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World's Craziest Sports

Ancient Sports

Where did sports come from, anyway? Who decided we should all take turns throwing rocks at things, or running someplace as fast as possible? Many of today's most popular sports have their origins in ancient cultures and traditions. Some, like soccer, have histories that stretch so far back in time, it's still not clear where they originally came from. Today at Camp Kinda, we'll hop in the sports time machine to check out some of the earliest sports invented and see which ones are still played today.


what you’ll need



        Ask About Today

        Can you tell me about the first Olympics? What did you learn?

        Dinner Discussion

        If our family had to compete together in an Olympic event, what event would we be best at? Why?

        Skip the Ads

        Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.


        30-45 minutes


        The World's Oldest Sports

        Learn about eight of the world's oldest sports, like running, archery, and wrestling.


        Let's Get Olympic

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        Learn about the history of the Olympic Games, their importance, and the Olympic symbols in this video.


        Exploring Early Olympic Games

        The earliest Olympic games were tough—and sometimes deadly. In an intense fighting sport called pankration, for example, there were no weight classes, no time limits, and just two rules: no biting and no eye gouging. Whoa. Find out more about it and other games from the first Olympics from National Geographic Kids.

        Mild Violence


        A 3,000 Year-Old Ball Game

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        Long before sports like soccer, the ancient Mayans were using their hips to play Mesoamerican ballgame. Watch this video from Great Big Story to learn more about it from a group of Mexican athletes who are bringing the sport back to life.


        45-60 minutes


        Make Your Family's Olympic Symbol

        At the Olympics, people from all continents come together and compete against one another in sports. The Olympic symbol is the Olympic rings, which represent the union of the five continents of the world. Click the button to learn more about the rings and how they have evolved over time.

        Try creating a symbol like the Olympic rings to represent your own family. What shape and color will represent each person? (Pro tip: if you are using circles as your symbol, trace a cup for each ring.) After you've done a few sketches, draw your final version on a clean piece of paper and color in your shapes or symbols. Try to include each person's name, too!

        Share your work! We'd love to see it. Ask a parent to email a photo or video to us or share it on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @CampKinda.


        30-60 minutes


        An At-Home Olymics

        The first and only Olympic event was the one-stade run (a run across a stadium). Over time, more sports were added, like the hoplitodrome, a race in which the athletes wore full armor. Or the pentathlon, which featured five events like jumping, sprinting, and throwing objects for distance.

        What if you had to host your own Olympics? Create a list of Olympic events you could host in your house, a park, or backyard. Then gather some family and have a competition, or try to time yourself and see if you can beat your fastest time! If you are competing against several people, be sure to award gold, silver, and bronze to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place!


        Olympics Warm-Up

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        It's always a good idea to warm up before playing sports—especially intense ones like you might play at the Olympics. Warming up prepares your body for exercise. Here's a great warm-up exercise you can try at home.


        And a Cool-Down

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        Just like warming up beforehand, always spend a few minutes cooling down after a workout. A cool-down brings your heart rate down and keeps your body from being sore the next day. Give this one a try.