Programming Ideas: Sports Around the World

Do-It-Yourself Program Ideas:  Sports Around the World Program

Read for the Win

Good for any library at any time of year, and it goes with the 2016 Summer Reading Themes “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” or “Read for the Win!”

Several sports/game-themed crafts and activities will be set up in the library’s outdoor and indoor areas for this summer program. Each table will have at least 2 high school volunteers to run the activity at that station. If we run out of materials at a station, we will close it.

Community groups that could be partners:

High school service clubs can be your volunteers – Octagon, Interact, Key club, etc.

The Friends of the Library or a local grocery store could provide bottled water, watermelon, and orange slices for refreshments.

A local miniature golf park, bowling alley, or other sports-related business could provide free passes to attendees. Or, if they can only provide a few passes, use them as prizes.

A local comic book shop could donate some sports trading cards to use as prizes.

As an icebreaker, host a local gymnastic club or martial arts school to do a free demonstration to show off their sport, and possibly obtain new students.

Icebreaker activity: Dress in your favorite team jersey (such as the Golden State Warriors), and read aloud a story to the group before sending them out to the activities. For example:

  • Ballpark by Eileen R. Meyer – A boy and his grandfather attend their first major league baseball game together.
  • Happy Like Soccer by Maribeth Boelts – Sierra would like her aunt to see her play soccer but usually her aunt works on Saturdays.
  • Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester – Tacky the penguin trains hard for the Winter Olympics even though his chances of earning a medal are slim.
  • Miss Nelson Has a Field Day by Harry Allard – Scary substitute teacher Viola Swamp comes back to the Horace B. Smedley School to coach the losing football team.

Beach Ball Over/Under: If you have a large group of kids to entertain, divide them into teams.  Have each team stand in a front-to-back line. When you say “go,” have the first person pass the ball over their head to the person behind them.  The second person takes the ball from the first and passes it between their legs to the person behind them. You continue the Over/Under pattern to get the ball to the end of the line. The first team to get the ball from the front of the line to the back wins.  You can also have the teams return the ball to the front of the line following the same method for an added challenge.


Rubber Band (Chinese) Jump Ropes: or

Flying Discs:

Tabletop Football:

Mini Skateboards:

Portable Soccer Game:

Mancala Game:

Pencil Spirit Pennants:!-lesson-plan/

CandylandGames and Activities:

Free Throw: Set up a child’s portable basketball hoop and have players try to make free throws.

Plastic Bottle Bowling:

Board Game Area: Set up various board games you have on hand for free play. Have teen volunteers monitor the area to get players that are close in age to play the games together. Common games most kids will know how to play include Sorry!, Simon, Candyland, Checkers, Chutes and Ladders, and Connect 4.

Bingo: Offer a bingo game for approximately 15 to 20 participants. Once they have played, bring in a new group. Have teen volunteers assist the younger children who may not know how to play bingo. Parents/caregivers can also help their children, making this a fun game for all ages. Library Bingo Game to print out:

jumprope2Games Around the World: Offer a station where kids can play games from various countries including:

For more children’s games from around the world, check out:

Penny Peck, SJSU iSchool


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