Go for the GOLD, Summer Games for Kids
At Little Sprouts we love the Summer Games. There is so much to learn from them. I love using the Olympics to talk about our country, our flag, our national anthem, geography, doing your best, practicing skills, reaching for goals, and working hard for success in life.
You can put on a great Summer Games event for your kids or family without spending a ton of money.
Having fun doesn’t have to be expensive. You can make everything you need with what you have right at home.
First you need to think up some games. We do a mini Olympics here at daycare for every Summer games, so we have done many different games. This year we had rubber band archery, straw javelin, Olympic ring toss, 5-meter dash, downhill sliding, and balance beam competitions. In years past we have done tricycle-athon, weight lifting with wrapping paper tubes with pie pans on the ends, basketball throw, relay races and all manner of other games we created for the event. Use your imagination.
I made number tags for the kid’s backs and pinned them on. I just made up random numbers and printed out a bunch of different ones with the rings on them. The kids thought that was really cool.
I try to think of things we already have the supplies for or things we can make with what we have. Having events for the kids is fun, but it’s not a good idea to eat up all your profits with fancy things. The kids don’t need it and they have just as much fun without it.
Years ago I bought a cd of Whitney Houston’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and another cd with Olympic music on it. We have used those cds for each Summer Games event. When the kids arrive in the morning, I greet them with the games theme song you hear on tv between each piece of coverage of the games.
This year, we followed arrival with a Summer Games breakfast of muffins and apple rings. I just cut the apples into rounds and poked the centers out with the apple corer. Easy peasy and fun.
After breakfast, we did a parade of nations or here it was a parade of USA. The kids held small flags and walked in to the games music again. They loved it. I recorded them with my phone and let them watch it and they begged to do it over and over again. I explained how we were representing our country and showed them our town, then our state, then our country on a map. We are a part of something bigger here in Oklahoma.
Next we did an opening ceremony. We have watched snippets of the games on television and we used the music and dancing ribbons to create our own opening ceremony. We have been practicing. This gives the kids good physical activity and they also have lots of fun.
After the opening ceremony, we headed outside with our Summer Games torch I made from discarded things around the house. I used a paper towel tube, some painter’s tape, a solo cup, and a lid to a sour cream container along with some orange tissue paper from a gift bag. I just cut the tube and then made slits in it so it would attach to the lid, and taped it on with the blue tape. Then I cut an x in the bottom of the lid and the cup and stuffed the tissue paper through to make the flame hold in the torch. Then I trimmed the cup shorter and attached it to the lid with more tape. I put a few staples in for good measure.
Not only does making my own torch save me money, but it also keeps those supplies out of the landfill by using them again for something new. We took turns running around the playground and passing the torch off as we each made a lap around the play area. I explained to the kids how the torch is run for each games. This is so cool and they learn more about geography through this exercise.
Once the torch has traveled around, we begin the games.
This year, we did some activities outside and some in because it was dreadfully hot. We began with the balance beam exercises outside. Each child got to participate in any way they wanted. They practiced balance on the edging of our play area and they made up their own routines. Next we did the downhill slide where each person performed their desired techniques on the swing set slide.
The next event was the 5-meter dash in which all the kids participated at the same time. They are 2-4 years of age, so we don’t have winners and losers. They just love to run and its even more physical activity for them.
We came inside for a big drink of water and finished the games inside. We did the rubber band archery competition and saw how far we could shoot a rubber band. Next we did the straw javelin to see how far we could throw the straw. Lastly, they did a ring toss with Olympic rings. Everyone had a great time.
I bought gold medals for each of the kids from a trophy company, but you could easily make them yourself with construction paper, ribbon and cheerios for some rings on the front. We had a medal ceremony. I called each child’s name and gave them the medal and then we saluted the flag and sang the National Anthem with Whitney. She knocks it out of the park. The kids love singing our USA song.
Lastly, we played Olympic music again and used our flags to perform a closing ceremony. It was tons of fun and I was able to post pictures and short videos for parents to see how much fun we had. The parents loved it too. Pictures and videos are another way to get parents involved in your daycare. Click here to see how important parent involvement is in your program.
I had made lunch that morning and put it in the crock pot so I wouldn’t have to worry about a bunch of cooking. We had a nap after the games, and then snack when we got up was more rings to finish our celebration.
I hope you will put on an event to celebrate the Summer Games this year, there is still a week left to show the kids what it’s all about and then make up an activity of your own. It can be as simple or complicated as you’d like, but it teaches them so much. The Olympics are so special and it’s great to see your country being represented in front of the world. USA USA USA!
Don’t forget to pin for later!