Day Camp at Home Week 4: Summer Olympic Games

Welcome to the fourth week of Active for Life Day Camp at Home! Every week until Aug. 24, we’ll provide you with activities, crafts, and book recommendations for you and your kids to do at home. Here you’ll find a variety of games and activity ideas, using little to no equipment and materials, that will keep your children active, engaged, and having fun!

This article is written in collaboration with the Canadian Olympic School Program

Welcome to Week 4: Olympic Games

Did you know this week would have been the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games? We may not be able to cheer on Team Canada this year, but there are lots of fun activities to get your family in the Olympic spirit!

You decide how you want to use these activities: pick one thing to do each day of the week, plan a full day of fun, or just scan through for inspiration and do what sounds fun to you.

Fun fact: The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will now take place one year later, officially opening on July 23, 2021 and continuing through to Aug. 8, 2021.

Other weeks

Week 1: Animal Planet

Week 2: Music Makers

Week 3: Exploration

Week 5: Going Green

Week 6: Under the Sea

Week 7: Splish, Splash

It’s important for children to participate in a variety of sports and activities because it helps with long-term physical development. The Olympic Games bring excitement and an opportunity to learn about different sports you may not have heard about or tried.

This week, we’re sharing games, activities, and resources that will introduce your child to a variety of Olympic sports. 

Did you know that the number one reason why kids play sports is to have FUN? Remember to focus on the fun factor in order to keep your child engaged and enjoying movement!

Here’s what we’ve got for this week

  • Independent play: Create your own gymnastics routine or practice your dribbling.
  • Arts & crafts: Get creative with making your own Olympic Games Torch and Olympic Rings.
  • Active family fun: Go on a neighbourhood Torch Relay and try some archery and athletics.
  • Quiet time: We’ve got book suggestions for all ages—including some written by Olympic athletes!

If you’re up for a full week of Olympics-themed fun, here’s a sample schedule you can follow: 

Monday
Opening Ceremony
1. Make your own Olympic Torch
2. Neighbourhood Olympic Torch Relay

Tuesday
1. Golden Rings Archery
2. Team Canada Colouring Pages

Wednesday
1. Gymnastics Routine
2. Bonus: Destination Tokyo Olympic Design

Thursday
1. Olympic Rings Craft
2. Figure 8 Dribbling

Friday
Closing Ceremony
1. Athletics 101
2. Bonus: The PURSUE Series

Fun fact: Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, has a population of nearly 127 million people.

Independent play

When children have active play every day, it improves their relationships and ability to regulate emotions, and builds resiliency.  When you help your kids develop skills, confidence, and love of movement, they are more likely to be physically active for life!

Activity: Gymnastics Routine

What you’ll need:

  • Mats or a carpeted/soft playing area (indoors or grassy area outdoors)
  • Masking tape, rope or string
  • Optional: ribbon or scarf, ball, hoops, and music

How to play:

  1. Using mats or in a carpeted/soft playing area, ask your child to create their own gymnastics floor routine that includes different movements like jumping, forward roll, cartwheels, balancing on one foot/balance beam walking, and spins. 
  2. Repeat and practice the routine a few times. 
  3. Perform the routine for the family.

How to make it easier:

  • Give your child one skill at a time to practice (i.e. spin, balance on one foot, etc.)
  • Help your child create a routine and give them time to practice it on their own 
  • Lay out a piece of tape, rope or string so your child can practice walking in a straight line (similar to a balance beam)

How to increase the challenge:

  • Encourage your child to use music and props, such as ribbons, balls or hoops
  • Incorporate items from around your house that can safely be used for jumping over or balancing on (similar to a balance beam) 

Activity: Figure 8 Dribbling

To help you teach your child how to dribble, check out these great resources:

What you’ll need: 

  • Soccer ball (or any ball of similar size you may have around the house)
  • Basketball (or any ball of similar size you may have around the house)
  • 2 pylons (can use water bottles or canned goods instead)

How to play:

  1. Place the two pylons (or other objects like empty milk cartons) about six feet apart.
  2. Dribble a soccer ball with your feet between the two pylons in a figure-eight motion, using the inside and outside of your foot to dribble.
  3. Repeat Step 2 a few more times to practice this skill.
  4. Dribble a basketball with your hands between the two pylons in a figure-eight motion. 
  5. Repeat Step 4 a few more times to practice this skill.

How to make it easier:

  • Your child can dribble back and forth between pylons instead of a figure-eight motion
  • Use tape or sidewalk chalk to make a figure-eight track for your child to follow
  • Make the playing area smaller (shorten the distance between pylons)
  • Change equipment (provide a bigger ball)
  • Practice one type of dribbling instead of doing both soccer and basketball

How to increase the challenge:

  • Increase the number of pylons so your child can progress to weaving through pylons 
  • Make the playing area bigger (increase the distance between pylons)
  • Encourage your child to dribble using alternate feet (for soccer) and hands (for basketball)
  • Add a goal (using household items) at the end of the dribbling course so your child can practice taking a shot to score extra points.

Fun fact: Miraitowa is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascot. Miraitowa’s special skill is the ability to move anywhere instantaneously like a ninja.

Bonus activities for independent play:

Arts & crafts

The following activities are super easy and fun to do with your child.

Craft: Make your own Olympic Torch


What you’ll need:

  • 1 paper plate (or a piece of cardstock or construction paper)
  • Markers, pencil crayons or crayons to colour the torch
  • Tissue paper—red, yellow and orange (can use construction paper)
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • Optional: paint and paint brush, stickers, and other craft supplies to decorate your torch

Instructions:

  1. Colour and decorate the bottom side of the paper plate.
  2. Roll the plate inward so it is a tight roll on the bottom and a looser roll on top and tape it so it is secured (it should look like an ice cream cone)
  3. Use half a sheet of red, yellow and orange tissue paper and layer the sheets.
  4. Gather the tissue paper at the centre and squeeze the bottom so it is narrow enough to slide into the top of the paper plate torch.

How to make it easier: 

  • Use stamps or stickers to decorate the “torch” holder

How to increase the challenge:

  • Use paint and other craft supplies to decorate your paper plate torch!

Fun fact: Approximately 30 percent of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch is made from recycled aluminum.

Craft: Olympic Rings 

What you’ll need:

  • 5 paper plates (or cardstock paper cut into circles)
  • Paint (blue, black, red, yellow and green)
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

Instructions:

  1. Paint each paper plate a different colour (blue, black, red, yellow and green). Let dry.
  2. Cut a large hole in the centre of each plate so that you are left with a ring of each colour.
  3. Glue or tape rings together in the shape of the Olympic symbol:

How to make it easier:

  • Cut out paper plate rings ahead of time
  • Colour rings with markers or crayons, instead of using paint

How to increase the challenge:

  • Use felt or other fabric instead of using paper plates

Bonus craft: Origami Olympic Rings

What you’ll need:

  • 6-inch square origami paper (or standard paper) in red, green, black, blue and yellow
  • glue stick

Instructions:

  1. Fold your red paper square horizontally and then vertically to crease
  2. Cut carefully along one of the crease lines to make two rectangles
  3. Fold each rectangle into thirds so that you end up with thin strips
  4. Carefully fold the two ends down and in at a 45 degree angle, creasing well. Repeat with the second rectangle.
  5. Slide the two parts of the ring together, pushing the ends of one inside the other and glue together.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 with the green paper. When you reach Step 5, thread one of the ring parts through the red ring and glue the two green ends together.
  7. Repeat with the black, yellow and blue paper, linking on to the previous ring.

Active family fun

Looking for some fun family activities? Try out these Olympic-themed activities that your whole family will love. 

Activity: Neighbourhood Olympic Torch Relay

Check out this awesome resource from the Canadian Olympic Committee to help you plan your event [PDF].

What you’ll need: 

  • Just you and your family

How to play:

  1. As a family, decide on an Olympic Torch Relay route around your neighbourhood. Be sure to consider safety, distance, and a back-up route in case of inclement weather. 
  2. Each family member will have a chance to hold the torch for a section of the route.
  3. Decide the order of torchbearers and where each handoff of the torch will happen.
  4. Allow each person to choose how they will actively move through their section of the relay (i.e. walking, running, riding a bike, rollerblading, etc.).
  5. Recruit some neighbours to be spectators at your event! 
  6. Complete the Olympic Torch Relay as a family and have fun!

Activity: Golden Rings Archery

This is a great resource from KIDDO to help teach your child how to throw

What you’ll need: 

  • Household items to make 3-5 archery rings (i.e. sidewalk chalk, masking tape, hula hoops, rope, frisbees, etc.)
  • Bean bags (can use a sock filled with rice)

How to play:  

  1. Using household items (as listed above), set up the archery target so that there are three rings (outer ring, inner ring and centre of the target).
  2. Give each ring within the target different points: 
    • 1 point  =  bean bag is inside or touching the outer ring
    • 2 points = bean bag is inside or touching the inner ring
    • 3 points = bean bag is inside the center of the target
  3. Identify a “starting line” to stand behind when throwing the bean bag.  
  4. Each player gets three bean bag throws per turn. 
  5. The goal is to land the bean bag as close to the centre of the target as possible.
  6. Total up each player’s points to get a final score for your family’s team.

Add more movement:

  • Set up more than one target so multiple players can play at the same time.
  • Players who are waiting in line can practice fundamental movement skills (i.e. throwing and catching their beanbag, hopping, running on the spot, etc.)

How to make it easier:

  • Decrease the number of rings in the target (use two rings instead of three)
  • Increase the size of the target and rings
  • Move the “starting line” closer to the target
  • Players can have an unlimited number of throws to hit the target

How to increase the challenge:

  • Increase the number of rings in the target (use four or five rings instead of three)
  • Move the “starting line” further away from the target
  • Use a smaller bean bag
  • Vary your throw: try underhand and overhand throwing
  • Use your non-dominant hand to throw the bean bag 

Activity: Athletics 101

To help you teach your child fundamental movement skills such as throwing, running and jumping, check out these great resources:

What you’ll need: 

  • Homemade shot put (sock filled with rice and tied tightly)
  • Pylons or other household items (i.e. water bottles or canned goods)
  • Masking tape or rope

How to play: Set up three activity stations to move through as a family: shot put, running and long jump.

Shot put station: 

  1. Using tape or rope, set up a “throwing line” for players to stand behind.
  2. The first person will line up behind the throwing line and perform a shot put throw with the beanbag.
  3. The next person will throw from where the last person’s bean bag landed. Continue on until each person has completed a shot put throw.
  4. Using pylons, mark the total distance of all shot put throws combined.
  5. Repeat Steps 1-4 to see if you can beat the distance from the previous attempt.

Running station:

Note: The activity at this station can also be done by wheeling or gliding instead of running.

  1. Using tape or rope, set up a “start line” and “finish line”.
  2. Each person will have a turn to run as fast as they can from the “start line” to the “finish line.”
  3. Time each person’s run and record it.
  4. Repeat Steps 1-3 a few more times to get a “personal best” time.

Long jump station:

  1. Using tape or rope, set up a “jumping line” for players to stand behind.
  2. The first person will line up behind the jumping line and jump forward as far as they can landing on both feet. Another family member can mark the distance.
  3. Each person will have a turn to jump as far as they can from the “jump line.”
  4. Repeat Steps 1-3 a few more times to get a “personal best” jump.

How to make it easier:

  • Complete one activity station instead of all three
  • Shorten the distance between the “start line” and “finish line”

How to increase the challenge:

  • Try running to the “jump line” before jumping 
  • Increase the distance between the “start line” and “finish line”

Related read: 8 Summer Olympic Games-themed sports games for young kids


Fun fact: Approximately 5,000 medals that would have been awarded to athletes at Tokyo 2020 were produced from electronic devices such as used mobile phones.

Quiet time

Here are some recommended reads on our Olympic Games theme (and links to read-aloud videos on YouTube!)

    • 0-3 years: Dunk Skunk by Michael Rex

    • 3-5 years: The Frog Olympics by Brian Moses

    • 6-8 years: She’s Got This by Laurie Hernandez

    • 9-12 years: Yes, I Can! The Story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team by Devon Harris

Bonus activities

  • The Olympic Activity Calendar introduces youth to a variety of Olympic sports and Canadian athletes, as well as daily physical activity challenges.

We hope you’ve enjoyed participating in our Olympic-themed games and activities! 

Join us next week for some earth-friendly fun in our Going Green activity plan. Get a sneak peek at what’s ahead in our printable Active for Life Day Camp at Home adventure mapGive it to your child to colour in and see what themes are coming up next.

Komak the moose photo credit: TEAM CANADA/ Johany Jutras. Craft photos courtesy of Jen Smith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *