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Ideas for Children's Sports Day Themes

by Erica Loop

You have plenty of choices when it comes to children's sports day themes. Between coming up with a focus such as water sports or Olympic games and then coming up with entertaining activities, you can contribute to your child's athletic endeavors.

Olympic Day

You don't have to wait every two years to celebrate the Olympics. Creating an Olympics-themed sports day is an easy way to involve large groups of kids in fun-filled athletic activities. Instead of a downhill course that requires athletes to swoosh around flags, set up a mock ski relay race in which the kids run around cones in a similar slalom pattern. Add in a few Olympic-themed rafts to the actual athletic events. Kids can create nationality banners using poster board or a twin-sized sheet and nontoxic paints or make their own Olympic ring flag. Finish the day by making your own medals using cardboard circles covered in foil. String the medals on red, white and blue ribbons and have a ceremony for handing them out.

Wacky Sports Day

Sports aren't always serious. Instead of making the sports day theme overly competitive or athletically intricate, create a wacky day that features silly and imaginative games. Have a backward relay in which the kids have to do the entire race in reverse or try a costume relay where they must dress up in outfits such as superhero garb or princess crowns. Another option is to turn traditional sports such as basketball or baseball into silly ones. For example, use water balloons instead of a ball for a splashy game of baseball.

Color Wars

This summer camp favorite is an ideal activity for any child's sports day theme. Split the kids into two teams, assigning each side a color to wear. Set up a day that you pack with team vs. team races, relays and games such as capture the flag. If you have too many children to adequately manage, divide each team into sub-units and have mini activities. For example, instead of trying to play tug-of-war with two teams of 50 kids each, divide the sides into smaller sides of 10 each -- making five sub-teams of 10 children for each larger team -- to compete against each other. Keep score and hand out trophies or award certificates at the end o the day.

Traditional Sports

Go the more straight-forward route for your child's sports day theme and pick a traditional athletic event such as soccer, baseball or basketball. Have the kids dress in the proper attire for the game or make team jerseys using T-shirts and nontoxic fabric paints. Set up multiple games, or a tournament-type schedule, during the course of the day to ensure that every child gets the opportunity to play. Choose one sport for the day -- such as Soccer Day -- or combine a few into a general sporting theme.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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