Fun Activities for Kids: Host Your Own New Year’s Eve Athletic and Academic Olympics

Fun Activities for Kids: Host Your Own New Year’s Eve Athletic and Academic Olympics

December 30, 2014 - 7:00 am

With the rush of the holidays almost over, you're likely looking for fun activities for the kids. Hosting a New Year’s Eve Athletic and Academic Olympics is a fun activity that everyone can have a great time with.

Last year, I hosted this type of event for a group of 10 to 15 year-olds, girls and boys at my house. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded as follows:

    1. The Pierre de Coubertain Medal for Sportsmanship


    1. Best Consistent Effort across all events


    1. Most Improved Score over consecutive trials


    1. Amazing High Score for single event


Here were some of the events:

    • As an Occupational Therapist, I am always working with children on their poor core strength: Do the plank. How long can you hold it? 3 Trials.


    • I created an actual podium for medal presentations. This is me the Occupational Therapist again sneaking in some vestibular and balance work. Go to the podium. Stand on the Gold Medal Platform. Assume the “Owling stance”. What is owling? It is the act of displaying oneself on-top of miscellaneous objects in a sitting position. For this event, stand crouched on one leg, while holding your knees. You look like an owl. How long can you hold it? 3 Trials.


    • I have a stepping machine. How long does it take you to step 200 times on the stepper? 3 Trials.


    • The OT in me loves visual perceptual challenges for children. So I created some events to encourage looking around for something new. How many plants does Christel have in her house? Guess. Then count them. Did you guess right, more or less?


    • Make a house of cards, how many cards were you able to use before it fell down? 3 Trials.


    • Watch the video clip. What is she saying? What are they doing? I had a friend who is Chinese create a video recording of her children playing sports and she describes in Chinese what they were doing. All the participants loved the challenge of trying to figure out what was being said in a language they did not speak or understand!


    • 9 hole peg test. Put the pegs in the holes red side up. Now time how long it takes you to flip each peg over to the green side up just using your right hand (you can’t touch the box or the pegs with your left). Write down your time. Once you are finished, then time how long does it take you to flip the pegs back to red with your left hand (you can’t touch the box or the pegs with your right). Write down your time. Which hand did better? Why?


    • Without looking, guess how many keys there are on the piano? Now count how many keys there are. What is the difference between what you guessed and the number you counted?


    • In my office on the bottom shelf of the smallest white bookcase, there is something in brown metal, what is it? Hint: Christel is an Occupational Therapist and helps people who use wheelchairs. It is a part of a wheelchair.


    • Spinning board. Sit. Spin around 20 times. Stop. Then immediately write your name with your “non-dominant” hand. That means if you usually hold your pencil in your right hand, you have to hold it in your left hand and write your name. Keep your handwriting sample for judging.


  • 63-piece I spy puzzle. How long does it take you to put the puzzle together? Time it. Do it a second time, does your time improve? If yes, why?

I hope I inspire you to create your own fun activities for kids events. Last year's athletic and academic Olympics were a blast!

Wishing you a happy and fulfilling 2015.

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