How to hold family Olympics

Even though today’s families sometimes have a tough time squeezing in a little family time, some fun and games can still reel in even the busiest teen. Here’s how to host your own family Olympics.

50 Days of family fun

Lindsay Gaskins, CEO of Marbles: The Brain Store, believes the old adage about families who play and stay together. “Games offer an excellent way for a family to bond,” she says. Specifically, an organized event that incorporates games of physical challenge and skill is a perfect way to get your family playing together.

Olympic-sized family fun

Janna L. Binder of Omaha is organizing just such an event for her local church, and family size is not a prerequisite. “The congregation is encouraged to participate with their families or to create ‘families’ for those who don’t have family members in town,” she says. Families are also encouraged to dress in uniforms or costumes, and a prize is awarded to the family with the most unique uniform.

Each game/event has a time limit and a set amount of points; at the end of all the events, the family with the most points is given a trophy. Binder is including the following games: a three-legged race, a wheelbarrow race, a sack race, an egg toss, bobbing for apples, a bean bag toss, an obstacle course, a relay race (with clothes changes) and a bubble gum-blowing contest. To cool everyone off, she’s offering a splash course, in which two people hold a water balloon between them as they run to a set point — no hands allowed.

The Olympic reunion

Seven years ago, Glen Garvin started his own family’s version of the Olympics, which he dubbed the “Dumb Dumb Olympics.” Garvin selects about 10 events/games per year and assigns a point value to each. Some of his favorite events include the three-legged race, sandcastle-building, canoe or boating races, a coin toss and some type of ball toss.

To keep it extra-fun, Garvin kicks off his family Olympics with opening ceremonies and awards every kid a medal at the end of the day — right after everyone completes the worm-eating contest (contestants gobble up Gummi worms buried in chocolate pudding with whipped cream). “It ends up as a family reunion each year, as well,” says Garvin.

More family fun ideas

Family-night-approved finger foods
How to have a family game night
Fun family weekend activities


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