This year the Olympics are being held in London but if you can’t make it to the capital, gardens can still make great spaces to host your own games!

In fact, if you’re looking to throw your child a low-cost birthday party that they won’t forget, why not get into the Olympic spirit and host an Olympic tournament in your own back garden?

Pass the parcel, piñatas and pin the tail on the donkey are classic games, but they’ve all been done a million times before… so give your kids and their friends a truly unique party with these classic sports ideas.

Primary school children, sports day by Anthea Sieveking , Wellcome Images
The 100m
The best thing about running is that everyone can do it, no special skills required!

You could have a traditional race around the garden, or mix it up with other kids’ favourites – the sack race or the egg-and-spoon race!

Tennis
An Olympic favourite, tennis is a fantastic sport but if you don’t have the space to set up a child-sized court, why not have a ping pong tournament instead?

If you don’t have a ping pong table, you can set one up with garden furniture – use masking tape to section off a large table into four courts and create a net across the centre using some ribbon tied to two bottles!

Archery
Here’s one the kids will love!

I wouldn’t recommend this one for tiny tots, but if your children are aged between 7 and 12 they’ll love to try out their target-hitting skills.

You’ll need a plastic archery set, available in many toy shops – this might come with a target but if it doesn’t, create one with some large circles of coloured card and tape it to a wall or fence.

Healthy Kids Olympics
Long Jump
This one’s super simple to set up – just some form of marking on the floor and a tape measure!

Show the kids how to do the typical ‘hop, step, jump’, then measure how far they manage to go.

Football
If you’re throwing a party for your son and his friends (or just for a tomboyish daughter!) why not finish the day off with a good old game of football?

Be sure to referee the match properly to ensure it doesn’t collapse into an unmanageable tangle of children running wild!

You could lay out some upturned disposable cups at regular intervals and see who can dribble the ball to the end, weaving in and out as they go.

Or see who can do the most ‘keepy uppys’!

egg and spoon race
Children can get upset if they don’t win anything, so keep things fun with lots of mini prizes for everyone throughout the day.

How about one big prize to each event winner and a small prize (such as a mini bag of sweets) for everyone else for participating?

Another great idea – why not use some upturned cardboard boxes covered with an old sheet to make a 3-tier podium, then tally up who wins the most games throughout the day and award the top three invitees with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals? The kids will love it!

If you can’t find a place to pick up medals, swap them for three prizes gift-wrapped in metallic gold, silver and bronze paper instead.

Any other tips on hosting a children’s Olympic games at home?

Image via: sdkacm.com

About the author: Estelle Page is a self-employed interior designer on a mission to make the world a prettier place to live in, one home at a time. Inspired by antique homes and the great outdoors, its her passion to help every person to find that perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality in their own home. She’s also a keen DIYer and gardener with an interest in eco-friendly, green design.