If you’re looking for some giggles, try hosting a Backwards Mini-Olympics for your kiddos, part of our summer series Get Out and Play! When my girls were preschool and early elementary age, they loved it when I set-up obstacle courses or other activity challenges for them. Even as older kids, they still get a kick out of these activities. It’s a great way to get moving and have fun!
For a Backwards Mini-Olympics, plan five or so activities that center around doing things backwards. I like to choose a couple of easier activities, based on my kids’ abilities at the time, along with one or two challenges. Be sure to do these activities in a large, open area so your little athletes have lots of room to walk, jump, throw and scooch backwards without running into things. Invite friends and family over to have an afternoon full of exercise and tons of fun.
Here are a few ideas to help you plan your own Backwards Olympics:
- Walk backwards to a finish line or on a line made with chalk or masking tape. Can you tiptoe or lunge backwards?
- Walk backwards carrying a small ball on a spoon (or in a measuring cup if it’s too hard!).
- Scooch backwards on hand towels. This works best on grass, or inside on a smooth floor. To make it more challenging, set-up obstacles to go around.
- Throw beanbags or Koosh balls backward over your heads. See if you can hit a target – maybe a dishpan or chalk-drawn target on the ground behind you. If it’s a hot day, throw water balloons!
- Jump backward 10 times or more – counting backward while you do it!
- Kick a ball backwards into a goal.
- Stand back-to-back and side-step to the finish line, without your backs moving apart.
- Ride a scooter backwards from starting line to finish line.
- Dribble a basketball while walking backwards.
- Try a backwards crab walk. Measure how far you can go.
Celebrate your young athletes’ accomplishments with hand-drawn certificates or paper medals – don’t forget to write their names backwards! And maybe indulge in a backwards brownie sundae, too? Cherry and whipped cream on the bottom, followed by hot fudge, ice cream, and a carefully balanced brownie on top!
Once you start thinking backwards, the possibilities are endless. Have fun!
See more creative Get Out and Play ideas here.