Every two years we get caught up in the excitement of the Summer or Winter Olympics and spend days on end following our favorite athletes and sports. But why let the professionals have all the fun? Throw your child an Olympics-themed party. It doesn’t matter if it’s during Olympics season, for a birthday or just for fun. Everyone is sure to go home a winner.
As your mini-Olympians arrive, get them to work on an Olympic torch craft. Roll a piece of white construction paper into a cone shape, where the bottom forms a point and the top opens like a cup, and secure with a piece of tape. Layer pieces of red, yellow and orange tissue paper on top of one another; gather the center and gently twist. Put a ring of glue around the inside of the cone and stuff the tissue paper twist into the torch. Once the glue is dry, gently fan out the tissue to look like flames. Torches can be embellished with glitter glue, sequins, and markers or left white. Once the craft is complete, conduct an opening ceremony where the tots parade around holding their torches in the air as the announcer calls out their names.
Let the Games Begin!
Virtually any party game can be modified with an Olympics twist, but here are a few that will get your pint-sized athletes up and moving. Water Balloon Shot Put: Kids will enjoy making a splash and seeing how far they can toss their balloons. Straw Javelin Throw: Make a javelin by taping straws together – four straws long by two straws wide makes a good size for a small child — and have the kiddos throw their javelins through a hoop or into a bucket. Popcorn Relay: Arrange big bowls of popcorn on one end of the room or yard and big empty bowls on the other. Split the group into even teams, each with a small cup. The first runner on each team races to the team’s bowl of popcorn, fills the cup, runs back, and empties the cup into the empty bowl before passing the cup to a teammate. The first team to move all the popcorn from one bowl to the other, wins. Banana Race: Have the kids line up in a row, and give each one a banana. The object is to get all the way to the finish line while holding a banana between your knees. A dropped banana means you return to the starting line. For wee little Olympians, have them run to the finish carrying the banana in their armpit.
When planning snacks for your party, think about food shaped like rings or torches. Make a square pizza and top it to look like an Olympic flag; each ring can be made from a different food, such as olives, pepperoni and sausage. For a tasty dessert, donuts and sugar cookies (with a hole in the center) can be frosted in the colors of the Olympic rings, or serve a round scoop of ice cream on top of a pointed sugar cone to look like a torch.
No Olympics party would be complete without a medal ceremony. Cut out simple felt circles and glue to a ribbon for cute, easy medals. Whether you create enough different medals for everyone to place in each event; stick with the traditional bronze, silver, gold; or just give everyone the gold, make sure all your little athletes go home feeling like winners.