Lynn Beattie, Nutrition Education Specialist
With the 2012 Summer Olympics just a few days away, are you getting excited to watch your favorite games and cheer on the athletes? Or, are you feeling adventurous and want to try a new activity with your family?
It’s only natural to feel inspired by the greatest athletes in the world. The Olympics feature such a wide variety of sports and can motivate us to try a new sport or even hold our own version of the games with our family or friends—complete with medals!
Here is a list of fun and easy activities to try outdoors. If you don’t have a backyard, head to the nearest park or field!
- Throw a bean bag and compete to see who can throw it the farthest.
- Create an obstacle course with household items. You can set up hula hoops to hop through, a table or bench to crawl under, and balloons hanging from a tree branch to reach and touch. You’d be surprised how innovative kids can be with additional ideas!
- Play discus using Frisbees (or heavier paper plates).
- Show off your simple gymnastics skills (cartwheels, somersaults, hand stands).
- Have relay races. Mark a starting line across the yard. Have children take one shoe off and put it into a pile. Have them take turns running to the pile of shoes, putting on their shoe and tying their lace. Then, run back to the finish line.
- Make a homemade badminton game by creating racquets using wire coat hangers, nylon stockings and string.
- Bend the wire hanger into an oval shape, so it looks like the top of a racquet.
- Twist the ends together to make a handle. Pull the nylon over the top of the oval and wrap it tightly around the handle. If necessary, wrap a piece of string around the hand to make it secure.
- Stretch a string between two trees and secure the ends to the tree.
- Hit a light, soft, small ball back and forth across the string.
Have fun, and remember that the Olympics are a celebration of friendship, unity and peace that can inspire us in our everyday life in more ways than one! Synchronized swimming, anyone?