Backyard Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympics are almost here! After a one year postponement the games are scheduled for July 23rd -August 8th. We will see the return of baseball and softball and the addition of surfing, karate, skateboarding, and sport climbing. There is nothing quite like the excitement of celebrating the athletic achievements of humankind!

To kick off the Tokyo Games why not create an Olympic festival in your own backyard? A family friendly competition is the perfect summertime activity. Enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and throw in a history lesson while you are at it!

Did you know?

  • The first Olympics were held in honor of the Greek’s most popular god Zeus in 776 B.C.
  • Some of the earliest events still remain such as discus, javelin, and running. 
  • Instead of medals, the Ancient Greeks awarded a wreath of olive leaves to the victors. 
  • While the attire has changed the spirit of the games remains.

Set the stage for your Olympics at a local park or in your own backyard. Dress in team colors and host your opening ceremonies. Enjoy family friendly competition with a javelin throw using pool noodles or Frisbee discus. For the performers, host a rhythmic gymnastics competition with hula-hoops, balls, and ribbons. Round out the schedule with long jump, relays, and tricycle races.  

The modern Olympics seek to promote friendship, athletic excellence, and an understanding between nations. Use items that you have at home to bring the spirit of respect and determination to your own backyard. What events would you include in your Family Olympics? Which of the new Olympics events are you most excited to see?


Stephanie Standley M. Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. She received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Psychology as well as a Master of Education-Literacy from the University of San Diego. Stephanie has 12+ years of classroom experience as a teacher and currently supports students in Special Education. She is inspired to use evidence-based practices to educate children in creative and engaging ways.