It’s a very special time-it’s time for the Summer Olympics! The very best athletes from around the world will meet to compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals in a wide variety of sports ranging from track and field to gymnastics to swimming and diving. The Olympics are also time for people from many different cultures and backgrounds to make friends and learn acceptance. Bring the Olympics into your home by planning some activities and crafts to inspire your children to be active and experience the Olympic spirit.
The Olympic Flag
Explain to your child that the Olympic Flag is a very special flag. 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 are interlocked to show friendship among the different nations. Then, have your child paint or color interlocking rings on a sheet of white printing paper to resemble the Olympic Flag. Attach to a drinking straw for the handle.
During opening ceremonies of the Olympics, a specially chosen person lights the Olympic cauldron to signal the official start of the games. The flame is kept burning during the entire length of the games. Have your child make his/her own Olympic torch and let the games begin! To make a simple torch, have your child cover the outside of a paper roll with aluminum foil. Then, have him/her glue red, yellow, and orange tissue paper inside the paper roll. Let your run around the cauldron pretending to light the big torch with his/her torch.)
The Olympic Games Mascot for 2008 is the Fuwa. The Fuwa consist of five doll-like creations named Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini. Each of the Fuwa represents a different animal (fish, giant panda, fire, Tibetan antelope, and swallow) and Chinese element of philosophy (water, metal, fire, wood, and earth), and 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 create a mascot similar to the Fuwa that represents your city or state. Visit our site for free coloring pages for each mascot.
Create some easy to make medals for your children. Draw a circle on a piece of cardboard and have children color it with yellow crayons. Spread a thin layer of glue over painted circles and while glue is still wet, lightly sprinkle on glitter. Shake off excess glitter and let dry. To add the neck ribbon, cut a length of ribbon approximately 32 inches.
Olympic Sports Day
For the opening celebration, play some marching music and have children follow a torch-bearer with their own creation of flags to start your games.
Have your children jump over a sprinkler, move water balloons from one clothes basket to another, throw water balloons or resealable plastic baggies filled with water from one bucket to another,, and toss sponges from a bucket filled with, water trying to hit a target.
Put on music and spread out a large sheet to use as a gymnastic floor. Let children make their own gymnastic floor exercise. Let children dance with crepe paper streamers to music or hop in and out of hula hoops.
At the end of the event make a podium out of cardboard boxes, etc. and hand out the medals to all participants of the Olympic Games.
The Olympics is a multicultural event-a perfect time to introduce foods from other countries to your child, such as tortillas, pizza, egg rolls, pita bread and hummus, etc.