Get the family moving and stage your own Olympic Games in the backyard!
While kids (and their parents) may be inspired by the competitive spirits so evident at the Olympics, the aim of the game here is fun and enjoyment - celebrate fair play, developing skills, and emerging talent, and award medals to all participants.
Holding Hands Relay
Gather the family together in one spot and choose a marker in another spot, perhaps the clothesline. The first runner heads to clothesline and back, and then takes the hand of the next runner and off they run to the clothesline, holding hands. On their return they collect the next runner by the hand, and the "race" continues in this fashion until everyone has rounded the clothesline in one happy group.
No winner exactly, but hopefully lots of fun. TIP: Your first runner will be making the most trips, so select someone with a lot of energy to burn.
Hacky Sack Shot Put
A hacky sack and some open space is all you need to teach your child the basics of shot put. Perhaps introduce them to Valerie Adams on the television first, so they can work on their technique. Give your kids a measuring tape, or even just some string, and they can have some educational fun working out the furthest and shortest distances thrown.
Paper Plate Discus
You can make a simple and harmless discus with some paper plates, rice, and a stapler. Put a small handful of rice on one paper plate and then cover over with another paper plate (top sides facing together). Staple around the edge of the plates so they are securely joined together and the rice can't escape.
The paper plate discus may change direction unpredictably as it flies and the rice moves around, but that will just add to the excitement! Get your measuring tape out again and work out the best distances.
Collect up your laundry basket and all the balls you can find, in a range of sizes.
Each player takes a turn at throwing all the balls into the laundry basket (one at a time) from whatever distance seems appropriate for your little athletes. Count the number of balls each player gets into the basket.
Just like laundry basketball, but with gumboots! You could also try the traditional Kiwi version, and just fling the gumboots as far as you can.
Teddy Bear Races
Get the kids to mark out a racetrack, complete with a finish line. They could even make it into an obstacle course with things to climb over, around, and through. Line up the teddies, (accompanied by their "trainers") and it's ready, teddy, go!
Published 4 August, 2012