Our whole family looks forward to the winter Olympics. From the opening ceremony to cheering on our favorite USA competitors, it doesn’t get much better than the excitement of the winter games. To make it even more engaging for my daughter, I’ve put together a few of our favorite winter Olympics activities.
The local library is a great resource for books that provide information about the Olympics. Kids with an interest in a specific sport or athlete can also find books to satisfy their curiosity. Two of our favorite winter Olympics books are Dora and the Winter Games and Tacky and the Winter Games. Both of these mention a few different sports you’ll see this year in the Olympics. My daughter loved the familiar flow of the Dora book, which was interactive as usual.
This modern take on the Olympic symbol gave my daughter a chance to paint, while learning something new. The Olympic symbol represents the coming together of the five continents and gathering of athletes from around the world. (The Olympic Rings) This is a great opportunity to talk about how all people can play together, when everyone is showing good sportsmanship.
Creating the art was easy. Simply find a piece of white paper, five empty toilet paper rolls (or three cut in half), and paint. We used the same colors as the Olympic symbol: blue, red, yellow, green. (I couldn’t find black paint, so we improvised with tracing practice with a toilet paper roll and a black pen.) At this age, keeping the colors in order wasn’t the point. In fact, mixing them all together over the page is a great reminder of the countries coming together!
Bring the ice skating segment of the Olympics to life by freezing water on a metal cookie tray. I should have put more water on the tray, but my daughter still loved it!
Your child can use a plastic figurine to put on an ice show. Bonus points if you let them choose their own music for their performance.
This is one of those activities that can go on for quite some time. If your house is like mine, it might turn into a mini science lesson about melting ice.
Fine Motor Development
Create your own medals using ribbon and beads. A pipe cleaner works well, but ends up being a bracelet, rather than a necklace (be careful of the sharp ends!).
You can cut out a circle and punch a hole in it to create a medal. Let your child develop their fine motor skills by stringing their own prize!
This also provides an opportunity to discuss winning, losing, and good sportsmanship.
Gross Motor Development
Make an easy Olympic ring toss by saving an empty paper towel roll and a few paper plates. Use painters tape to secure the tube to the floor. You could make a whole course by adding tubes of different heights.
Cut large holes out of the center of the plates. Allow your child to decorate their “ring,” using the Olympic colors. Each family member can decorate their own ring.
This game was harder than I anticipated. A heavier plate might work better. Or, let your child stand pretty close to make some points.
Enjoy a competitive game of pom pom hockey from the warmth of your own home. Use painters tape to secure two different colored pieces of construction paper to the floor. Decorate your paper, if you’d like. Another option would be to make a square on the floor using painters tape. These will be the “goals.”
Next, find two brooms. You could also make your own by using an empty wrapping paper roll. Dump out pom poms in the middle and let the game begin! Bonus points for counting the pom poms in the square at the end.
Check this page out to find more information on How to Catch the Olympic Spirit with Your Kids.