- Holidays and Celebrations
Olympic theme party wins over kids
Every year there is an Olympic Games, kids sign up for sports like figure skating, gymnastics, snowboarding and swimming, dreaming of gold. For kids who have birthdays during the games, an Olympic-themed party can help make dreams come true.
Probably the best part about this party is the supplies for the games may already be sitting in the sports bin in the garage, the recycling bin or other locations throughout the house. Medals may be purchased at a party store or made with supplies from a craft store. Performing "medal ceremonies" complete with photos will make the day even more special for the kids.
Depending on the size of the party, kids should be divided into two to three teams, making it more likely every kid will go home with a medal. Parents may even want to enlist the help of older siblings and their friends to act as "coaches" for little kids who may need more direction or help with gear.
The ultimate invitation for an Olympic party is a torch, since the torch relay is basically an announcement that the games are coming.
To make this invitation, you'll need:
- paper towel rolls
- white paper
- clear tape
- sheets of red, orange and yellow construction paper
- 2x4 address labels
- silver sharpie
First, wrap a sheet of white paper around a paper towel roll, securing it with tape.
Make flames from the construction paper first by folding the construction paper in half vertically and in thirds horizontally. Cut out a single flame shape the length of the 1/6 section. Assemble the three colors of flames to make the completed torch flame and glue to hold together.
The flame can be used to provide the party basics- who, what, when, where and RSVP. Either hand write the information with marker on an address label or use a computer to type and print out the information on an address label. (Using an address label makes it easier to read and less likely to bleed.) Stick the address label to one side of the flame, and tape the flame to the torch paper towel roll. (Taping the flame on the torch allows parents to easily remove the flat flame for whatever method they use to remind themselves of the parties their kids are invited to.)
Use another address label to put the invitee's name on the invite. To make sure it's clear it's an Olympics party, use a silver sharpie to draw the five Olympic rings below the child's name. Attach this label to the bottom portion of the torch.
To deliver, let the birthday child go to his friends' houses to "pass" the torches.
For obvious reasons, the season of the games will dictate many of the games, or events, that will be played at the party. For either season, kids should first be divided into teams, with each team being assigned a color. After creating the teams, the kids can make team flags out of construction paper and paper towel rolls, while the parent sets up the first event.
If more downtime is needed, for example, to prep for cake, the teams can even create a team cheer. To prevent one team from dominating the events, the cheers and flags judging could be a final event that maybe lets a team that didn't get gold yet win a gold medal.
With each event, the winner or winning team gets gold medals, second place gets silver, and, if there is one, third gets bronze.
Events that could be played in either season include:
Obstacle course: This can be any series of obstacles you can think of, like a ring toss, running through hoops, crawling under a table, jumping jacks, etc. The fastest time wins.
Olympic quiz: Prepare multiple choice questions for the kids to answer. This could be a team event or individual event.
Events for a Winter Games party could include:
Hockey shoot: Set up a hockey net and a few pucks around it. Let each child try to hit pucks into the goal. To make the event more challenging, place an obstacle, like a step stool, in front of the goal, like it is a stationary goalie. The child with the most goals wins gold. If there is a tie, keep playing until the tie is broken!
Snowball fight: This event is played liked dodgeball. If there is snow on the ground, use it! If not, rolled up socks can be a great and safe alternative. This will be a team event, so every child on the winning team gets a gold medal.
Curling: This is the "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" game. For the target, use posterboard or a white plastic tablecloth to create the target-like floor for curling. Instead of affixing the target to the wall, place it on the floor or a table. Create flat curling stones with cardboard (look in the recycling bin- even used cereal boxes work) painted in each team's color. Each child gets a chance to slide stones towards the target while blindfolded. The team with the most "stones" in the target area at the end (stones may be pushed out during game play!) wins gold.
Bobsled relay: This game will work best in snow, but can be played on grass. To prep in snow, straight tracks will need to made in the snow by pushing a laundry basket in the snow. For this team event, one child will start sitting in a laundry basket, while another will stand behind it to push. The pusher will push the basket and teammate to the end of the track, then they will switch places to go back to the start. The process repeats until each child on the team has participated. The fastest team wins gold.
Events for a Summer Games party could include:
Standing long jump: Simply set up a start line, and have each child jump from there to as far as they can. With a measuring tape, keep track of how far each child jumps, and award medals based on who jumps the farthest.
Softball throw/shot put: This is set up like the Long Jump event, only each child is throwing a softball from the start line.
Relay race: Wrap paper towel rolls in each team's color to be used as a baton. A short track can be created in the back yard and team members can pass off the baton at each end of the track until every child has participated. This is a team event.
Marathon: This is an original Olympic event, so it should be a part of the party. Have the children run around the block as their marathon, with either an older sibling or adult leading the way, while another follows the pack to ensure safety.
The cake is the main food item at birthday parties, and this can be as simple as a sheet cake with the Olympic rings on it.
An alternative to cake can be Rice Krispie Treats cut into circles to resemble medals. A gold food color spray or even gold sprinkles available at craft stores could be used to make the treats resemble medals even more. Place the treats on top of a folded ribbon or Fruit by the Foot (cut to desired size) when serving. (Ribbons can be any color, as many different colors have been used over the years on the actual Olympic medals. For the Sochi games, the medal ribbon color is blue.)
If more food needs to be served, kids can make parfaits out of foods that are red, white and blue, like yogurt, ice cream, blueberries, strawberries, colored candies or marshmallows.
Goodie bags can be used to store medals earned throughout the party. Other additions can include items like:
- any candy or toy in the team's color
- a baggie or small box of ring-shaped cereal
- a banana (athletes love this energy food)
- small sport drink bottles
- lip balm (for winter)
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© 2014 Samantha Sinclair