Backyard Olympics

February 7, 2014

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Today marks the start of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. But who says that professional athletes get to have all the fun? Round up the kids for a friendly competition worthy of Olympic gold courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, Volume 3!

Backyard Olympics

You Will Need:

1 piece of paper (any kind, any size)
1 small stone or similar object per competitor
1 additional small stone or object
1 coin
1 stick of chalk, optional

The One Leg Hop: Hop on one foot as many times as possible. The highest count wins.

The Head Balance: Balance the stone or object on your head, while clapping your hands. All competitors start at the same time. Whoever does it the longest wins.

The Paper Throw: Stand at a permanent line (edge of the driveway, walkway, or the like) or draw a chalk line on the pavement. Crumple up the paper. Stand behind the line and, in turns, throw the paper. Mark your throw with your stone. The longest toss wins.

The One Leg Stand: Stand on one foot for as long as possible. All competitors start at the same time. The longest stand wins.

The Coin Toss: Designate one side of the coin as “heads.” Each competitor, in turn, flips the coin 10 times. The person who tosses “heads” the most wins.

The Stone Throw: This is similar to the Italian game of bocce (BOTCH-ee). Toss or place the extra stone or object about 10 feet away. Competitors throw their own stone at it. The winning stone is the one that ends up closest to the first one without touching it.

The Paper Kick: Crumple up the piece of paper again. All competitors take turns kicking it from behind the same line. Mark each kick with the competitor’s stone. The longest kick wins.

To Score:

1. The top score in each event is the number of competitors. The next score is one less, and so forth. For example, if there are four kids playing, first place is worth 4 points, second is worth 3, third is worth 2, and fourth is worth 1.
2. In the event of a tie, average the scores involved. For example, if the top two of four finishers in The One Leg Hop each hopped 20 times before stopping, then the scores 4 and 3 would be averaged, and each of the top two finishers would get 3.5 points.
3. Add up the scores for all events to determine the overall winners.

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