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Bring the Olympics Home

Ready to play? On your marks…get set…go!

Article by Katherine Owen

Photography by Poppy & Co. by Kelsey Huffer

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

The 2024 Summer Olympics, set to take place in Paris, kick off on July 26. Bring the spirit of the XXXIII Olympiad back to Boulder with these ideas to get kids outside and on the move. Whether they’re little artists, outdoorsy explorers or track stars in training, these games spark the imagination and fuel the stoke.

For Tiny Track Stars
Chalk and a stone or other small object
How to Play: Take a cue from Generation Wild (, a movement from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to reconnect kids with the great outdoors. They nabbed the Guinness World Records title for longest hopscotch game with a 7,037.51-meter (23,088 feet and 11.3 inches) hopscotch course at Chatfield State Park in Littleton. To play, simply draw a box with “1” in it, then two boxes side-by-side with “2” and “3” on top of it. Continue varying one box and two, labeling them all the way up to “10.” Begin by throwing a stone, bean bag or other small object into box 1 without touching the sides. (If it touches the sides, that player is disqualified.) Then hop, on one foot per box, all the way to 10, before turning around and hopping back to 1, always making sure to never touch the sides of the boxes. When you get back to 1, pick up the object while balancing on one foot—then you’ve completed the game! 
Modifications: Your course doesn’t need to be four miles long like Generation Wild’s, but you can dial up the competition by seeing just how far you can take your course or how fast you can complete the course. You can also change the shape; while a straight line is traditional, try a spiral or triangle. 

For Creative Kids  
Event: Roll a Masterpiece 
Equipment: Two blank wooden dice, markers, paper 
How to Play: Bring the creative expression found in official events like “artistic gymnastics” or “artistic swimming” home—no massive mats or swimming pools required. With a game like Roll a Masterpiece, shared by Tinker Art Studio in South Boulder (, being a competitor really means being a collaborator and curator. To play, mark each side of one die with a different color. On the other die, mark each side with a different design or shape, like a wavy or zig-zag line. Then you roll the dice! Mark your paper each time with the color and shape indicated by the dice in whatever way feels right. Roll until your masterpiece is complete! 
Modifications: Play with family or friends all using the same prompt to see just how unique everyone’s artistic eye can be. Or, mix up your medium! This can also be played with sidewalk chalk to make it more collaborative and outdoor-friendly. Or try crayons, paints or pastels for even more variety. Play with regular dice by making a key for yourself—for example, one dot (or “pip”) equals the color blue or a squiggly line. 

For Little Climbers  
Event: Climbing
Equipment: Varies; all available for rent
How to Play: A newer addition to the tradition, climbing made its way into the Summer Olympics in 2020 and will be returning again this year in Paris. Where better to get kids climbing than right here in Boulder, a region that has launched past and present Olympic climbers like Brooke Raboutou, Natalia Grossman and Colin Duffy. Head to ABC Kids Climbing, run by Raboutou’s family ( for private lessons, camps, open gym and even half- and full-day guided outdoor sessions in places like Boulder Canyon, Eldorado Canyon and the Flatirons. Other area gyms, like The Spot ( and Boulder Rock Club ( also offer camps, lessons and teams for kids to grow their climbing capabilities.