The winter games are here! One of my best memories as a kid is being SO EXCITED to see Kristi Yamaguchi skate for the US and then finding out she was on way past my bedtime… then planning a sleepover with my figure skating obsessed bestie the night Kristi skated and sneaking out of bed to watch it by peeking around the corner when her parents turned it on! hahaha She’s still my favorite skater, and figure skating is definitely my favorite part of the winter Olympics, although I’m pretty mind blown with the skeleton (PLEASE DON’T CRASH Y’ALL!), ski jumping and the freestyle snowboarding too! So join us as we celebrate all of the amazing athletes competing this week as we dive into some winter games activities! Go for the gold!
-Scrabble tile push and say: I spelled out some winter Olympic words with scrabble tiles then showed my little how to push and say each letter sound then combine them to make the word (ie. say the sounds for g-o-l-d…then say the word “gold”). We did the words China, ski, skate, bobsled, Olympics, gold, silver and bronze.
-Winter Olympic mini book: I printed this winter Olympic mini book on Teachers Pay Teachers and had my 5 year old read and trace the words on each page (I helped him sound things out). My 3 year old just colored the pictures after I read each page to him.
-Winter Olympic write the room: I printed these write the room cards from Teachers Pay Teachers, laminated them and had my little go around the room reading them and writing each one down.
-Winter Olympics opinion writing: First I discussed with my little what an opinion is (something you think that can’t be proven) vs. what a fact is (something you can prove by observing it with your 5 senses or science/testing). Then I had him choose which winter Olympic sport is his favorite and write/illustrate a page each day for why he thinks it’s best.
-Winter Olympics book list: Here are a few winter Olympic books I found- they all ended up being written in a very “non-fiction” format if you get what I’m saying, but they were fun to skim together to learn about some of the sports that are played.
-Hockey hit, estimate, measure: I had my little hit a hockey puck as hard as he could, then we measured the distance. Then I had him do it again- but this time I introduced estimating- making a thinking guess based on prior knowledge (preschooler talk for “what you already know”). We discussed how far the first puck went, compared it to the second puck and used the comparison to estimate how far the second one went. Then we measured to see what the distance really was. We repeated this 4 times!
-Olympic ordinal numbers: We reviewed what ordinal numbers are, then I gave my little some “metals” I had cut out with the number and word versions of first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth on them. I had him put the numbers in the correct order, then we read them again together.
-Winter Olympic patterns: I got these from a set of winter Olympic math activities from Teachers Pay Teachers. You have your littles cut out the athletes at the bottom of the page, then complete each pattern with them.
-Winter Olympic graphing: The above mentioned set also included a search and find graphing page. I had my little find each athlete and color them the same color (ie. all hockey players blue) then count them up and graph them.
-Hockey player add and color: I printed this hockey player add and color page from the above mentioned packet as well! My little added each number sentence, then used the key to color it the correct color to show his answer.
-Olympic ring maps: Did you know each ring on the Olympic flag represents an area of the world that competes?! Blue stands for Europe, red for the Americas, green for Oceania, black for Africa and yellow for Asia. First I showed my littles where each color represented on a world map and colored the map that color. Then I gave them maps of Europe, the Americas, Oceania, Africa, and Asia that I had cut in circles and drawn a ring around (see picture). I had them color each ring the correct color according to the Olympic flag, then we glued them together to make the Olympic rings! I got this idea from The Idea Room.
-Wax paper ice skating/friction: First we discussed friction (when 2 things rub together) and tried “ice skating” on the carpet with bare feet. We noticed we didn’t glide, so we discussed why (we looked at the bottom of our feet and noticed they- and the carpet- weren’t smooth). Then we tried on the tile floor with wax paper under our feet. The two smooth surfaces made for much less friction and we had a blast gliding around the house!
-STEM build a ski jump: We pulled up some clips from this year’s ski jumping on YouTube then I had my littles use blocks to build a jump similar to the one skiers use…I said it had to have a top slope with a take off point that dropped down to a lower slope. We tested it out with matchbox cars since we don’t have a mini rolling skier toy (do they even make those?! LoL)
-Fizzy Olympic rings: My kids love any fizzy activity! For this one I mixed equal parts baking soda and flour with enough water to make a dough. Then I rolled out pieces of it and made the Olympic rings. I gave them colored vinegar to match the ring colors and pipettes then had them mix and play until everything was fizzed up! I got this idea from I Can Teach My Child.
-Watch the winter Olympics: My littles were actually super interested when I put on the winter Olympics for them to watch (it was the luge). They were super impressed at how fast the lugers were going and really wanted to try it themselves. The actually requested to watch it for their TV time every day the rest of the week too! (I mean it IS exciting to watch everyone compete- they’re truly amazing athletes!)
-Paper plate Olympic rings: I had my littles paint the center of 5 paper plates the colors of the Olympic rings. When they were dry I cut out the center, then cut a hole in each one to make them rings and glued them together to make the Olympic symbol.
-Cottonball snow slope painting: I had my littles paint a snow slope by dabbing a cottonball with white paint on it on blue cardstock. When it was dry, I had them add a snowboard or skier sticker to it!
-Ski jump rocket: I had my littles cut out a small ski jumper cartoon while I made a pocket by folding a small square of paper in half, then folding in and taping the sides. We taped the skier on the pocket, placed the pocket on a straw and blew to make him fly! I got this from J Daniel 4’s Mom.
-Ice skate craft: I drew an ice skate outline on a sheet of cardstock, had my littles cut it out and hole punch along the top edge then thread it with string. I added some tin foil on the blade for them since it’s a bit hard to work with. It was hard for my 3 year old to cut the cardstock too, so he just did the threading, which was great fine motor practice.
-Design a snowboard: We talked about how snowboarding is one of the sports in the winter Olympics. Then I showed my littles some examples of the designs on real snowboards and had them decorate and cut out their own (I drew the template on a sheet of paper first). I helped my 3 year old draw his (which he made for his brother) and then he colored it.
-Letter of the week: Ss, each day we do a different activity focused on our letter- introduction/have your little practice it on the chalkboard (or white board), think of words that start with the letter and make a list, workbook letter writing practice, workbook word writing practice.
-Word of the week: and, each day we do a different activity focused on our word- introduction/sound the word out/have your little practice writing it on the chalkboard or whiteboard, word family list- think of other words that rhyme with your word of the week, use the word in a sentence (have your little come up with the sentence and write it for them) then have your little illustrate the sentence, and workpage practice.
-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “But now these three remain; faith, hope and love- but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.
-Character trait of the month: love…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates generosity I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “That was so loving when you shared some of your cookie with your brother!”)
- scrabble tiles
- hockey stick
- hockey puck
- sheet pan
- stack of books
- toy car
- wax paper
- baking soda
- tin foil
- drinking straw
- cotton balls
- ski/snowboarder stickers