We are so excited about the Olympics this year. I am ready to plant my butt in the AC and watch as many events as I possibly can. In order to accomplish this level of do nothingness, I needed to get the kids excited about the Olympics too. Insert learning moment. This is what I love about homeschool, we can create a lesson on just about anything. So we did just that!
This is all just totally thrown together and not even super organized, but it has been fun. And now the kids are all excited for opening ceremonies tonight, score!
I started off by downloading this free pdf that explains what the Olympics are, the history, the meaning, the basics. It covers the following:
- The three main Olympic symbols
- Meaning of the five rings and flag
- The motto
- The flame
- Ritual of lighting the flame
- Olympic symbols as part of the Games’ protocol
- The Olympic values and symbols
- Core values of excellence, friendship and respect
We skipped over some of the heavier stuff included to keep it age appropriate and interesting for a 7 and 4 year old. The kids really liked the Motto portion: Faster – Higher – Stronger. We had a little contest to see who faster, who could jump higher and who was stronger. Teagan won faster (race from the front to the back door), Jase won higher (jumping) and Taryn won stronger (desk chair lifting). I was the judge. They learned a lot from this one free download, good stuff.
We then dove in to the 5 rings symbolizing the 5 continents using our globe and we used paper plates to create our own set of Olympic rings. Inspiration here.
Next up, the torch! This one was so cool. The kids loved this promotional video. They really liked this torch relay highlights reel. Our torch craft was probably the biggest hit of all. Teagan and I hit the dollar store earlier in the day. For just a few dollars, we had everything we needed to make our own Olympic torch.
- Flashlights (hollowed out)
- Aluminum foil for the base
- Construction paper cut out to look like flames (red, orange and yellow)
- Paper streamers
- A battery operated tea light
The kids absolutely LOVE these and the fact that they light up really added to the cool factor. Our inspiration is found here.
More fun stuff and learning resources:
- Time For Kids has a ton of great Olympic info that is fun for kids.
- Learn about the athletes on www.teamusa.org
- Interactive Activities for the Olympics on Scholastic.com
- Activity Village has a lot of free printables, coloring pages, word searches and an interactive Olympic map. We did some coloring pages while we reviewed what we learned today.
- Here is a list of 20 Olympic crafts.
- Free Olympics 2012 Lapbook. Scroll down the page to find the button!
- A great list of children’s books about London
- A great book to introduce the Olympics to your young children – The Story of the Olympics
- Free Olympic party pack and coloring kit
- Make your own Olympic t-shirt
- I hope to do something similar to this craft with the kids, maybe a puppet version.
- Make your own Olympic Hoopla
- Listen to the Olympic Pandora station, Olympic Fanfare. Quite a few Star Wars songs popped up, this made Teagan very happy.
- We will likely graph the metal winners by country as the games progress. This schedule and results system could be cool.
- National Geographic Education Olympics article.
- And we will likely study one country per day, probably the country who took home the most metals the day before.
- We plan to make Olympic flags.
- 3 Apps to teach your kids about London
- Printable Olympic Medals
And with that, I’m off to plant myself in front of the TV.
USA! USA! USA!