This is an opportunity for young children to get acquainted with the Olympic Games, but most importantly the central message during the activities is one of friendship and peace. People playing and working together in peace and friendship makes for a better and beautiful world.
Activity #1: What are the Olympic Games?
Our children can first get to know a little about 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 Kid's Olympic Day Games.
Ideally this is best done on a day that children can play outside, any time or season.
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 - Focus on the Circle Shape and Letter O is for Olympic
Print this activity page with a resemblance of the official Olympic flag. Make sure to display one that has been colored in, cut and glue to a drinking straw. 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 five major land areas of the world - show this land areas on a map or globe.
3. The rings are interlocked to show friendship among the nations.
* Count the rings (circles) together, read and identify the color words of each ring.
* 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.
* Make sure that children have crayons or markers with these colors.
* Display the flag so children can see the sequence of colors. Give instructions to start coloring the first ring and so forth.
* Have children practice scissor cutting skills and indicate to cut out the flag along the solid black line.
* The flag can be taped or glued to a drinking straw or leave as is. Get ready to sing and march with their Olympic flag with the songs below.
Activity #3: Movement & Music: It's a Small World or The More We Get Together
Have the children pretend they are in the Olympic Games and walk or march around the room holding up the flag. Music is essential and a unifier! Here is: It's a Small World (music & lyrics), or The More We Get Together - great for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 year olds (music & lyrics)
Activity #4: Olympic Torch Maze
Distribute a maze activity page - color version or black and white - (cut out the maze portion from the page and save the medal templates for the next activity). Explain to the children than an Olympic torch bearer runs to light the Olympic cauldron to start the games during the opening ceremonies.
Ask the children to see if they can help the Olympic torch bearer to carry the torch to the Olympic cauldron. Encourage children to "stay on the path."
Activity #5: Making an Olympic Medal - Focus on Circle Shape
Tell the children they are now going to make an Olympic medal to wear for the games.
Choose the color or black and white version. The medal has an optional ribbon holder pattern to glue to the medal, fold over ribbon and glue to the back of medal. The second method is to make a hole with hole punch and children can insert a ribbon about 18 to 24 inches long and help staple or tape the ends. You may be able to purchase inexpensive ribbon that has red, blue, white stripes such as depicted in the medal image or use any ribbon you have at your disposal.
Tell the children that athletes in the Olympic games receive medals for winning games (show this poster), 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!
OPTIONAL: Group Picture Taking - Printable Picture Frames
This is a good time to gather the children with their Olympic flags and medals and make a group picture or individual pictures before the games. The children will be too tired after the games.
Here are printable picture frames in color and black & white to remember the occasion. Cut out the center circle of the stop watch image and tape picture from behind so the picture can be preserved without cutting. Ideas for using the picture frame: for family album or scrapbooks, gifts for relatives, or educators can share with parents. You may also want to plan for someone to assist to video tape the activities and games!
Activity #5: Olympic Games
Here are just a few games, but any games that are suitable for a preschool birthday party can be implemented. These need to be conducted outdoors or 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.
1. Game One: 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 finish line without losing the feather, if they do 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.
5. Game 5: Backward Race
This is very easy for the youngest children. Just walk fast backwards trying not to bump into each other to the finish line.
6. Game 6: The Egg-A-Thon Race or Relay
Use plastic Easter eggs and plastic spoons. Children will try to walk fast holding the egg in the spoon on to the finish line. It can also be done as a relay and have one child in the middle of the race line waiting. The children transfer the egg to his relay partner's spoon and go!
Activity 6: Olympic Games Closing Activity
Make sure to have an ending ceremony holding the flag and sing one of the songs again.
It is important that the games be fun and competition is not the focus. Everyone is a winner for participating.
Make sure to have drinks and sunscreen while outdoors! Plan for fun healthy snacks depending on the season the activity is held.
Finally, these games can be incorporated to celebrate many special occasions and events listed in the themes column or as part of a field day activity.