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Summer Olympic Games for Kids

Take advantage of the summer weather and turn your backyard into an Olympic Village filled with group and individual activities.

Be sure to keep your Olympic playlist on to encourage more fun! Hold your own competition before the games even begin! Set up a water balloon toss and a relay race where each runner can pass the paper torch to the next, in your backyard. Play some classic games as well like tug of war and silly games like one leg races! Even try setting up a kids’ obstacle course if your guest list includes some small Olympians. 

Olympic Games for Kids

Punch Ball Volleyball

Create teams of 4-8 guests. Set up a badminton net (or even a streamer will work) and use a punch ball (much easier smaller hands and heads). Also consider getting paddles from the dollar store for teams to use to volley the ball over the net.

Relay Races

Get two plastic Olympic Liberty Torch or flags in place of batons and see which team crosses the finish line (streamer) first. Or, make a torch using toilet paper rolls, aluminum foil and orange and red tissue paper.


Potato Sack Races

Use pillowcases or party potato sacks and have the kids race from one point in the yard to another.

Three Legged Races

Make teams of two. Tie the right leg of one quest to the left leg of another guest and race against another team. Particularly fun with a parent and child. Also try one guest facing forward and one backwards, tied together for more of a challenge.

Plate Balancing Games

See who can balance a plastic plate the longest on a stick.


Use your toddler’s basketball hoop or a Backboard Shooter Game for those guests who prefer to play on their own.


Always a crowd pleaser with the kids. Consider flags, Olympic circles, or Team USA. Use a small spray bottle of water to help assemble the tattoos.

Olympic Hair Color

Get cans of temporary color hair spray paint in patriotic red, white, and blue or Olympic red, yellow, green, blue, and black. Let kids show their spirit on their head.

Awards Ceremony

Create an Olympic Award podium by turning a sturdy plastic milk crate, upside down and wrapping the sides with patriotic colored or themed wrapping paper. Announce each guest’s name and ask them to stand on the podium. Give them a gold medal (and or a bouquet of silk roses from dollar store) and ask them to smile for a photo. Photos can be given to guests as part of the thank you notes.

Closing Ceremonies Parade

End the day with all the guests lining up for a parade. If there's a big winner of the games or a birthday guest of honor, give them an oversized Uncle Sam hat and let them lead the parade around your house or take a lap around the block. Use an IPhone/IPod to play God Bless America as you march.

Contingency Plan!

Even the best plans get laid to rest where Mother Nature is concerned. Outdoor parties are always at risk for a rude interruption, so make sure you have an indoor contingency plan in event of a downpour. Consider these alternative ideas:

Musical Chairs - to your Olympic Playlist, of course.

Hot Potato - pass around the soft Uncle Sam hat, instead.

Freeze Dancing - again, to your playlist.

Indoor Balloon Volleyball - you can use your streamer/net indoors, too!

Try to reserve the following rentals from your local library in advance, just in case…

Mario and Sonic at the London Olympics video game

Scooby’s All Star Laff-A-Lympics DVD

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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