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Olympic Games and Activities for Kids

Updated on January 19, 2014

Keeping Your Kids Active

In 2006, when my children were ages five and two we decided to play Olympic games at home while the winter games were occurring. For a solid week, we did fun games in our family room every night and earned homemade medals. We also used that week to learn about the history of the Olympics, the athletes, the events, and the countries that participated. Each day we focused on a new country and found unique recipes to make in order to help us experience a meal from another culture each and every night.

At first it seemed like a fun way to pass the time while stuck indoors, but it became a tradition in our household that has made the summer and winter events exciting for our children every time they occur. In the years the Olympics do not occur my children have still begged to have a special week and try new and different things. If you are interested in keeping your children active and busy all year long, consider trying some of these activities that our children have enjoyed for the last few years. Pick weeks throughout the year to be Olympic Weeks and try various new activities and games.

By picking weeks throughout the year to focus on being active and trying new things, you and your kids will get excited about the time together and over time your kids will likely be willing to try anything and may even discover a gift or talent they have in the process.

Summer Olympic Game Ideas

  • Complete an obstacle course outside or in the living room
  • Drink a small cup of water with no hands
  • Run a short race while balancing an egg on a spoon
  • Get the Wii Olympics game and compete against each other
  • Put a bunch of sports balls all over the yard and see who can pick up the most and run to the finish line with the most
  • Throw fruit loops into small cups; the most in the cup wins

Winter Olympic Game Ideas

  • See who can spin in a circle the longest before falling down
  • Race to sort a bowl of fruit loops into color groups
  • Blow a cotton ball across the floor with a straw
  • Get a small item out of a frozen ice cube (melt or break the ice)
  • Push a Frisbee as far across the floor as far as you can using the broom with only one sweep
  • Stand on the sofa and toss a stuffed animal into a pile of pillows; animal has to land in the pillows

More Ways to Stay Active all Year Long

Here are some non-olympic themed ideas and resources to help you keep your kids active and busy all year long.

  • find family-friendly fitness videos on YouTube to do together
  • make up games as a family using stuff from around your house
  • make an obstacle course in your house or outside
  • go hiking or biking at a local park or state park
  • try one new activity each month (rent a kayak, take an art class, visit a local museum)-check local newspaper or community centers to find activities going on in your community that you can try
  • try to make new recipes together as a family
  • start seedlings indoors in the winter and then move to an outdoor garden in the spring

Family Friendly Exercise Videos on YouTube

Olympic Ceremonies

Click thumbnail to view full-size
With our homemade Olympic torch we stood proud wearing all our medals.After our children won a medal, we let them stand on a chair while we sang the National Anthem.
With our homemade Olympic torch we stood proud wearing all our medals.
With our homemade Olympic torch we stood proud wearing all our medals. | Source
After our children won a medal, we let them stand on a chair while we sang the National Anthem.
After our children won a medal, we let them stand on a chair while we sang the National Anthem. | Source

Olympic Games Craft Ideas

If you are looking to do Olympic games at your house, these craft ideas will go well with the games, If you are just looking for interesting and new crafts, consider checking out Pinterest, Family Fun Magazine, or various crafting blogs on the Internet.

Make an Olympic Torch

Materials: Paper towel tube, orange and yellow tissue paper

Directions: Decorate the tube and then shove the tissue paper end into the tube and you are ready to go!

Homemade Medals

Materials: cardboard from old cereal box, aluminum foil, gold glitter, white glue, copper colored acrylic paint, paint brushes, yarn or decorative string or ribbon, hole punch, and scissors


  • Cut out the cardboard into circles; you can trace the bottom of a soup can for perfect circles
  • Punch a hole in the cardboard circle for where the ribbon will go
  • Paint some of the cardboard circles (medals) with the copper acrylic paint, coat others with white glue and cover in gold glitter, and then for others, coat in white glue and place aluminum foil over the cardboard circle
  • Let the one side dry before doing the other side
  • Once both sides are decorate and dry attach the ribbon or string and you are ready to go

How are Olympic game locations decided?

Here is a simplified version of how Olympic game locations are chosen:

  1. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) receives proposals/applications from cities that would like to be considered
  2. From those applications the IOC selects a few cities and they complete an second application that is over 250 pages long
  3. A secret vote by IOC members is taken until a winner is determined
  4. The hosting city is decided seven years prior to the event so that they have time to prepare

Where will the Next Olympic Games be Held?

Sochi, Russia:
Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia

get directions

2014 Winter Olympics

Rio De Janiero, Brazil:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

get directions

2016 Summer Olympics

Pyeongchang, South Korea:
Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea

get directions

2018 Winter Olympics

Cast Your Vote for the 2020 Summer Olympics!

Where do you think the 2020 Summer Olympics Should be Held?

See results

Cook Together as Way to Stay Active

Cooking and making things from scratch is not only fun but can burn a few calories as well. Consider growing your own food or visiting a local Farmer's Market with your children and then trying new recipes with those foods.

The Olympics were a great time of the year to encourage our kids to try foods from around the world, but anytime of the year can be 'Asian Week' or 'Dutch Day' in your home. Consider finding unique holidays as inspiration to cook new and different meals with your children. Try Irish foods on St. Patrick's Day or Mexican on May the 5th (Cinco De Mayo- Mexican Independence Day).

Cooking also helps improve math, reading and organizational skills and by cooking with your kids you are helping them learn a skill they will need to use throughout their lifetime.

Dinner Ideas from Around the World

Dinner Idea
Homemade eggrolls
Pasta with homemade tomato sauce and fresh Italian bread
Jamaican jerk chicken
Bratwurst with sauerkraut
Fried fish and chips wrapped in newspaper
Armenian cheese rolls
Acaraje' (fried balls of shrimp, black-eyed peas and onion)
South Korea
Korean BBQ spare ribs with kimchi
Chicken and broccoli soup
Rice and beans
Burgers and fries with milkshakes


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    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judi Brown 

      6 years ago from UK

      Love the food ideas! Making flags is good fun too. We did Olympic "Top Trumps" at school - drew flag on one side of a card, and then chose Olympic facts about that country for the other side - eg no. of gold medals won, fastest woman at 100m etc, then played the game.

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I hope your son has fun with the activities!

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      These are very useful ideas and i will surely try some of them with my young son. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I think the IOC does a fairly good job of spreading it around the world. However a small country would likely never host the Olympics and security is now a big deal as well.

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image


      6 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      What a fun hub! Great ideas for crafts, games, books and movies. My family's favorite is Miracle on Ice. I found how the location of the next Olympics is determined to be very interesting.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      I just shared your hub and hope many young families use some of your suggested ideas!

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks starstream. We have always tried to create games in which we knew one child would not dominate over the other and they would both win some medals.

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks theraggededge! This summer, my son is away during the first week of the Olympics so we have to have a late start, but it will still be fun when he gets back.

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      My kids have even got some of their friends to join us, it is something I think they will remember for a long time.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      What a great idea to share the meaning of the Olympics with children. I love your game suggestions and hope to share this hub with many families. Children love to participate.

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev G 

      6 years ago from Wales, UK

      Absolutely brilliant idea! I love all your suggestions Wish my two were still young enough to do this. Voted up.

    • cactusbythesea profile image


      6 years ago from Seattle

      When I was growing up, we did something something similar for every Olympics. This hub reminded me of what a fun time we had. Excellent hub with a lot of great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks! I love finding ways to get my kids to try new foods.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania


      This was an awesome hub! Such a cool idea you have, and I am sure your kids love it! The recipes are a clever touch to this week of celebration you do. The hub was very informative! Thanks for sharing Chrissie, have a great rest of your weekend! I am sharing!


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