I am so unbelievably excited for the Winter Games. It is an event I look forward to every 4 years. I will plant myself in front of the television as often as I can even if that means watching an event at 1am. As a mom, I am happy to instill my love of competitive sports in my kids. During the 2012 Summer Games, I had my son watch as many events as he could (he was only 3 after all). For the 2014 Winter Games, however, we had fun watching more events and engaging in more activities. When the 2016 Summer Games took place, I exposed my boys to even more fun and excitement. With the 2018 Winter Games coming up, I wanted to share some fun activities your family can enjoy to get ready for this wonderful event!
Fun Ways to Celebrate the Winter Games
There are so many fun crafts you can make to celebrate the biggest sporting event of the winter. In fact, there are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to just that. There are crafts of all kinds that will get kids excited about each event. Here are some my kids have made at home and at camp:
Make a Sled
Another fun craft is to make your own sled. A couple of years ago when vacationing in Smuggler’s Notch, we participated in a sled making activity. Each family was provided cardboard, art supplies and duct tape to create their own sled. When making your sled, it is important to make sure the tape is wrapped vertically around the cardboard otherwise it will get stuck in the snow (trust me, I know from experience). You can make it as simple or complex as you want. Then have a competition to see whose sled goes the fastest! This is a fun family activity but it can also be done amongst friends or even with fellow Scouts.
This winter, get the entire family involved in the fun! Have each family member pick a country they will root for. Make the flag for that country and learn more about it. You can even make a poster about the country and put on a presentation for the family. Find out which events each country will participate in then keep track of how many medals they earn. Create family rankings each day based on how your country does. At the end, the family member whose country had the most medals can be awarded a medal or trophy.
Learn a New Sport
This winter sign the kids up to learn a new sport. Figure skating, hockey, skiing, snowboarding, there are so many sports to choose from. Whether it’s an ongoing class, a single lesson or one day event, kids will have a blast learning a new sport this winter. Some programs even offer specific themes where participants can learn about a variety of sports. (Check out our list of Places to Ski In (and Around) NJ.)
Create Your Own Games
This winter, create your own Games right in your backyard or living room. Invite family and friends over for a day full of fun and friendly competition. Start by having each family (or team) come up with their own name and design their own flag. You can set up activities in the yard and around the house for everyone to participate in. They can be team events or activities where only one member from each team is chosen to compete. Here are some ideas:
- Obstacle courses
- Hockey (Play in the driveway or even use an air hockey table)
- Sled Race
- Ring Toss
- Snowball Toss
The possibilities are really endless for the activities you can do. Keep track of the teams that win each event then hold an awards ceremony at the end.
Go to a Hockey Game
You may not be able to travel all the way to South Korea, but you can catch a game right near your house. Whether it is a youth sports team or the National Hockey League, attending a hockey game is a great way to get excited for the Winter Games. It helps kids gain insight into this amazing sport and gain a better understanding of the dedication and hard work needed to excel.
Have an Opening or Closing Ceremonies Party
I absolutely love watching the opening and closing ceremonies. It is always so magical and inspiring. This winter, invite some friends and family over to enjoy the ceremonies together. You can offer themed snacks and treats, have the kids make crafts and put up some fun decorations. You can even do your own torch run around your house or neighborhood. I recommend using the torch from Uncle Milton. It even lights up!
These are just a few ways to celebrate the upcoming Winter Games. I am sure we will come up with more, and we will be sure to share them with you! The Winter Games takes place February 9-25, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. The events can be seen on NBC. You can find the schedule on their website.