During the summer of 2012, the Summer Olympic Games were held in London and my son turned 10. This was his first double-digit birthday and I wanted to plan something spectacular, and I knew exactly what the theme had to be… the ‘SHOULD-BE-OLYMPICS!” With the theme in mind, I needed to make sure the events were the perfect blend of fun, challenging, and silly.
I present to you the events of the SHOULD-BE-OLYMPIC GAMES: (cue the music)
1. Individual Event: DIZZY BAT
I owned enough plastic bats so I didn’t need to purchase any for this event, but these bats are very easy to find at dollar stores. There were 5 heats of this event – the fifth heat was for winners from the first 4 heats. Upon the whistle, athletes placed their forehead onto a plastic baseball bat and began spinning. Once a 2nd whistle sounded, participants stopped spinning and made their way to the finish line as quickly as possible. The first to cross the line won a SHOULD-BE-OLYMPICS medal!
2. Team Relay Event: 3-LEGGED RACE
From a local craft store, I purchased different color bandanas for each team of athletes. After legs were tied together, on command, the athletes raced around the entire house to the finish line in the backyard. A medal was awarded to the winning team.
3. Individual Event: FROZEN SHIRT
For this event, I gathered t-shirts from my son’s closet, folded them, soaked them in water, then stacked them in the freezer overnight. (TIP: When stacking the shirts on-top of each other, place a layer of WAX PAPER between the shirts or they’ll be frozen together!) I removed the shirts from the freezer when the Games began so the shirts had time to thaw before they were used. At the whistle, everyone grabbed a frozen shirt, “opened” it, and put it on. The first athlete to have their shirt completely on won a medal.
4. Team Relay Event: FILL ‘ER UP
I purchased all cups and spoons from a local dollar store.(TIP: I used serving sized spoons to speed the process along.) The teams from the 3-legged race were used for this event. Teams stood near a bucket of water with each athlete receiving a spoon. Team members took turns scooping water from their bucket and transporting the water across the yard to a red cup. Team members were instructed to wait until their fellow athlete dumped their spoonful of water and returned to their bucket before the next athlete began the process. The event was won when a team’s water level reached a marker line inside the cup.
5. Individual Event: STOMP THE BALLOON
The evening before the party I blew-up balloons and tied a string around the knot on each balloon. At the Games, each athlete took an inflated balloon and tied it around their ankle. At the whistle, participants tried to stomp and burst each other’s balloons. The last person with an intact balloon won a medal!
6. Team Relay Event: BODY DRAG
It was very easy for me to find blankets for this event because I have a gazillion blankets. If you don’t have a plethora of blankets, ask family and friends or visit local thrift shops. (Not one blanket was ruined in the running of this event!) Again, using the teams from previous events, each team placed a blanket on the ground and spread it out. The smaller participants laid on the blanket. The teams then worked together to drag the blanket with their teammate across the yard to the finish line. The “body” had to stay on the blanket AT ALL TIMES or the teams had to return to the starting line. The first team to cross the finish line won!
Once I had the events created, I started working on my SHOULD-BE-OLYMPICS medals. I found award medals at a local dollar store (it doesn’t matter what’s written on the medals), bought several bags of candy, and affixed different varieties of candy (and 1 gift card for each child) to the circle portion of the purchased medal. The SHOULD-BE-OLYMPICS assistants and I made sure when we were “awarding medals,” each child received 1 medal with a gift card. (TIP: I attached the gift cards to the blue-ribbon medals from the dollar store where the red ribbon medals had candy only. This color coding system made it easy for the assistants to know if a participant had already been awarded a gift card.) The medals, then, served as “goodie bags!”
I had done 9 parties before my son’s 10th and I’ve done a few after (hey, at some age the parties have to end!), and the SHOULD-BE-OLYMPICS is easily my favorite party. Oh yeah, the kids had a great time, too.
I hope you have fun with this idea whether it’s for a birthday party, family reunion, or block party! If anyone hosts their own SHOULD-BE-OLYMPICS, please let me know! I’d love to see pictures and the events you created!