The Olympic Games have finally arrived, which means in the next few weeks your kiddos will be shooting the soccer ball in your yard like Abby Wambach and doing somersaults off your couches like Olympic gymnasts. Entertain your kids and their Olympic dreams (without the hassle and cost of traveling thousands of miles to London) by throwing an Olympics party in your own backyard. From cool decorations to fun prizes and games, we’ve got the low down on how to throw a totally memorable Olympics bash.

Photo courtesy of  A Small Snippet

Who to invite: Family, friends, neighbors, your favorite coach, sports enthusiasts, those who like to compete. The more the merrier! We suggest that you invite enough guests so that you can break your guests down into teams to compete in your own set of Olympic games.

Where to host it: Your backyard, a friend’s backyard, a local park or a community pool. Your location will set the tone for the types of games that you want to play. So, if you want to host swimming relays, chose a location with a pool. If you want to host relay races, chose somewhere either has a track, or a large grassy flat surface. If you want to host a ping pong tournament, chose somewhere that has access to ping pong tables.

What to wear: Assign team colors, either bright colors or the colors of the Olympic rings – blue, yellow, black, red and green and either provide tee shirts or invite guests to wear a specific color. Having guests wear specific team colors will help identify teams. Make sure to identify your coaches by giving them a special tee shirt, a whistle to wear around their neck and a clip board. Ask your guests to bring swim gear, towels and a change of clothes in case you have any water games planned.

What to do: The possibilities are endless! Host a variety of kid friendly games such as a swimming relay races, egg relay races, tennis matches, water balloon tosses, ping pong tournaments, tug-of-war and ring tosses. End the day with an award ceremony and recognize the winners by presenting them with medals or trophies.

Photo courtesy of  A Small Snippet

Décor: Incorporate the Olympic rings, blow-ups of your favorite Olympians, flags from different countries and of course, Olympic medals. You can also include flowers, which can be used as décor and then awarded to the winners. Another alternative is using gumballs in red, white and blue, which can serve as décor and also be eaten.

Photo courtesy of Pingg via Pininterest 

What to serve: Host a grab and go food bar where guests can eat quickly and with ease like mini hamburger sliders, hot dogs, bags of chips, veggies and fruit. Make sure that you  have plenty of beverages on hand, especially water, to keep everyone hydrated.

Or, go for the gold with Olympic-themed food. These ice-cream cones by Heather Cristo are filled with cake and topped with golden frosting to imitate the flaming torch. Pair these with an Olympic ring pizza or dessert plate!

Photo courtesy of Heather Cristo via Flickr

 What will you be doing to get into the Olympic spirit this year? 

— Wanda Ahmadi