How to Host Backyard Olympic Games This Summer

The mom behind the popular blog, Eat Play Read, offers fun tips on celebrating the Summer Olympics in your own backyard.

Turn your backyard into an Olympic playground this summer with simple set-ups that can easily be simplified or extended to fit the age/ability level of your crowd!

Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

1. Beanbag Toss

We love our beanbag board set that encourages learning shapes, colors and numbers from Learning Resources. You could also make your own using a large cardboard box with holes. Give each child a select amount of beanbags and attempts to get them in the holes on the board.

2. Cold Feet!

Place a chair in a shallow child-sized pool and fill it with marbles, shells or other small items. Have children grab as many items as they can using their toes! Collect items in a bucket nearby. Use a timer to see who can collect the most items within a select amount of time.

3. Fill the Bucket

Use cones, painter’s tape or spray paint to mark the grass with start and finish lines. Have two large bins full of water near the start line and two large empty bins near the finish line with a target amount marked with black marker along the side of the bins. Race to see which player (or team) can race across the grass to fill their bucket to the target amount first!

4. Chalk Jump/Balance Beam

Draw a start line with chalk on pavement. Have children jump as far as they can and mark how far they jumped with chalk to see who can land the farthest. You could also draw a “balance beam” or use a large wood plank if you have one available to see who can walk across without losing their balance!

5. Hula Throw

Place a hula hoop flat on the grass. Mark a start line a few feet away from the hula hoop using cones, painter’s tape or spray paint on the grass. Use a Vortex foam ball toy and throw to make it within the hula hoop. For added challenge, have another player hold the hula hoop upright in the air and try to throw the foam ball through the hoop.

Make it fun!

 We dressed in “Team USA” colors, had fun USA necklaces as prizes and red, white and blue stars decorating our lawn! Most materials were purchased at the dollar store.

You can follow Jessica Sesto on Instagram at @eat_play_read or eatplayread.blog.


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