Rio ’16:  Throw a Party that Engages the Mind, Body, and Soul

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July 19, 2016

Starting on August 5th, the world will all be tuned in to watch the biggest global sporting event. There’s something special about the Olympics. It combines culture, physical feats, patriotism, unity, inspiration, and more. It’s the kind of event I want my kids to embrace.  Especially when it falls during the summer, the Olympics offer a chance to engage kids minds and teach without feeling a bit like school. Our family throws a party every two years on the day of the opening ceremonies. I have already done the research for you this year, if you want to join in!

The Culture

Brazil, a Portuguese speaking country, is the fifth largest in the world. In South America, it has many different climates but is mostly known for tropical rain forests and beaches. Rio de Janeiro, or Rio for short, is the capital of the “state” of the same name.  Most people who think of Brazil, and Rio specifically, think of Carnival, its most famous holiday. Welcome your guests by saying hello in Portuguese (olá) and cheer on your favorite sports with good luck (boa sorte).

The Decorations

We always decorate with the flags and colors of the host nation, with a few of our own sprinkled in. This year, because Carnival is so popular in this location, I might skew a bit Mardi Gras-ish with bright greens, yellows, and pinks along with some feather boas and masks. This theme is a decorator’s dream and easy to find!

The Food

Bring out the grill! Brazil is known for its amazing and plentiful barbeque. Lightly season some chicken and beef, skewere the meat and throw them over the coals. Serve with with rice and beans to round out the meal.

Of course, for a healthier addition, you can turn to the now popular native to Brazil açaí fruit. A good açaí bowl is a perfect party food.

The recipe I’m going to tackle is for a traditional Brazilian dessert, Brigadeiros. I found this recipe that doesn’t seem too daunting.


The Olympics include 206 countries competing in 42 types of sport in 306 events. I don’t suggest trying to incorporate all of those events in one afternoon party!

That being said, we are definitely incorporating a few. For example, we will practice fencing with pool noodles, run sprints, jump as far as we can, and break out the sports equipment for tennis, basketball, cycling, volleyball and so on. If you have a pool available, that will make things even easier.

Here is a list of all of the Summer Olympic disciplines:

We always finish the sports portion of our time with a torch relay ending at the party, just in time to eat and watch the Opening Ceremonies. By then, the kids are totally engaged in the events and ready to see what the host country has to show us!

I hope that whatever you and your family choose to do, you will be able to capture the excitement and wonder that is unique to the Olympics. Boa sorte!!

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