5 Olympics-Inspired Backyard Games

5 Olympics-Inspired Backyard Games for Winter - Rain or Shine Mamma

You don’t need to be an avid Olympics enthusiast to have a great time with these simple winter backyard games. Aside from being fun, a backyard Olympic Games session will give your kids a good workout and a chance to practice gross motor skills, balance and eye-hand coordination. Plus, you’re all getting fresh air and playing outside!

We currently have snow but these events can be tweaked for those of you who don’t. Half the fun was just coming up with the events – maybe you can come up with some of your own as well?

Let the Games begin!

1. Snowball Shooting

Decide on a number of snowballs that each of you will shoot and start rolling. If the snow is not wet enough, just grab clumps of snow and break them  up in smaller pieces. Then have your child pick out a tree or another suitable target and take turns firing away.

5 Olympics-Inspired Backyard Games for Winter - Rain or Shine Mamma

2. 100m Snow

This one is pretty obvious, just decide where to race and measure 100 meters. Running in the snow is hard work but, oh so much fun!5 Olympics-Inspired Backyard Games for Winter - Rain or Shine Mamma

3. Balance Beam

A round log and a flat piece of wood is all you need for this event. Put the board on top of the log, then try to stand up and balance on the board as long as possible. Figuring out a good technique that will help you find your center of balance takes both problem-solving skills and some time but the Big Naturalist was certainly up for the challenge. This event seriously kept her mesmerized for half an hour. The result? The Big Naturalist – 11 seconds. Me – 0 (my boots were really slick but she didn’t buy that excuse). For younger kids, you may want to try to find an object that is easier to balance on, like a fallen log.

5 Olympics-Inspired Backyard Games for Winter - Rain or Shine Mamma

4. Snow Jump

Like long jump but with snow. Just make sure the ground underneath the snow is not icy, since that could make for some bad (and painful) landings. Don’t ask how I know this.

5 Olympics-Inspired Backyard Games for Winter - Rain or Shine Mamma

5. Sled Race

Add some excitement to your normal sledding routine by using a timer to see who can go down the fastest. Or, as a variation, see who can go the farthest. No sled? No problem. Try making one from a cardboard box.

5 Olympics-Inspired Backyard Games for Winter - Rain or Shine Mamma

Bonus event: The winter Olympics are full of obscure sports that involve going down a hill. See how many you and your kids can come up with. Try rolling, skipping, scooting, running etc. Or have a snow shovel race, like the kids at How Wee Learn!

Think it’s too cold? No motivation? Check out Yes, kids CAN play outside when it’s cold for some handy tips on how to stay warm and have fun outside in the winter. For more Olympic Games inspiration, hop on over to Active Kids Active Family and read about Five Ways to Enjoy the Olympics as a Family. Does anybody in the family have a birthday coming up? Why not make it an Olympics-themed one, like John at moosefish did for his son?


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  1. Love it… so much fun. Such neat ways to help kids learn more about Olympic sports!!

  2. Loving the balance beam option! Popping over from #CountryKids

  3. Wow look at all the snow! I’m jealous and those sledges are awesome #Countrykids

    • I read somewhere that snow is the “ultimate play thing” and I think I second that! It makes it a lot easier to get the kids outside on those cold, dark winter days:o)

  4. A bit jealous that we have no snow to try these!

  5. Lots of great fun and game ideas inspired by the olympics, I do hope we have a little snow this year then we can try them out. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  6. Great ideas for lots of outdoor fun with snow. We desperately want a bit of snow here to try out our new sled.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  7. Very envious if that snow, for one thing it’s a lot cleaner than mud!

  8. these are awesome…wonder if i could get my little guy to try them out – he’s a cautious guy, lol.

    Loved getting to know a bit more about you in the “about” section.

  9. So many fun ideas! They almost make me wish we lived were it snows…almost ;) Thanks for sharing in the Discover and Explore linky. I’m featuring this post today.

  10. These are some great activities for getting children out in the cold and snow and learning a bit about the challenges athletes overcome when competing and training! Thanks for linking up to The Olympics Link Up! Be sure to come back on Wednesday and stop by to see our features after that too!

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