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Bringing the Rio games to your backyard

Bringing the Rio games to your backyard

Aug 04 2016

And they're off! The action in Rio has officially begun with the traditional opening ceremony, which means folks across the world are tuning in to the worldwide event. Whether you're a sports fanatic or just have pride in your roots, you'll likely join the billions of people watching the broadcast live - 3.6 billion viewers to be exact, according to People magazine.

Homeowners looking for a way to gather friends and family to celebrate this international event can easily do so by throwing a backyard bash! Check out these fun ideas to celebrate the games in your own outdoor living space:

Set the scene
What's a party without a celebratory atmosphere? Set the tone in your outdoor living space by decorating with sports and cultural themes in mind. For example, if all your neighbors and friends are committed to cheering for the United States, a red, white and blue motif will be perfect for your festivities. It's a great way to reuse those Fourth of July decorations! If you and your guests are set on rooting for different countries, that's fantastic too! The games were designed to create unity out of diversity, so do the same at your party. Invite everyone to bring a flag from their favorite country and designate a space to hang them all up in your yard.

Flag stars on wood table.Reuse your Fourth of July decorations to support the USA during the games.

Don't forget to create a music playlist to set the right mood. Here are a few songs that will get everyone pumped up for a win:

  • "We Are the Champions," by Queen.
  • "Eye of the Tiger," by Survivor.
  • "Bring 'Em Out," by T.I.
  • "Don't Stop Believing," Journey.
  • "Chariots of Fire," by Vangelis.

Set up games in the backyard
The next best thing to actually being in Rio to see the events is bringing the games to your backyard. Infuse your home with a healthy dose of competitiveness by setting up any of these exciting activities:

Miniature golf: This one is a lot easier if your artificial grass is equipped with a putting green. Even if it's not, you can still easily set up large plastic cups around the yard to serve as holes. You can also create obstacles with whatever you find around the house, just like a real miniature golf course. For example, set up a lawn chair on hole No. 1 that golfers must putt the ball under, or make a ramp to add an extra challenge to the course.

Giant Jenga: If you haven't heard of Jenga, it's a fairly easy concept. You start with a stack of wood blocks, and each player must pull one block (not from the top) each turn. The last person to remove a piece before the tower crumbles loses.

  • Easily make this a do-it-yourself activity by chopping up blocks of wood in your garage. You can add another element of fun to the mix by writing a challenge on each piece of wood - like "Take another turn" or "Do 10 jumping jacks."  Whoever pulls that piece must complete the task!

Frozen t-shirt race: This idea comes from the blog A Girl and a Glue Gun, and it's a great activity for kids. However, it requires a bit of preparation. Then day before your party, soak a few t-shirts in water - the same amount of shirts as the number of kids who will participate. Squeeze out the excess water, fold the t-shirts and stick them in a freezer. Use a sheet of wax paper to separate each shirt.

Right before the race, pull out the t-shirts from the freezer and hand one to each kid. The goal is to thaw the t-shirt and put it on as fast as possible. First one to finish wins! According to the blog, it took participants about 10 minutes to complete the task, and it's the ideal race for a warm summer day.

Group sitting at picnic table for potluck style dinner.Have friends bring a wide variety of dishes to celebrate the various cultures.

Represent your country
Whether you're team USA or channeling their favorite cultural roots, be sure to represent your country of choice while celebrating the Rio games. This could be as simple as wearing a t-shirt featuring the country locale or using body paints in the country's colors. Otherwise, you might dress up like your favorite athlete. If you've got a family of swimmers, have everyone strap on their suits before heading to the party. Running fanatics can dress in their favorite running gear.

Serve potluck style food
Honor the blending of cultures at the games by hosting a potluck style dinner. Have guests bring food from their favorite country or one that represents their natural roots. Those with a German heritage might bring sauerkraut, while those with an Italian background could make pasta. Create a sign-up list so you don't have an overload of the same food. Also, be sure to have the right equipment to keep food at the appropriate temperature while outside. If guests prove to be more successful at cooking traditional American fare as opposed to other cultures' cuisine, just fire up the grill as a back-up plan.

Get your party on this summer by celebrating one of the most highly-anticipated international events!

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