No matter how small or large, young or old, in shape or out of
shape familes are, these games are for everyone. This Family
Olympics event is specially designed so everyone can be a medalist
in at least one event. The games will strengthen family members’
relationships and build inter-family relationships through fun
Open with prayer and a Scripture verse, and light a candle to
signify the beginning of the games. The administrators of the games
double as the judges. At the conclusion of each event, present a
medal to the first-, second-, and third-place winning families. See
the “Go for the Gold” box for a cheap and easy way to make
Goal: Each family creates a banner that
reflects the most valuable characteristics of their family.
Supplies: For each family, fill a bag with craft
glue (specified for use with felt); scissors; a 24X36-inch piece of
white felt; 8X10-inch pieces of red, blue, green, yellow, and black
felt; and a black permanent marker. You’ll also need Olympic-style
Advantage: Everyone wins!
The Game: Give each family a supply bag and 20
minutes to create a family banner. Using the felt squares, families
must create a design with a specific section for each family member
— similar to a family crest. Have family members each tell what
they think is the most valuable characteristic of their family.
Each family member can draw a picture or write a word to describe
their characteristic in their section.
After the banners are made, play Olympic-style music and have
families parade around in a circle to display their banners and
imitate the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Award each family member a
gold medal for this event.
Hula Hoop Holdup
Goal: Each family gets all its family members
into a Hula-Hoop plastic hoop and races across the finish
Supplies: You’ll need one large Hula Hoop per
Advantage: Families with smaller people.
The Game: Designate the starting line and use a
long piece of crepe paper to mark the finish line. All families
line up behind the starting line and begin at the same time. Have
all the people in each family get into their family’s Hula Hoop and
race to the finish line. Award medals to the first three families
to cross the finish line.
Daddy Piggyback Race
Goal: Dads or the strongest family members race
to carry each of their family members across the finish line.
Advantage: Families with younger or fewer
The Game: Have all the families line up behind
the starting line. The father must carry one of his family members
across the finish line with only his feet touching the ground,
return for the next family member, and repeat the process until all
the family members are across the finish line. Award medals for the
first three families to have all their family members across the
Lumberjack Log Toss
Goal: Families throw logs to achieve the
longest combined distance.
Supplies: You’ll need logs cut into a variety of
lengths (can be used as firewood for a hot dog roast after the
games) and a bandanna for each family.
Advantage: The family with the most family
The Game: Have one family complete all their
tosses before going on to the next family. Have the first family
line up behind the starting line. The first family member selects
an appropriate log and tosses it lumberjack style (see the photo)
toward the finish line. Family members can build up extra momentum
by taking a few steps before the toss, but their feet can’t cross
the starting line. Next, the second family member chooses a log and
throws his log from the point where the first log landed. Continue
until everyone in the family has tossed. Flag the family’s final
toss and have the next family compete. Award medals to the three
families with the longest distances.
20-Meter Tunnel Relay
Goal: Family members line up and take turns
crawling through each other’s legs in a race to cross the finish
Advantage: Families with older children.
The Game: All the families line up behind the
starting line and begin at the same time. Have each family face the
starting line and line up with family members about 3 feet from one
another, stretching from the starting line toward the finish line.
The person closest to the starting line crawls under the legs of
all the other family members who are standing in line. Once the
crawler has reached the end of the tunnel, she must stand up and
become part of the tunnel. Then the person closest to the starting
line does the same thing. Continue until one standing family member
crosses the finish line and the tunneling family member crawls
across the finish line. Award medals to the three families who
Greased Pig Pass
Goal: Each family passes a “pig” from one
family member to another to achieve the most transfers of the
Supplies: You’ll need a watch with a second hand,
cooking oil, water-filled elongated balloons, and a wading pool.
Place the balloons in the wading pool and pour the cooking oil over
Advantage: Everyone is equally challenged.
The Game: Play this game one family at a time.
Give each family 30 seconds to complete as many handoffs as
possible. Count successful transfers from one person to the next.
If the pig is popped or dropped, that pass is incomplete. Families
pick up a new balloon and continue counting. Award medals to the
three families with the most transfers.
Go For The Gold
To make “olympic” medals for this event, you’ll need tagboard;
scissors; a single-hole punch; a black permanent marker; and gold,
silver, and bronze spray paint. For each medal, you’ll need a
1/4-inch strand of ribbon cut in 24-inch lengths.
Cut a 4-inch diameter circle from the tagboard. Use this as a
pattern to trace and cut out the circles. You’ll need three circles
for each game, and a circle for each family member. Spray paint one
circle for each family member gold for the “Banner Bonanza” event.
With the remaining circles, spray paint one-third gold, one-third
silver, and one-third bronze.
After the paint dries, punch a hole near the top of each medal
and tie on a ribbon strand. Use a black permanent marker to write
each event name in the center of the appropriate medals.
Heather Ward leads children in creative dance and music
workshops in Colorado. Please keep in mind that phone numbers,
addresses, and prices are subject to change.
Web Links to More Family Olympic Games