The Lawn Game Olympics

This past week and into next week my PE classes (Freshman) have been competing in the lawn game Olympics. This has been so fun! We have a 2 week time frame before our midterm exams and this is the perfect activity to take up that timespan. I only see my students every other day, so I will see them 4 times during these two weeks.

Lawn games are a perfect activity because they are lifelong games that almost anyone can compete it, no matter their “athletic ability”. There is usually 1 or 2 games each person excels at. It is also fun to be able to take these games and play them outside if we are having good weather.

Here is how I ran my Olympics:

Day 1: Choose teams. I used a random team generator to pick my teams so that it was as fair as I could make it. I like the one linked because it allows you to choose how many teams you would like. I split my classes in either 4 or 5 teams based on the number of students in class. I didn’t want more than 4-5 students on each team. I gave them these directions:

  • Each person on a team must compete in at least 2 games
  • Teams must complete all of the days games before replaying any games.
  • Any games replayed must be done by different members of the team, but replayed games don’t count towards the team members 2 games played.
  • There would be 9 games, we used: bocce, cornhole, tic tac toe, Spikeball, bottle bash, ladder ball, Kan-Jam, Chippo, and yard pong. *If I would have had more games I would have used more so that we played 4 games per day instead of 3.*
  • Day 1 teams should attempt to play all games available to see who excels in what games.
  • At the end of the class teams gathered to decide who was going to play what games. It seemed everyone had at least 2 games they felt comfortable playing.

Day 2, 3, 4: I chose 3 games each day to have out for competition. I tried to have one game with a frisbee each day, one “easier” game, and one more challenging game. I kept the directions sheets out at each game (highly suggest laminating them!) and had students read them before they played, so everyone was playing by the same rules and it was clear. Mostly, no one had questions which is amazing! If I had more games I would have done 4 per day instead of 3, but we didn’t at the time. I have 90 minute classes (minus 15-20 for dressing out and back in), so we had about 60 mins of actual competition time. The gave time for students to play each game and usually replay a game or 2. If your classes are shorter you may not want to have more than 3 games. Teams were told it didn’t matter what other team they played, if they won the game they won 5 points towards their team, if they lost, 0 points toward their team. This worked well.

  • Other versions you could do would be a round robin where each team must compete against each other team.
  • Bracket Play
  • or others you may find fun!

Students had a score sheet where they put down their team members competing, if they won points, and which game it was. If it was a replay game I had them right that down as well so I could make sure it was new member competing each time.

After day 4 the team with the most points will win! If there is a tie I will pick a game and let them choose anyone on their team to compete and it will be the deciding factor.

Fun things to add!

  • Decorate your gym/area with Olympics décor
  • Have teams pick team names or be a country if you wish.
  • Play music! This is an Olympic Theme Song Playlist
  • Take your games outdoors if possible. Use the actual “lawn” for lawn game Olympics if the weather allows.
  • Have prizes or medals for winners like the real Olympics!
  • Have an opening and closing ceremony complete with running in of the torch.
  • You can do so much with this!

Want to run this in your class? I created a 2 page info sheet, 2 page score sheet (allows for scoring of 22 games) and 12 pages of directions for all the games I used plus washers, giant jenga, and giant connect 4! Happy to answer any questions if you have any!

You can find the resource here:

I also have a blog post with links to most of the equipment I used for this fun activity!

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