Olympic Games

Starter

Parent/s dress up in sports clothes in the morning and welcome your kids to the Olympic Games! Who knows what are the Olympic Games? The biggest sports competition in the world. Imagine 10,000 people from 200 different countries. That’s a lot of people from a lot of different places getting together to do sporty games. It’s also a really big sports party: they play sports and want to win a medal but they also celebrate getting active, friendship and being together.


The first Olympic games was in Greece (show this on a map or globe). But now each time the Olympics take place in a different country, every 4 years (translate that into your kids' ages). When the Olympics first started a long long long long long long long long time ago it was just one event: a short race with a bunch of guys who ran naked! Now it’s grown into 17 days and 300 different races/games (and everyone wears clothes!). It’s huge. That’s not all: there are summer olympics and winter olympics. Because you can play different sports in different seasons. In summer, what kind of sports do you think they play? Swimming, running, gymnastics. What about winter? Skiing, ice skating, snowboarding. There are also the Paralympics: for people with disabilities, that means people who are blind can’t see or have one arm or use a wheelchair. We’ll talk about that more in a few days...


...because this week, we’re bringing the Olympics to our home! We’re going to play sport inside our home, play games, make games, draw games, it’s going to be fun. Everyone in the Olympics is trying to do their best, and it brings together so many people in a good way to do fun things. First thing we’re going to do is watch this short clip to really SEE what I’m talking about.


You see how much energy that takes? This week especially, we need to make sure our bodies have enough Olympics fuel and energy, that means eating well and sleeping well, so that we can play well and do our best. Let’s say it together: LET THE GAMES BEGIN!


Olympic Team Spirit:

  • Mount a Team Family Sign for the week
  • Each time they do a sport, they get a medal/draw it on your team sign
  • Each day, everyone in the family dresses in the same colour t-shirt according to the 5 different olympic rings >> day 1: red, day 2: green, day 3: black, day 4: yellow, day 5: blue
  • You can also draw up an event timetable listing all the sports you are going to do over the week OR adding them to an empty 'medal board' as you go
  • Make it social: get your friends to join you in doing 'Olympics Week'. Share how you went during the day or at the end of the week!
Day
1

Welcome to...

OPENING CEREMONY

Choose 2-3 20-30 minute activities from the options below:

Team {Family} Poster

Generate some team spirit and make a family sign/mural to put up for the whole week. While making it, you might want to find a short chance to talk about Olympic values – maybe even add the words or images to your sign.


What Are the Olympic Values? A value is kind of like a superpower, it helps us do our jobs, how we act with people, everything we do in life. So in the Olympics, everyone who does a sport has to follow these values:

· Respect: Play fair, respect yourselves, each other, your environment. (take care, be fair)

· Excellence: giving your very best at all times.

· Friendship: Understand your competitors despite any differences.

On top of this, there are four Paralympic Values:

· Courage: Face up to any challenge.

· Determination: Never give up.

· Inspiration: Set an example that others want to follow.

· Equality: Treating everyone as equals.

OPENING CEREMONY PART 1: Torch Relay and Athletes March

Explain how at the start of the Games, the athletes march in to the big stadium with the flags of their country. And the torch comes in too. You can watch this clip to see it in action. Then play a 'pass the torch' game, mimicking the Olympic torch relay. Play the Olympic/your country's anthem or It's a Small World or The More We Get Together, and pass around the torch you made/a flag. Freeze when the music stops. Whoever is holding the torch/flag needs to wave it over their heads for everyone to see. At the end, you can have the music keep going and the children pretend they are in the Olympic Games opening ceremony and walk or march around the room holding up the torch and any flags you might have at home or your family sign.

Olympic Medals

Use this printable to make some medal craft (with bonus maze worksheet) or draw your your own based on the image. You might want to make enough to use after completing each event this week. Or just to award at the end of the day or the closing ceremony at the end of the week.

Olympic Rings

Print this dot page or draw your own rings (no need to pre-arrange, just do it on the go with the kids). Gather a container of coloured pompoms, buttons or scrunched up paper. Kids need to use tongs and put the pompom on the ring that matches its colour. Alternately, use the same dot page but with stickers.


You can also talk more about the background of the rings:

  • Count the rings (circles) together, read and identify the color words of each ring. The colours were chosen because, along with the white background of the flag, at least one of the six colours (white, blue, black, red, yellow and green) appears in all the flags of the competing nations. Have the children stand-up and have them interlock their arms and form a circle, so that they can experience in a sensory way how the rings interlock and unify them. 
  • Demonstrate how the rings also resemble a letter O the first letter in the word Olympic.
  • The rings represent the five major land areas (continents) of the world (with North and South America counted as one). You can show this land areas on a map or globe.
  • You can see how each circle is complete by itself, but they are also all connected together - in friendship.
OPENING CEREMONY PART 2: Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony

The torch (small flame) is then used to light the cauldron (big flame) at the opening ceremony! You can watch this short montage of some different ways the flame has been lit.


Hang your Olympic torch up somewhere in your home by having “a flame lighting ceremony”: Get into some light engineering and build a DIY pulley system with the kids to hoist it up. For a simpler version, make a ‘zip line’ with a piece of string from high up to low down and let the torch slide down. Have fun trying to get other things on the zipline eg toys etc. Keep your torch in its place for the whole week.

Olympic Torch

To make a torch, see here materials you will need and instructions


Some handy background: The Olympic torch is something that started even at the very first Olympics, when a fire was kept burning throughout the games. These days, months before the start of each Olympic Games, the Olympic Flame is lit in Olympia (Greece) using a special mirror that reflects the Sun’s rays! The Olympic Torch is then carried all around the world by various torch bearers until it reaches the host country.

Mindfulness: Sibling Chivalry

In the spirit of Olympic friendship, appreciate your siblings. Is there something that your brother/sister is really good at, or maybe has done something really kind for you? If an only child, choose a friend or other family member to think about. Use this printable or draw your own to make them a personal award.

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