Why just watch the Winter Olympics when you can hold your own silly Family Olympics in the back yard?
Recruit several of your friends and their families to get into the spirit. First, have each family pick a team name, color, and flag to add a touch of humor to your opening and closing ceremonies. Plan for five to eight outdoor challenges, but make it flexible in case little ones tucker out. Keep the playing field even by gathering children who are close in age and using props that are already on hand. Snap team photos, and let the games begin!
These ten Family Olympics events are outdoor challenges that work best in snow.
1. Snow Tow. For this slip-sliding version of tug-of-war, identify a mid-line, like a trench. Teams take position at opposite ends of a long, thick rope. The team that pulls the entire opposing team over to its side of the line wins.
2. Snowball Throw. Make a target by creating a bright circle in the snow with colored water in a squirt bottle, and challenge Olympians to hit the target with the most snowballs.
3. Tube Race. Have athletes sit in inflatable inner tubes and propel themselves to the finish line using only their feet.
4. Powder Putt. Pack down sections of snow two to three feet apart. Bury tin cans halfway down in the snow to create holes, and mark them with mini flagsticks. Then see who can score furthest under par.
5. Bundle Hula. Layer on extra sweatshirts, pants, coats, and winter wear and see who hula hoops the longest.
6. Ice Hunt. Fill a small cooler with treats and snacks and bury the “treasure chest” in your yard. Next, create a series of clues leading to the chest. Place each clue in a plastic bag, and hide it in the snow. Start the hunt by handing team members their first clue. For a less complicated hunt, freeze colored water into ice cubes and hide them around the yard.
7. Build a Snowman. Race to see which team can construct a snowman the fastest. Sweeten the challenge by using licorice, lollipops, and gummies for the mouth, eyes, buttons, and accessories. Put another spin on the challenge by having athletes toss a hat Frisbee-style on Frosty’s head.
8. Freeze Tag. For this snowy version of the age-old game, nominate one team member to be “It.” He or she races to tag the other players, who remain frozen until tagged again by a player in motion.
9. Mitten Match. Collect several different pairs of gloves. Mix them up, place them in a pile, and see which team can match the most pairs in a minute.
10. Wrap Race. Each team gets a roll of toilet paper, some crepe paper, three black circles of cardstock, and tape. Athletes then race to wrap a team member with the entire roll of toilet paper, a crepe paper scarf, and black buttons. The first team to complete a snowman wins.