Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Olympics

I absolutely adore the Olympics.  When it was time for the summer Olympics in 2012 Sister was none too happy with my obsessive compulsion to DVR absolutely everything that I might miss.  I had to record all of swimming, gymnastics, track & field, cycling, etc... You name it and I probably had it recording.  I had the most glorious 3 weeks ever cheering on the Fierce 5 to Gold medal victory!  So, when it came time to plan my summer event calendar last year I just knew that I had to host a Summer Olympic themed event, and it was a success!  When planning this year's calendar, it took me about 2.2 seconds to add it back into my calendar.

Summer Olympics (or SO as I'll call it in the rest of this post) is a great theme for any event or night that you are doing with your kids over those long summer days.  SO can require a lot or a little prep-work.  With this being my 2nd year planning this event, the prep-work was minimal as I was able to re-use a lot of what I did last year.  I am the Queen of re-using, saving and recycling my materials and supplies (But that's a topic for another post).

For SO I break all my kids down into 3 teams by age:
1) Yellow- Ages 4-Kindergarten
2) Green- 1st-3rd Grade
3) Blue- 4th-6th Grade

*Don't forget when promoting to remind everyone to wear play clothes, tennis shoes, and sunscreen if you plan on going outside.  

As with all of my events, I break down the time of the event (SO is 1&1/2  hours) into 3 separate rotations, an opening and a closing).  I am blessed with a great space to play games both indoors and outdoors.  I break down my night into indoor games, outdoor games, and snack/Bible lesson.

Indoor Games:  
     *I generally substitute indoor games for playground time for my smallest (or yellow) team because they tend to be a bit more organized and harder for them to play.  They'd rather swing anyways. 

I tend to have very large groups so I break down my Green and Blue team groups into 2 teams each and have 2 teams total for each of those age groups competing at the same time.  I also assign points for each game and the winning team gets those points to their overall score.  And yes, we do keep score on SO night.

1) Hula Hoop Roll
2) Balloon Race
3) Bean Bag Toss
4) Sit-Down Soccer- Everyone must be seated to play.  I allow my kids to use both their hands and their feet.
5) Dodgeball

Outdoor Games:

1) Baton Relay
2) Potato Sack Races
3) 3 Legged Race
4) Stand Up Soccer

Snack/Story Time:
These are all great options for your story or lesson time... Yes, this is a fun night but our ultimate goal is to teach kids about Jesus so we always leave time for Him in our schedule.  We also like to talk about things we can do to help us run our race with Jesus: reading our Bible's, praying, coming to church, etc...

2 Timothy 4:7- "I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith."
Hebrews 12:1- "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

If you are looking for a little something extra to make your Summer Olympics pop try these ideas for an extra boost of fun.

Make an Olympic Torch for your kids to run around with... I made this one with one piece of poster board and orange and red tissue paper.  Just crinkle your tissue paper and hot glue it to your poster board that you have rolled into the shape of a torch.  

Team Flags-  I made these flags out of a thin PVC pipe, a yard of fabric from your local fabric store, a sharpie and black paint.  I outline the letters with a black sharpie before filling them in with black craft paint.  As kids are being registered and checked in I provide markers for them to decorate their team flags with.  All good Olympic teams have a team flag.  The kids absolutely love to carry their flags around and wave them throughout the night. 

Gold Medals-  What's the best part of any Olympics?  Seeing the winners get their medal at the end of the night.  I present my medals during the closing ceremony. 

This picture was taken at the end of last years Summer Olympics by one of my sweet little ones.  
Because taking pictures of Miss Mary is the coolest thing ever to them. 

Have any questions?  Leave your ? in the comment and I'll be glad to fill in any blanks! 

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