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I’ve loved watching the Olympic Games since I was a little girl. While I’ve never come anywhere close to being an Olympic-level athlete myself, I have a deep respect and admiration for the sheer effort and determination these athletes exemplify, and I hope to instill these same qualities in my children.
Watching the Olympic Games this summer will be a family affair. My girls are competitive gymnasts, so they can’t wait to watch the gymnastics events, and my boys are looking forward to soccer and swimming.
To get everyone a little more psyched up, we hosted our own impromptu Team USA Backyard Olympic Games, featuring the bean bag toss, straw water race, and homerun derby events.
For our first event, we played a backyard favorite, cornhole (also known as bean bag toss). To play, you set up a raised platform with a hole at the far end. Then using our cornhole boards, we gave each child four chances to toss the bean bags, scoring one point for each bean bag landing on the board and three points for landing a bean bag in the hole. You could easily do the same without a cornhole set by using a bucket and bags of rice or corn.
We set up tables with a cup for each child and placed a bucket of water about 20 feet back from the table. Each child used a straw to transfer water from the bucket to their assigned cup by placing the straw in the water and using a finger held over the top of the straw to keep the water in place while running to the cup. The winner was the child with the most water in their cup at the end of two minutes.
Using a plastic baseball bat and balls, each child had ten chances to hit the balls. We counted every contact, foul or not, as a hit to account for the varying skill levels. The child with the most hits wins.
After the events were over, it was time for our closing ceremonies where all the participants received a gold medal. Our gold medals were Keebler Sandies Toffee shortbread cookies, which are much tastier than the real thing.
While this was the end of the events we set up, I was thrilled when my kids decided to start making up their own events because they were having so much fun. Cleaning up all of the balls from the homerun derby turned into seeing who could toss the most balls into the ball bucket. Picking up the bats turned into a fencing event. I loved seeing the creativity and friendly competitiveness that was inspired.
For more fun Olympic-themed ideas for kids, see how to make our Patriotic Cookie Lollipops. And, find inspiration in these video stories from Team Kellogg's U.S. Olympic athletes.