Hosting a simple Backyard Olympics

Hosting a simple "backyard Olympics" is a fun way to spend a warm summer afternoon. It would also be a fun (and simple) theme for a DIY party. My boys set up and competed in their own backyard Olympics, and today I am sharing the games and activities that we used as part of our celebration.

First event (balloon/spoon race) – Run from the starting line to the finish line with a balloon on a spoon. You can’t touch the balloon. If you touch the balloon, or the balloon drops, you must go back to the beginning and get another balloon.

Second event (Nerf gun target shooting) – You must knock two cups of water from their perch (on top of a pylon or cup) with a Nerf gun bullet.

Third event (pass the water) – Break into teams, and each team stands in a line. The first person in line dumps water over their head(without looking back), and the second person in line catches the water and uses it to fill another container. The first team to fill their container wins.

Fourth event (squirt gun/plastic cup race) – You must squirt water into a cup (that has a string passing through it). The water will move the cup, and the first person to get his/her cup to the end of the string wins. (Hint: Use a piece of a straw inside the cup to make the string pass through the cup more easily.)

Fifth event (water balloon toss) – Break into teams, toss the balloon, and follow instructions (like take a step back, catch with one hand, etc…) The team that has their balloon longest (without breaking it) wins.

Sixth event (obstacle course) – Use many of the events above a second time to put together one huge event where every task must be completed. This can be done in teams or individually. You can also add mind games like riddles and puzzles.

We used mini chocolate bars for prizes, but a prize punch would be fun too.

Some other events/activities that would be fun: 

  • Eat donuts from a string and see who can eat their donut first.
  • Try to keep a balloon in the air the longest (without having it touch the ground).
  • Race to see who can move Skittles from one plate to another first (by sucking them up with a straw).
  • Compete in an Olympic themed scavenger hunt.
  • Divide into teams and each team gets a roll of toilet paper. Try to be the first team to use up all the paper wrapping one member of the team.
  • Put three clothespins on each child's clothing. Then, all the kids run around trying to get the most clothespins off other people's clothing (while keeping their own).

You could also add to the festivities with an Olympic themed cake and crafts.

My boys and I had a fun afternoon holding our backyard Olympics, and I'm sure they'll want to do it again soon!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)


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