We recently had some friends over for a mini-triathlon it was such fun and I thought it would make a great party.
A couple of years ago my kids took part in a triathlon at a local swim school and totally loved it. Really they swam down the school pool, jumped on their bikes and cycled round the block and then ran to the corner and back. They have been asking to do one again ever since – and I don’t know why I didn’t think of just doing it myself before this.
The trouble with sports for kids is they have got so competitive and so not fun! I have found by the time they get to about nine sport has become more about status than fun: the right kit, the right water bottle, the right team… and since mine are not terribly athletic (they take after the father person!), sport has kind of lost the fun and the magic for them. Certainly for a sport like triathlon, even for youngsters you would need the right bike and the right gear, not to mention the right coaching for each discipline. The expense would mean that a regular kid could not partake just for fun… that’s just my opinionated opinion… said it and let’s get back to the party.
Needless to say it has taken years for me to figure out how easy it would be for us to have the kids do a swim, cycle, run event on our doorstep so to speak… regardless of the vehicle they use or their personal swim style… if they can go the distance (or part of it) they are welcome to participate…
So here we go in Se7en Steps…
Step 1: Invitation: An easy invitation would be to print a running shoe from here (on any color paper of your choice!) and write the details on the back. Or make a mini-entry form, with race date, time and equipment required (helmets, bikes, swimming gear – whatever you can think of because all kids love packing!) and lots of lovely words like briefing and referee and so on… embellish, embellish!!!
Step 2: Party Starter: You can decorate bikes with streamers and so on… but the most vital party preparation would be to pop a race number on all the little athletes arms… I just used their ages (there were a lot of 007’s!!!), but you can be more creative.
Step 3: Party Games: Obviously the sporting event is the game and you will need se7en things to get going:
- An adult with an authoritative voice:
- An adult with a helping hand:
- And a chaotic transition area:
- Somewhere to swim:
- Somewhere to cycle (on whatever vehicles available):
- Somewhere to run:
- And an Award Spot:
Step 4: Party Craft: We just printed and laminated medals off the web. But making medals would be the perfect craft. Embellishing cardboard for little guys and self hardening clay. Dash a hole in the artwork and thread a shoelace through it and you are done!
Either use an old medal to stamp a design on the medals or let them loose with some glitter.
Step 5: Party Pinata: Stuff your pinata with sporty snacks: we had fruity bites and energy sweets. You could add in whistles and streamers, sporty stickers and badges.
Step 6: Party Food: Remember one food and one beverage for a good party. And all those years that you wanted to serve water at a party now is your chance… serve water in individual sports bottles for all your exhausted athletes and you are winning! For a savory, lunch or supper party… I would serve pizza (wheels). And a sweet morning or afternoon party I would serve jelly wedges for the athletes and maybe some bicycle or circular cookies decorated as wheels.
Don’t forget the very important cake: I would have done a pool with lanes… but my blue food coloring was used up on a recent space project… so the cake became a finish line on a green field – adapt and survive…
Step 7: Treasure Hunt: Send them on a wild treasure hunt with clues past the swim zone, through the transition, behind the bikes… clues and trails all ending up with a reward for everyone… some sporty stickers or even a pair of goggles for everyone – you can get them really cheaply at The Crazy Store here, and I guess The Dollar Store in the States.
That’s it – you are done! Till the next party!