Let the Olympics begin!
It’s a very special time – it’s time for the Summer Olympics! The very best athletes worldwide will meet to compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals in various sports ranging from athletics to gymnastics to swimming and diving. The Olympics are also the time for people from many different cultures and backgrounds to make friends and learn acceptance. Bring the Olympics home by planning several activities and crafts to inspire your kids to be active and experience the Olympic spirit.
The Olympic Flag
Explain to your child that the Olympic flag is very special. It has five interlocking colored rings on a white background. The rings represent the five major land areas or continents of the world. Show children these land areas on a map or globe. Explain that the rings interlock to show the friendship between the different peoples. Then have your child paint or color interlocking rings on a sheet of white printing paper to resemble the Olympic flag. Attach to a straw for the handle.
The Olympic Torch
During the opening ceremony of the Olympics, a specially chosen person lights the Olympic cauldron to mark the official start of the games. The flame continues to burn for the entire playing time. Let your child make their Olympic torch, and let the play begin! To make a simple flashlight, have your child cover the outside of a paper roll with aluminium foil. Then, glue red, yellow, and orange tissue paper into the paper roll. Make yourself run around the cauldron and pretend to light the big torch with their torch.)
The Olympic Games mascot for 2008 is the Fuwa. The Fuwa consists of five doll-like creations named Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini. Each Fuwa represents a different animal (fish, giant panda, fire, Tibetan antelope, and swallow) and Chinese element of philosophy (water, metal, fiber, wood, and earth). Each has as its primary color one of the colors of the five Olympic rings (red, blue, green, yellow, and black). Encourage your child to make a mascot that resembles the Fuwa representing your city or state. Visit our site for free coloring pages for any mascot.
Make some easy-to-make medals for your kids. Draw a circle on a piece of cardboard and have the children color it with yellow crayons. Spread a thin layer of glue over painted circles and, while the cement is still wet, lightly sprinkle on glitter. Shake off excess glitter and let dry. To add the neck ribbon, cut a length of about 32 inches of ribbon.
Olympic Sports Day
Before the opening party, play some marching music and have kids follow a torchbearer to create flags to start your games.
Have your kids jump over a sprinkler, move water balloons from one clothes basket to another, toss water balloons or resealable plastic bags filled with water from one bucket to another, and toss sponges from a bucket of water trying to hit a target.
Put on some music and spread out a large sheet as a gym floor. Let kids do their floor gymnastics. Let kids dance with crepe paper streamers to music or jump in and out of hula hoops.
Make a podium out of cardboard boxes, etc., and hand out the medals to all the Olympic Games participants at the end of the event.
The Olympics are a multicultural event – a perfect time to introduce food from other countries to your child, such as tortillas, pizzas, spring rolls, pita bread, hummus, etc.