10 Tips to Host the Best Family Olympics Ever

family olympics tug-of-war

The Winter Olympic Games are happening in Bejing, China, between February 4th-20th, 2022, but that doesn’t mean you and your family can’t also be part of Olympic glory. You can have your own family Olympics, complete with gold, silver, and bronze medals! 

How to Host Your Own Family Olympics

Grab your eye black, sweatbands, basketball shorts, and competitive spirit. Have everyone invent a fake country they’re representing. Design a national flag, national anthem, motto, and uniform for your country, and let the Family Olympics begin!

If you’re able to host these games during a big family reunion, be sure to invest some time into breaking your family members down into evenly-matched teams, with each team member having their own time to shine as you all compete.

1. Decor Is Essential for the Family Olympics

You have to set the scene. Make an Olympic garland with paper plates! Cut out the center of paper plates (everything but the ridged edges). Then, paint the plates with Olympic colors: red, blue, yellow, black, and green. Cut open every other loop to make a chain, taping the cuts closed with tape. Add string for hanging!

You can also make the experience *authentic* with makeshift podiums (milk crates, cinderblocks, books– whatever you can find). Don’t forget homemade medals, and of course, a medal ceremony. Mini white paper snack plates painted bronze, silver, and gold will make fantastic Olympic medals. 

family olympics medals

2. Don’t Forget the Celebratory Snacks 

Make Olympic-themed cupcakes! You can decorate them with silver, gold, and bronze sprinkles. Or, you could pipe a ring around the edge of each cupcake with either red, blue, yellow, black, or green gel icing. You can also make “gold medals” with golden Oreos and Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers! Serve Cheetos (or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos) out of cake cones for “Olympic torches.”

The Family Olympics Events 

You don’t need to be athletic for these games–it’s all about the Olympic spirit. Represent your country with pride. Show that fierce competitive spirit. And most importantly: have fun.

3. Ping Pong Ball Cup Challenge 

Set plastic party cups half-filled with water in three to five rows. Label the cups for scoring, with the closest cups worth one point and those farther away worth more. Set out a bucket of Ping-Pong balls.

To mix it up, buy a few blue or green balls or color some with markers. Award double points for a green ball landed in a cup and triple points for a blue. Each player gets 30 seconds to throw as many balls as possible into the cups. The player who finishes with the highest score wins!

4. Silly Snack Toss

This is a throwback to the goofy youth group games I used to play (and LOVE). You’ll need two shower caps (the Dollar Tree sells them), shaving cream, and snacks (like cheese puffs). Pair up into teams, and have one partner wear a shower cap. Cover the cap completely in shaving cream, then have their partner toss cheese puffs at the shaving cream cap from 4-5 feet away. Whichever team has the most snacks on their cap after 30 seconds wins!

5. Giant Golf, a.k.a. Panty Hose Bowling

Okay, this isn’t too much like golf unless you have a wild enough imagination. You’ll need at least two pantyhose and two tennis balls. Line up five plastic water bottles in two parallel lines. Have two contestants put a tennis ball in the toe of the pantyhose and place the opening over their head (like a hat). The goal is to swing the ball into the water bottles and knock them over without using their hands. The first one to knock over all the water bottles wins! 

6. An Unconventional Dance Off

Strap an empty rectangular tissue box filled with ping pong balls to each participant! Then, when the music starts playing, everyone has to dance to see who can get the most ping pong balls to fall out in 1 minute without touching the box! You can strap the boxes to their backs, but it’s a lot more fun to strap them to everyone’s derriere to see their best dance moves. 

7. Feats of Strength

Even though kids and adults are athletically and physically capable of different things, it’s still fun to have a little light-hearted competition. Try seeing who can do the most push-ups, pull-ups, or sit-ups. Don’t worry if your kid is the better athlete…their knees will start popping and cracking one day, too. 

8. Obstacle Course

If it’s warm enough outside, make a DIY obstacle course with hula hoops, pool noodles, bean bags, or any outdoor equipment you have. If it’s too cold, you may be able to use a safe, open, carpeted space in your house.

backyard family olympics

9. Family Olympics Household Triathlon

Triathlons are a combination of running, swimming, and biking. That may be an event we should leave to the professional athletes. However, you can modify the triathlon for a more family-friendly low-key event. Here are some ideas for events you can include in your family triathlon. They’re minute-to-win-it style games, but you can do three to turn it into a triathlon and see who can complete all three events fastest or with the most accuracy. 

  • Cup stacking: Stack and unstack 10 plastic cups as fast as you can without them collapsing (Hello, early 2000’s gym class)!
  • Posh Posture: Walk a distance or course with a book on your head (bonus points for improved posture).
  • Ultimate Oreo Face-Off: Get an oreo from your forehead to your mouth with no hands. I’m sure this skill will come in handy someday, right?
  • Move the M&Ms: Players use straw in their mouth and suction to transfer a pile of M&M’s from one plate to another.
  • Cup and Straw Races: Have everyone line up and try to blow a plastic solo cup 5-6 feet to a taped line. Whoever makes it across first wins! Just don’t pass out. 
  • Rice Bowl: Use chopsticks to transfer as much rice from one bowl to another as you can in one minute. The catch–the rice is uncooked. 
  • Nothing but Nerf: If your kiddos are obsessed with nerf guns, include it as an event in your Triathlon! Set up targets to see who can hit them with the most accuracy.
nerf family olympics

10. Reward the Champions of Your Family Olympics Competition

These are just some ideas to get you started. You can use any goofy game you want; just make sure to have fun! 

If you really want to make things interesting, get some prizes! Bronze gets to pick dinner one night, silver gets to pick the movie one night, and gold gets a $5 gift card (Target, 5 Below, etc.). Incentives can get everyone into the competitive spirit! 

Are you ready to win a gold medal in “Panty Hose Bowling?” Are you ready to make the Family Olympic games into an annual family tradition? Share photos and videos of your family Olympic games on FamilyApp! 

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