Friday, August 3, 2012

Parenting Tips: The Wacky Family Olympics (Olympics Week)

By: Deborah Pace Rowley

For a super ending to your fun Olympic week, hold your own Wacky Family Olympics.

Here are some events to try or you can create some of your own: 

Discus Throw: See who perfect the technique of spinning around and throwing a paper plate the farthest.  
Javelin Throw: Compete in the Javelin Throw by launching pool noodles across the yard. 
Air Swim: Have a backyard swimming event where family members race by moving their arms in the motions of swim strokes across the yard. Run forward doing the front crawl, then run backwards doing the backstroke. 
Torch Relay: Make a torch out of a cone of white paper filled with yellow, orange or red tissue paper. Family members can compete by holding the torch as they race around the yard then passing the torch on to another family member to finish the face. Add to the challenge by crawling for one leg of the race, or skipping, or jumping on one foot etc. 
High Jump: Have two members of the family hold a pole or broom stick across the trampoline while family members see if they can jump over it and land on their backs. Continue to raise the pole until it can’t be crossed. 
Long Jump: Pull out a tape measure to see who can make the biggest standing long jump. 
Obstacle Course: Create an obstacle course in the backyard and have family members race to complete it in the fastest time. 
Make your own medals by attaching the following pieces of candy to a round piece of card stock glued to a striped ribbon. 
Gold- Mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Silver- Hersheys Kisses
Bronze- Individually Wrapped Rolos Candy
Biggest Cheerleader Award: 
Competitive kids have a hard time letting other children win. Before your wacky Olympics start, encourage your family to cheer for each other and celebrate each other’s success. Lay out the medals and then show a giant candy bar that is labeled: Biggest Cheerleader! Explain that the best award goes to the person who cheers the loudest for other family members. (NOTE: You may want to have several giant candy bars ready to award to all the kids who are great cheerleaders and good sports during the Olympic activity.) Explain that we double our joy in life when we celebrate our own successes AND celebrate the successes of others. As a wise religious leader recently taught: We don’t want to drink a big glass of pickle juice every time something good happens to someone else. 

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