The Olympics may be over, but a persistent winter and more snow than we’ve had in a four-year-old’s memory means snow sport fever is still high at our house. Yours, too?

Channel that energy and save your sanity on the next snow day with a potato Olympics! I can’t take credit for this idea. Our friends at Gilman School recently posted photos of their school potato Olympics. It looked like so much fun! I knew I wanted to give it a shot with the Bug on the next snow day.

We decided to concentrate on one super fun sport for our backyard event: spud slalom. Yes, it’s just as exciting as it sounds.

With older kids, absolutely make it a full science + social studies event. Have them research countries and decorate their potato with appropriate flags, colors, etc. For the preschool and early elementary kiddos, drawing faces and talking about momentum/gravity will make this a — yikes — learning! fun activity.

potato olympics: spud slalom - (cool) progeny

Potato Olympics: Spud Slalom Materials

  • Potatoes (we used one small and one large)
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Snow
  • Shovel (to create your mountain of snow)
  • Colored Paper
  • Glue
  • 4 straws
  • Timer

How to Make Your Own Spud Slalom

potato olympics: spud slalom - (cool) progeny

Step One: Decorate your potatoes by drawing faces with a Sharpie marker. As noted above, this might be a great opportunity for a little country research. You can decorate your potatoes to represent a specific locale!

potato olympics: spud slalom - (cool) progeny

Step Two: Create your flag markers. Cut four strips of paper. Fold each in half and glue around a straw. Cut triangles into the end to create flags.

potato olympics: spud slalom - (cool) progeny

potato olympics: spud slalom - (cool) progeny

Step Three: Bundle up and go outside to build your snow mountain. Create an indentation where the potatoes will roll. Mark the start of the path and the end of the path with your paper flags.

potato olympics: spud slalom - (cool) progeny

Step Four: Roll the potatoes down the mountain and time each run! Which one goes fastest? Why do you think they went fastest? {Note: Your four-year-old will not necessarily use the same force to roll the potatoes down the hill — so take that into consideration when you chat about the science of slalom. Some potatoes may ‘get chucked’ while others are gently pushed…}

potato olympics: spud slalom - (cool) progeny

Step Five: One of the most fun aspects of spud slalom — jumping in the giant snow pile after the races!

Have fun! What other potato winter sports can you and the kiddos come up with?