As the 2016 Olympic Games approach, it’s the perfect time to get in the spirit and throw a Summer Olympics themed party! Whether you want to host a small gathering to celebrate the games or organize an all-day mini-Olympics with friends, continue reading for tips on throwing a medal-worthy affair. Let the party-planning games begin!
1. Form Teams
To stir up a little friendly competition, divide partygoers into teams and assign each team a country to compete for throughout the event. Help participants unite by designing uniforms for each country. Uniforms can be as simple as colored name tag stickers or as elaborate as homemade jerseys.
Bandanas are a simple, low-cost solution for providing basic uniforms for every attendant. Members of each team should get the same color bandana. To go a step further, add flags to the bandanas using paint or iron-on transfer paper.
Another tip is to allocate team countries in advance and announce them when sending out invitations or event reminders. You can specify a color for each team to wear, or simply allow guests to coordinate with each other on their own.
2. Opening Ceremony
Kick off the festivities with an opening ceremony. This is a great way to get everyone excited for what’s to come. Bring all of your guests together to hand out props or uniforms and to explain any games that will be played.
Mimic a few of the ceremonial aspects that surround the real Opening Ceremony through music, song, and dance. You can play the summer host’s national anthem, announce each participating team’s country in a parade of athletes, play the Olympic anthem, and symbolically complete the final leg of the Olympic torch relay.
3. Olympic Games
There are numerous options when it comes to choosing games to play at your Olympic soirée. Take the party’s time frame into consideration when deciding how many games should be played. If you’d rather hold one large event, make a list of Olympic-themed items and have teams compete in a scavenger hunt.
Many of the actual Summer Olympic events can be simplified and adapted to play in any area. Though some games, such as table tennis, badminton, and swimming, require specific equipment, several others use gear that can be substituted to monitor safety and cost. Lengthy games like soccer, basketball, and volleyball can be modified into shoot-outs or competitions to see who can bump a ball back and forth the longest without letting it drop.
Feel free to also include some of your favorite summertime games that aren’t Olympic events, such as ring toss, water balloon pass, kan-jam, or corn hole. No matter what contests you choose, guests are bound to have fun cheering on their team and competing with one another.
If you plan on keeping track of points, you may want to designate an overall scorekeeper. Use a large poster board to make a personalized scoreboard that includes each participating country and the games being played. Provide the scorekeeper with a marker to record team points after each event.
4. Introduce Brazilian Culture
The Olympics provide a great opportunity to freshen up on world geography and explore new cultures. With Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosting the summer games, why not introduce a taste of Brazilian culture at your party? Amidst the Olympic tunes and national anthems, load your playlist with samba music. This Brazilian musical genre is sure to generate the spirited atmosphere of Rio that will have your guests dancing through the night!
Rio de Janeiro is a huge seaside city known for its beautiful beaches and vivacious Carnival festival. Produce a South American ambiance by setting up a Brazil-themed photo booth. Create a beach-like backdrop with palm trees, tropical flowers, and exotic birds; or simply decorate using the traditional yellow, blue, and green of the Brazil flag. Provide cut outs of colorful carnival masks for patrons to pose with. Other ideas for photo booth props include tropical fruits, flags, and of course, a few Olympic items.
5. Olympian Refreshments
Olympians need plenty of energy, so be sure to serve tasty refreshments that will refuel guests between games. Stay on theme by making worldly toothpick flags to garnish the snacks. Embellish cookies or other sweets with edible Olympic rings made from frosting or round candies. Elevate the food table by arranging bowls or jars in Olympic ring formation and filling them with vibrant fruits and vegetables.
Keep partygoers hydrated by providing plenty of beverages, especially if the majority of the festivities are outside. To let your guests drink like athletes, make your own Olympic labels for cups and water bottles. Using an original bottle label as a size guide, cut out strips of blank paper then draw Olympic rings on the center of each. Wrap a new label around each cup or bottle and adhere it with a piece of clear tape.
6. Olympic Decorations
Make guests feel as though they're actually competing in front of millions of cheering fans by decking out your space with Olympic decor! Represent the different nations participating in the games by making a flag garland.
The Olympic rings can be used to decorate in a variety of ways. Draw them on signs, disposable table cloths, and outside with sidewalk chalk. Use paper plates to cut, color, and interlock rings in blue, black, red, yellow, and green. You can even craft decorative rings that function as a ring toss game by using paper rolls to give the rings depth.
In addition to using the five Olympic ring colors, encourage attendants to go for the gold by incorporating metallic hues in your decorative color palate with Olympic torches, medals, and balloons.
7. Medals and Closing Ceremony
An Olympic celebration cannot be complete without awarding medals and concluding the night in a closing ceremony. Wearable medals can be found at a relatively low cost in most party stores, but can also be easily made out of paper and ribbon.
For an official looking award podium, set up three boxes in varying heights for teammates to stand behind when winners are announced. Should you decide not to keep score, medals can still be handed out as party favors. After the medals have been awarded, allow the teams march around with their medals in a final parade of nations.