In the spirit of 2012, hold a mini Olympics birthday party in your back garden and let the competitive kids knock themselves out.


Forget about the horrid 2012 logo and go for traditional Olympic rings, or the art deco/nouveau style of early last century. Look to Olympic posters from bygone days for inspiration. Invite could read something along the lines of:

Calling all competitors!

Sparticus [name of birthday boy or girl] invites you to his Olympic birthday games.

Hosting country: your address

Opening ceremony commences at 2pm on 2nd June 2012. Closing ceremony at 6pm.



Retro sports day yah? Think American Apparel – knee high socks with rings at the top, towelling sweatband like Bleeker from Juno (left), short shiny shorts and an aertex shirt.


The obvious drink choice would be Coca Cola, but as we don’t want to rot our kids’ teeth make a ‘healthy’ go faster concoction out of lemonade and orange juice – just like Lucozade! And of course lots of bottles of water with sports flip caps.

Make the food as international as possible and make it really obvious – hot dogs from America, Pizza from Italy, Tacos from Mexico etc. with each countries flag in the dish.

Make medal biscuits by simply making round biscuits with a hole to thread ribbon through and spray them gold with edible gold paint (yes it exists!).


Lots of bunting!

An Olympic torch made out of scrunched up gold paper and streamers.

A winner’s podium to receive prizes on.

Flags to represent the countries competing.


There are limitless options here. Here are some suggestions:

High jump (tip: put a blow-up air bed for kids to land on). Or for a more tongue in cheek version, the limbo.

Shot put – spray paint lines on the lawn or ground as markers.

Discus throw with Frisbees.

Make a cycle course in your garden (depending on size) and have timed laps with heats.

Get silly: wheelbarrow race, three legged, egg and spoon etc.


Make gold, silver and bronze medals out of metallic card and ribbon.

Personalised water bottles (some good ones here and here)


British National Anthem

Gold – Spandau Ballet

Jump – Pointer Sisters

Born to Run – Bruce Springfield

Hit me with your best shot – Pat Benatar

The Finish Line – Snow Patrol

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

Push It – Salt N Pepa

Race for the prize – The Flaming Lips

Olympic Airways – Foals

My Favourite Game – The Cardigans