Whether you are homeschooling or not, the Olympics brings about a great time to not only watch and learn about the sporting events and countries represented, but also to dig a bit deeper and do some activities as a family. I received these ideas in Julie Druck's enewsletter and through an online homeschool eloop I am on. These would be great things to include the neighbor kids, a church group, or a co-op in!
As this month brings the Summer Games on August 8–24 to China, how about a short study on different aspects of the Olympics?
* Look up and discuss: Romans 12:1; I Corinthians 9:24-27; and I Corinthians 15:35-49.
* Read “Hour of the Olympics” and “Ancient Greece and the Olympics: A Nonfiction Companion Guide to Hour of the Olympics” by Mary Pope Osborne; “Look What Came From Greece” by Kevin Davis; and “A Picture Book of Jesse Owens” by David Adler.
* Print out a map from the internet and study about Beijing, China, where the Games are being held this year. Do related Chinese activities – reading, researching, study of their character writing, art, etc.
* Sample some Greek and/or Chinese cuisine!
* Visit enchantedlearning.com/Olympics for information, activities, worksheets, puzzles and print-outs regarding the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
* Watch the Games on television, choose a sport you don’t know much about and research it for fun.
Activity #1: What are the Olympic Games? Many people from many countries get together to play games and celebrate friendship, unity and sports every four years. There are Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games. The games take place in a different country. The first Olympic games originated in Greece, a beautiful country in Europe - show this on a map or globe. Tell the children they are going to have their own Kids Olympic Day Games. Visit the Olympic Games Web site and share with the children some great Olympic pictures and a little history of the games.
Activity #2: Make an Olympic Flag - A Flag of Friends Explain that this is a very special flag - the Olympic Flag: 1. It has five interlocking colored rings (circles) on a white background. 2. The rings represent the 5 major land areas of the world - show these land areas on a map or globe. 3. The rings are interlocked to show friendship among the nations.
Activity #3: Making an Olympic Medal - Focus on Circle Shape Athletes in the Olympic games receive medals for winning games, such as running, swimming, jumping and many other sports. Today every one is a medal winner of friendship. Now let's go to the games! Create your own medals from construction paper and make a hole to insert a ribbon about 18 to 24 inches long. Purchase inexpensive ribbon that has red, blue, white stripes or use any ribbon you have at your disposal.
Activity #4: Olympic Games Here are just a few game ideas. These need to be conducted outdoors or in a large and safe ventilated area. Materials: balloons (1 per child), a few craft feathers (craft store), drinking straws, Easter plastic eggs and plastic spoons.
Game 1: The Drinking Straw Race Each racer holds a bent drinking straw between his or her nose and upper lip. Make a demonstration. The children curl their lip to hold it tight. See who can run to the finish line without losing the straw. Make sure it is a short distance.
Game 2: The Balloon Between the Knee Race Inflate the balloon, but not too much so that it fits comfortably between the knees of the child. Have the children put the balloon between their knees and run or hop to the fish line.
Game 3: Hug-the-Balloon-Friend Relay Place a balloon between two children's tummies. Have the children hug each other tight and move sideways to the finish line without dropping the balloon.
Game 4: Birdie Feather Race Have the children take off one shoe and sock on one foot. Tuck a feather between two toes. The children will walk to the finish line without losing the feather. If they do lose it they go back to the start and try again. This can also be done with both feet (older children) and instruct them to walk like ducks.