Have Your Own Olympics with the Kids

aaaWeekly Trip to the Library

The winter Olympics have started in Sochi and I recommend reading books on the topic to the children in your care. Then, be sure to have your own pint-sized Olympic games in the house you work in. When you are finished, hand out medals and serve up dishes from around the world. Children will enjoy watching the Olympics more after learning about the games in books and playing Olympic games with you during the work week.

Olympics! by B.G, Hennessy
Review by Elizabeth Kennedy

Be sure to read B.G. Hennessy’s book Olympics! to the kids. This softbound picture book has colorful artwork by Michael Chesworth all children will appreciate. Olympics! discusses all of the things that need to be made for the Olympics, from the uniforms to the medals. She lists the people involved in preparations, from the architects designing arenas to the farmers growing flowers for the winners. Hennessy does a good job of creating the sense of excitement that goes on at so many levels as the time for the Olympics approaches. The book is out-of-print so check your library for a copy.

Through Time: Olympics by Richard Platt
Review by Elizabeth Kennedy 

Through Time: Olympics provides a non-fiction overview of the Olympic Games from ancient Greece to the summer of 2012. Every page of the book contains illustrations by Manuela Cappon. These include double-page spreads for each of the featured Olympic Games, from the first of what are known as the “modern Olympic Games” in Athens, Greece in 1896 to the Summer Olympics in London, England in 2012. Through Time: Olympics is a good children’s book that teens and adults will also enjoy. Independent readers who want to know more about the Olympics will find much to interest them in the book. I recommend Through Time: Olympics for ages eight to adult. Younger children may also enjoy the illustrations and discussing them with you.

Have Your Own Olympics Games with the Kids:
Ideas from familycrafts.about.com 

Egg or Marshmallow Obstacle Course: 
Use sidewalk chalk to make obstacle courses outdoors using lawn furniture and anything else you can find that kids have to go around, climb under or over, and go through. If making an indoor obstacle course use sheets and blankets over chairs and tables to make courses. To make it more challenging put an egg or a marshamallow on a spoon and have the kids try to complete the obstacle course without dropping the egg or marshmallow.

Bean Bag Toss:
Use bean bags to have a throwing competition. Use boxes, cans, paper bags, and so on to make targets.


Drinking Straw Javelin Toss:
Photo from toddleraprroved.com. Have a javelin throwing contest using paper plates and drinking straws.

Peanut Toss Game: 
From familycrafts.about.com 

You Will Need:
Coffee cans or large soup cans
Duct or masking tape
Crayons or marker

What to Do:
Make sure the metal rim of the cans do not have jagged edges or cover the edges with tape. Cover the cans with paper and write the numerals 1 through 5 (or however many cans you have) on the front of each can. You can also draw the corresponding number of peanut shapes on each can.
To play the game, each participant stands in the same spot and tries to toss the correct number of peanuts in each can. For example, they should throw one peanut into the can with the number one written on it, throw two peanuts into the can with the number 2 written on it, and so on.

Olympic Torch:
From freekidscrafts

You Will Need:
Recycled Tube from Gift Wrap
Paint and Brush
Yellow and Orange Tissue Paper

What to Do:
Paint the cardboard tube. Let dry. Decorate with painted swirls. Cut a 10″ square of tissue paper in yellow and orange. Push in the top to resemble a flame.

Make Olympic Medals:

Check out activity village to make your own Olympic medals. We used this printable Olympic medals from freekidscrafts.com.

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