The summer Olympics are finally here! I love watching the games on TV- gymnastics, diving, swimming, running- it’s all super exciting and MAN are those men and women talented! I was so sad last year when they got canceled because of Covid I actually organized a Funk Family Olympics at our house with bucket filling, pillow hopping, crab walking, running and ribbon dancing competitions. We had a blast and I even handed out gold metals for each event! Now that the Olympics are actually happening (yay!) I knew I had to revisit the theme and throw in some learning along with the fun. Don’t forget to check out my toddler post “Little Champions” for more fun art ideas like making an Olympic torch and decorating a gold metal.
-Olympic word spelling: I helped my little sound out gold, silver, bronze, metal and win by saying each sound and letting him identify and write the letter to make the word.
-Olympic word match: I got this Olympic word matching page from Teachers Pay Teachers. To do it, I had my little “read” each picture then find the matching word using his knowledge of letter sounds (ie. he’d say “first- that starts with an F…ffff…ffff- this word starts with an F too” and he’d draw a line to match them).
-Olympic writing: First I had my little tell me which event he would like to compete in if he were in the Olympics. I made a brainstorming web using his ideas with his chosen event- “running”- in the center circle and ideas he had about what type of running he’d do, how the race would go and how it would end around the edges of the web. Then I helped him use the ideas to tell me a story about what would happen if he were in the Olympics- for example I said “You said on your web you’d like to do long and short distance running- can you put that in a sentence for me for your story?” Then he’d tell me the sentence and I’d write it down. I wrote the story on this special Olympic writing paper I found on Teachers Pay Teachers.
-Olympic ring color name practice: Have your little practice writing their name in all the colors of the Olympic rings (blue, black, red, yellow, and green).
-Olympic book list:
-Sprint: Set up a starting line in your house or outside and use a stopwatch (most phones have one) to time your little running one lap (or from the starting line to a finish line). When they’re done, have them identify the numbers in their time then run again to try to beat it, or have their sibling run it and try to beat their time (or have them time you running- that’s what we did! LoL)
-Long distance run: Follow the instructions for the sprint above, but have your little run 10 laps.
-Pole vaulting: This was my favorite because it was so darn funny- plus my little thought it was really fun! Put a piece of tape on the floor for a starting line then give your little a Swiffer (or a broom) and show them how to use it to “pole vault” by placing the Swiffer on the line and using it to help them jump…now granted they’re not going to be jumping over a high bar, but they can use it to leap some distance (my little was landing at around 45 inches!) Then use a tape measure to measure how far they jumped from the starting line to their back foot- have them identify the numbers in their measurement, then put them together (ie. 4 tens and 5 ones makes 45).
-Long jump: This is similar to the pole vaulting above, only you have your little leap on their own from the blue line forward. Mark where they land, then measure the distance with a tape measure. We did it as many times as he wanted to see if he could beat his distance from the previous jumps.
-Swimming: If you don’t have a pool or community pool or your little can’t swim yet obviously this isn’t going to work so just skip on to the next activity! LoL We have a lake and pool in the backyard so my littles have been in lessons since they were 2-3 months old because with all that water around I knew they had to be strong swimmers at a young age in case they fell in. Both were swimming independently by age 2 and thank goodness because at age 3 my preschooler decided to try walking down our dock with his eyes shut and fell right in the lake. He was scared, but he held his breath and kicked himself back to the surface so we could easily pluck him out and ended up being completely fine- and a bit more wise about keeping his eyes open near the water! Drowning is the leading cause of death in children under 5 where we live, so swimming lessons were at the top of my to-do list. Ok, enough of my Public Service Announcement! For this event, you have your little swim the length of the pool (or width if they can’t do the length yet) and time them. Then have them identify the numbers in their time and tell how long it took. You can do it again to try and have them beat their time or have another kiddo try it then compare numbers.
-Japan on the map: Since they Olympics are being held in Tokyo, Japan this year I printed maps of the world, Asia and Japan and had my little color Japan on each one. We started with the map of Japan where we also found and circled Tokyo, then worked our way out to the world. On the world map, we also found the United States and our state to see how far away it was to Japan.
-History of the Olympics article: I read this article from National Geographic Kids to my little on the history of the Olympics. The bit about the torch traveling from Greece to the current Olympic location sparked the question- how on EARTH do they get it across the oceans?! After some googling we learned that it has its own private plane and travels with a hurricane lantern-type top… and also that they light it using a mirror and the sun just like in the original Olympics!
-Olive leaf crown: I cut out some olive leaves from light and dark green construction paper, then had my little glue them to a strip of green paper to make a traditional olive leaf crown like they gave out at the first Olympic games in Greece!
-2020 Olympics videos: After reading the article above, we watched a few videos on the Olympics today. The first was an educational modern Olympics video, one was a teaser from the BBC and one was a teaser from NBC sports.
-Draw an Olympic flag/poster: I had my little look at and draw the Olympic rings logo, then write Tokyo under them to make a flag to hang on his wall during the games.
-Eatable Olympic metal: When I saw these eatable Olympic metals on Create, Craft, Love I thought they were SO clever! You make them using 1/2 of a fruit by the foot and a golden Oreo! My littles loved them too! LoL (just realized I never posted a picture for this! There’s one in the intro collage! Sorry!!)
- tape measure
- Swiffer or broom
- fruit by the foot
- vanilla Oreos