How to Host an Olympics-Themed Party

Celebrate the Olympics in your own backyard.

The Olympic Games is the premier multi-sporting event in the world. The 2016 Summer Olympics starts August 5 in Rio with more than 10,500 athletes competing from 206 countries. Get into the spirit of the Olympic Games by hosting family-friendly events in your backyard. Here are ideas for games, crafts, decorations, food, goody bags and medals at your Olympics-themed party.

Archery - Try creating your own bow and arrows with branches and string or purchase a NERF bow & arrow set at NERF makes several versions—some even shoot water. Test your skills on a homemade paper target.
Archery done kid style!
Volleyball - For a pint-sized version of volleyball, get into crabwalk position and only touch the ball with your feet. Lower the net to just above the players’ heads or use a rope or pool noodles in place of a net. As an alternative, use a balloon or beach ball.

Golf - Challenge friends to a putting obstacle course. Make round golf balls in a circle ice cube tray. Players must get their ball through the obstacle course before it melts. Use mini cones, boxes or croquet hoops to make the course more challenging.

Basketball - As a fun alternative, use water balloons for basketballs and a kitchen colander as a net. One player holds the colander on his head while another tries to get the water balloon into the basket. Points to the team with the most baskets; bonus points for balloons that don’t break.

Sailing - This game requires a kiddie pool and sailboats made of pool noodles and paper sails. Opponents take turns waving their boat across the pool with a paper fan (to create a breeze). Keep time to see whose boat is the fastest.

Shooting - Fill water guns with colored water. Players aim their water guns at a white cloth target to see who has the best shot. To cool off, use human targets wearing white t-shirts. Alternatively, players can use NERF guns to knock over plastic cups and reveal a prize inside.

Find inexpensive decorations at the dollar store. Use colored tissue paper to create flames inside vases. Drape colored plastic tablecloths on walls. Wrap Olympic-colored yarn (blue, black, red, yellow, green) around foam wreaths to create Olympic rings. Use construction paper to create paper garland flags to hang at points of interest.

Make a buffet of Olympic-colored fruits, veggies and Jell-O. Offer (or have a potluck with) food from around the world. Consider a taco or pasta bar.

Awards of chocolate medals.Goody Bags
Fill reusable water bottles with Goldfish crackers, chocolate gold coins or other gold-wrapped candy. Find a variety of international games buttons, flags and jewelry that will complete your Olympic-themed bags.

Medals or Trophies
Make trophies by painting plastic wine classes in silver and gold and gluing each to a cardboard base. Or create medals by attaching ribbon to silver and gold candy, cookies sprayed with Wilton Color Mist, or “gold” discs made with Perler beads or felt.

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three.

Published August 2016

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