities for kids