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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Hosting a Backyard Olympics

Suzanne Oliver
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Michael L. Baird via Flicker

Go for the gold! Playing off the excitement of the London Olympics, many families are organizing their own summer games in the back yard. The sporting event can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish. Here are a few pointers for planning.

  • Gather the neighbors and divide up into teams. Each team should make their own flag and wear “uniforms,” something as simple as T-shirts of the same color and shorts.
  • Grab your team’s flag and a homemade torch (a cardboard paper towel tube and orange tissue paper or cellophane for the flames). Then parade around the neighborhood to a chorus of kazoos.
  • Have an honored judge wearing a sash announce the arrival of each team.
  • Construct the Olympic rings using colored hula hoops or crêpe paper.
  • Write up the schedule of events on a dry erase board.
  • Have a water station on hand with a cooler, so that everyone stays hydrated in the heat. You may want to give all the athletes their own personalized water bottles.
  • Have a three-person panel judge each competition with scorecards.
  • Make crowns (leaves woven with wire) and medals for each participant. Purchase medals from a local party supply store or make your own out of cardboard and ribbon.
  • Award everyone with red, white and blue popsicles.
  • As for the sporting events, the options are endless:

Obstacle course                    Volleyball                      Weight lifting

Long jump                              Balance beam              Rhythmic gymnastics

Hula hooping                         Jump rope                    Hurdles

25-yard dash                          Limbo                           Wheelbarrow race

Tug-of-war                             Soccer                           Frisbee

Potato sack race                    Tumbling                       Water balloon toss

Relay race                              Badminton                    Squirt gun target shoot


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