Whenever the Olympics comes around, it’s a great opportunity to encourage children into the different sporting activities, especially those more unusual ones. I love the atmosphere of the Olympics (I managed to get to see the Volleyball at London 2012), so I’d like N to get to experience a bit of it on now he’s old enough to understand it.
Ok, so we can watch the sports on tv (and if I have my way it’ll be on a lot while the OH will avoid most of it). But children will love to immerse themselves into the whole Olympic spirit. So I’ve pulled together some great Olympic themed activities that would be perfect for children to enjoy over the summer.
11 Olympics themed activities
1. Hold your own mini Olympics
A chocolate company I used to work for had its own sports day as part of the Commonwealth Games when they were in Manchester. We did toss the (large) chocolate bar, balance the bag of sweets race, and various other fun races. You can create your own themed races depending on what you enjoy. Add in some jumping and throwing games and you could have a whole afternoon of fun.
Or try Pool noodle javelin
2. Dress up as an Olympic country
If it’s good weather, get a playdate organised (or family BBQ and get everyone involved with dressing up) and have everyone choose a country to represent.
3. Create mood boards for Olympic nations
Previously we did a mood board for Italy as part of learning about a different country so you could easily choose a few countries over the duration. I found it was a really good way to get N to remember about the country, matching pictures and words makes it sink in easier.
4. Have themed days – for food and activities
Really get the kids immersed in different cultures, and make any staycations more interesting by theming days according to countries. They could learn some different languages, learn about the country, make the different flags, make international food and play games from those countries.
5. Make your own Olympic rings
Use hula hoops, bangles, draw them in rice in rice, or make them out of cut up sweet/chocolate wrapper (quality street or roses wrappers would work well for the colours). See how many ways you can create the rings
6. Have a sweepstake
Each pick a country (or a couple) and see how they do on the medal table – daily or over the whole competition. Use the medal table to improve maths – have your own medal table and get the children to move countries up and down, adding up the medals.
7. Olympics bingo
You can create your own Olympics bingo for kids or adults. Simply create a grid, then for each square add an action or phrase that either the athletes need to do or commentators need to say, then share grids with everyone in the family and you can tick off what you see or hear as you watch. Examples could be an unusual celebration, winners holding their flag upside down, the wrong national anthem being played, a capsizing boat, shorts falling down etc. For younger children, you could use flags for the opening ceremony for a matching game.
8. Make up your own sport
Get creative and either make up your own sport, or take a sport and make up a variation on the theme. How about tennis target shooting – make a target with different sized rings and hit balls at it to score?
9. Make your own medals
Get out the craft box and make medals from tin foil, paint, ribbons and cardboard. Or make my washer necklaces – just use bigger washers and you’ll have some lovely medals to celebrate your own mini Olympics.
10. Dress a room
Along the same theme as dressing up, why not decorate the house with each person choosing a country and decorating their space to represent the country. We did this at work for the World Cup one year and it was brilliant fun.
11. Throw an Olympics party
Either to watch the opening or closing ceremony, invite friends round and have a party.
Try theming food based on the host country. For the Rio Olympics you could have tried Brazilian food like barbecued meat, queijo coalho (‘squeaky cheese skewers), Feijoada (black bean, pork and sausage stew), Brigadeiros (chocolate truffles), Pão de queijo (cheese bread), or Quindim (a custardy egg coconut dessert).
If you’re running out of ideas, why not check out the following blogs for more Olympic activities:
Will you be watching the Olympic Games? Are you planning any activities with the children?
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