Tomorrow would have marked the beginning of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, three weeks of sporting events that feature athletes from multiple nations competing to gain Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. It's an exciting event that brings people together to support their nations and favourite athletes. It’s also a huge influence on children and young adults to try new sports and hobbies.
It is such a shame that so many events that people have been looking forward to watching, supporting and participating in have been cancelled or rescheduled to later dates. Especially more local or school led events such as sports day, tournaments and swimming galas that mark the end of the academic year and the beginning of summer break.
We’ve got a great idea - hold your very own ‘Olympics at Home!’
Why not involve the whole family, give roles to everyone and create memories and maybe even new traditions. You could compete against other families by sharing results with one another. We’ve had to compromise and make so many changes this year already, let's kick start our summer with a new and exciting Olympics at Home tournament!
Have an Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony is always an exciting event with parades, music and flags - not
forgetting the olympic torch! Organise your own opening ceremony at home. Watch some clips of previous ceremonies online with your children to get ideas, then together you can make flags and hats. You could choose a favourite toy to be the mascot or make a mascot. When all of your creations are prepared, march and parade around displaying your creations with pride to some good music, like national anthems or your favourite sporting songs. For example, ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen, ‘Chariots of Fire" by Vangelis, ‘One Shining Moment’ by Luther Vandross or ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ by Survivor.
Make Medals and Certificates
Creating the awards and prizes will be just as fun as taking part and will get the children really excited about the event. It is also a good moment for you to think about which events you would like to include. Ask your child/children which events they would like to take part in and which they think they would excel in. If you have some bigger or older children taking part this may be an opportunity to discuss what other certificates or prizes they may want to have as part of the event that don’t only reward the winner of a game. You could discuss the qualities of sportsmanship and why it is important. You could even have some surprise prizes for them after they’ve taken part to surprise them with.
Your medals can be simply made using crafts that you have at home such as jam jar lids, pringle pot lids, card or clay. You could even make edible medals.
Let the Games Begin! A good and giggly warm up:
Make Your Olympics Your Own.
It is completely up to you which sports and activities you decide to and what equipment you may have at home. If your children or family have a favourite sport then make sure to include it.
If you have the equipment or space you may choose to play:
Running races or all sorts, including distance races, three legged races, egg and
spoon races, sack races and relay races
High jump and/or long jump
Swimming races (if you are lucky enough to have access to a swimming pool)
You could also hold table tennis, badminton and tennis tournaments if you have the equipment
Simple gymnastics displays
If your short of space or equipment here are some sports and activities that are really simple to arrange:
How many hand ‘keepie uppies’ can you do? Scrunch up some paper or use a soft ball. Use your hand to keep the item up in the air.
Rubbish Bin Basketball- Who can shoot the scrunched up paper into the bin? 5 attempts you get only.
How many claps can you do when you throw the ball up in the air?
Hop, skip, Jump- How far can you jump? If you don’t have enough space just do a standing long jump. Stand in one place and see how far you can jump.
Egg and Spoon- How many lengths of the garden/room can you do in a minute?
If you drop it pick it up and carry on.
Water race. Fill a bowl with water, fill a cup and race to the other bowl/sink. Run back. How many cups of water can you put in the bowl/sink in a minute.
How many times can you throw a ball into a bucket/pan in a minute?
Put hula hoops/ ring doughnuts on a piece of rope/ wool. You have to limbo underneath and try to eat the hula hoops/ ring doughnuts.
Apple Bobbing. Fill up a bowl with water and place some apples in the water. You have to put your face into the water and try and pick up the apple with your mouth.
Bin bag/ pillow case race- get a bin bag how long does it take you to get from one side of the garden/room and back. (If there is enough space all race together at
the same time.)
After 8 challenge. You have to put the after 8 chocolate (or flat square of chocolate) on your forehead and without using any support from your arms/hands you have to move the chocolate down your face to your mouth.
Play musical bumps/statues with the family. Show off your best dance moves. Or put just dance YouTube on.
Hot Potato. This physical activity will get giggly! Simply get a soft ball or a rolled up sock and toss it to a child. Tell them toss it to someone else as quickly as possible. Everyone repeats this. When does this game end? Who knows? Just get rid of it! Variations – Play short segments of music while they toss the “potato”, stop the music, and the last one to touch it after the music stops is out. The last person in wins.
Bowling. Get some items that you can stand up like empty water bottles or plastic cups, grab a big enough ball, and start rolling to knock over the “pins”. Variations – Make a target on the ground using masking tape. With each section worth different amounts of points, everyone can roll the ball trying to stop it within the different target areas, competing for points.
Freeze Dance Rhyme Dance. Crank the tunes and let the dancing begin. Unlike the regular game though, when the music stops, a designated person calls out a word. If the other dancer(s) can’t respond with a word to rhyme with it within a designated time period (say five to 10 seconds), that person is out.
What better way to end your Olympics at Home than awarding medals and certificates
to all of the family and friends that took part. If possible, find some boxes so that medal winners can stand high to get their applause! Older children will find it easier to accept that we can’t all win every event we enter so this is your opportunity to award the certificates and prizes that you prepared before the event, such as ‘Best Team Player’ or ‘Best Cheerleader’. It’s also important for younger children to receive a medal for something that they took part in.
History of the Olympics
Children love to learn and this would be an amazing opportunity to teach them about the history of the Olympic games. Learning that they began in Ancient Greek times and that the Olympic legacy has lasted millennia and continues to this day to inspire generations of viewers to partake in sporting activities is a magical message and a truly interesting topic for the whole family.