fun family olympic games activities

Awesome Olympics themed activities for kids and families

Whenever the Olympics comes around, it’s a great opportunity to encourage children into the different sporting activities, especially those more unusual ones. I love the atmosphere of the Olympics (I managed to get to see the Volleyball at London 2012), so I’m always keen to encourage N to experience the excitement of the games. So I pulled together these awesome Olympics themed activities for kids and families.

Love the Olympic Games

This time round it’s the Paris Olympics 2024, and I’m really looking forward to it again. Hopefully there’ll be some more interest amongst the rest of the family.

Disappointingly during the last Olympics N didn’t watch much. Certainly nothing like my interest as I’ll watch the majority of sports. Instead he dips in and out.

Rather than just watching on tv (and if I have my way it’ll be on a lot while the OH will avoid most of it) there are other ways you can immerse children and the whole family into the whole Olympic spirit.

This list of activities would be great for children to enjoy over the summer both during and after the games. Many are also suitable for the whole family (and why not do some at work) to get everyone involved. If you’re a teacher, you can use these Olympic Games activities for students of different ages too.

fun family olympic games activities
Photo by Alex Smith on Unsplash

Olympics themed activities – get physical

1. Hold your own mini Olympics

A chocolate company I used to work for had its own sports day as part of the Commonwealth Games when they were in Manchester. We did toss the (large) chocolate bar, balance the bag of sweets race, and various other fun races. You can create your own themed races depending on what you enjoy. Add in some jumping and throwing games and you could have a whole afternoon of fun.

Or try Pool noodle javelin

2. Make up your own sport

Get creative and either make up your own sport, or take a sport and make up a variation on the theme. How about tennis target shooting – make a target with different sized rings and hit balls at it to score?

throwing the bean bag

3. Play ‘beach’ volleyball

You just need a badminton net and beach ball.

4. Play basketball

Even without basketball nets you can play your own version of the game using 2 laundry baskets for goals.

Olympic Games educational activities

5. Dress up as an Olympic country

If it’s good weather, get a playdate organised (or family BBQ and get everyone involved with dressing up) and have everyone choose a country to represent.

6. Find the countries taking part

Get a map of the world, and colour in all the countries taking part. You can do this through the competition, at the opening ceremony, or based on the medal table.

7. Create mood boards for Olympic nations

Previously we did a mood board for Italy as part of learning about a different country so you could easily choose a few countries over the duration. I found it was a really good way to get N to remember about the country, matching pictures and words makes it sink in easier.

italian culture moodboard

8. Use the medal table to improve maths

Have your own medal table and get the children to move countries up and down, adding up the medals. Use a tally chart to add the medals and tot them up at the end.

9. Have a medal counter

Make a medal counter to count up your country’s medal wins (you could use your sweepstake countries and have a counter for each member of the family’s chosen country), out of a tube or bottle. Create your flag to stick on, then add marbles or counters to the tube each time a medal is won.

10. Create a timeline

Make a timeline of all the dates of the Olympic Games in the modern era, and the locations they were held at.

11. Athlete biographies

Choose an athlete (or sport) and research about them and their sport. You could create posters or scrapbook pages.

Olympic games crafts

12. Make your own Olympic rings

Use hula hoops, bangles, draw them in rice in rice, or make them out of cut up sweet/chocolate wrapper (quality street or roses wrappers would work well for the colours). See how many ways you can create the rings.

13. Chalk your Olympic Rings

Why not get the chalk out and create your own Olympic rings on a drive or patio.

14. Potato printing the rings

Try potato printing by cutting out shapes of the rings carefully with a knife, then stamping in paint on paper to make your own rings picture. If you don’t want to waste the potatoes, you could use beakers or other round items to stamp the pictures instead.

15. Make your own medals

Get out the craft box and make medals from tin foil, paint, ribbons and cardboard. Or make my washer necklaces – just use bigger washers and you’ll have some lovely medals to celebrate your own mini Olympics.

washer necklaces and medals

16. Make salt dough medals.

Salt dough is easy to make, using just plain flour, table salt and water. Make sure after shaping/cutting out your medals, you make a hole with a straw or similar to tie the ribbon through after they’re finished. You can paint the salt dough afterwards.

17. Choose a country and make your own flags

Use paper, or even make them out of material if you’ve got sewing ability. You could even make Olympic flag bunting by colouring in paper flag shapes and sticking or stapling them to ribbon/tape.

18. Make Olympic torches

Have your own torch relay with friends down your street

19. Dress a room

Along the same theme as dressing up, why not decorate the house with each person choosing a country and decorating their space to represent the country. We did this at work for the World Cup one year and it was brilliant fun.

20. Try rhythmic gymnastics

Make yourself a ribbon on a stick, get a medium sized ball and some small hoops and make up your own routines.

Other OIympic Games themed activities

21. Have themed days – for food and activities

Really get the kids immersed in different cultures, and make any staycations more interesting by theming days according to countries. They could learn some different languages, learn about the country, make the different flags, make international food and play games from those countries.

slow cooker orange chicken and rice

21. Make Olympic cookies

Simple sugar cookies or basic vanilla butter biscuits work well. Then decorate them with the Olympic Rings, or sports equipment, or even symbols of the place the games are being held in.

21. Have a sweepstake

Each pick a country (or a couple) and see how they do on the medal table – daily or over the whole competition.

22. Olympics bingo

You can create your own Olympics bingo for kids or adults. Simply create a grid, then for each square add an action or phrase that either the athletes need to do or commentators need to say, then share grids with everyone in the family and you can tick off what you see or hear as you watch. Examples could be an unusual celebration, winners holding their flag upside down, the wrong national anthem being played, a capsizing boat, shorts falling down etc. For younger children, you could use flags for the opening ceremony for a matching game.

23. Write a letter to an athlete

Write a letter to your favourite athlete congratulating them on their win or achievements. Ok, so it might not be that easy actually finding where to send it – but it could be tweeted to them if they’re online, or try sending it via other social media GB team pages, and hope it gets forwarded on.

24. Throw an Olympics party

Either to watch the opening or closing ceremony, invite friends round and have a party.

Try theming food based on the host country. For the Rio Olympics you could have tried Brazilian food like barbecued meat, queijo coalho (‘squeaky cheese skewers), Feijoada (black bean, pork and sausage stew), Brigadeiros (chocolate truffles), Pão de queijo (cheese bread), or Quindim (a custardy egg coconut dessert).

Will you be watching the Paris Olympic Games?  Are you planning any activities with the children?

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    1. N is absolutely loving watching it and talking about it. Shame it doesn’t happen more often being able to see the variety of sports on normal tv

    1. Our work sweepstake last World Cup I had Ghana. Thankfully it was just desk dressing, but kids are more predisposed to dress up than I am (well, except for N who is never that fussed!)

    1. Thanks Kirsty. I wanted to get a mix because then there’s something that a child will like as well as being educational for most of them. TBH though, N is just loving asking about the countries, flags he spots (he knows the Japanese one somehow – not sure how) and then finding them on the map.

  1. What a great collective of games and ideas. I will be trying a few of these out with the kids. Thanks for sharing x

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