Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Summer Olympics: Are You Ready?

The Summer Olympics 2016 just began in Rio de Janeiro (Rio) last night. Did you watch the opening ceremony? Take time to view some of the events with your little athletes at home as this is history in the making. Below are a few activities to do with the children to enhance these global games.

Olympic Ring Art

The Olympic symbol of five rings is displayed everywhere. The ring colors of blue, black, red, yellow and green represent the colors of all the flags of the world. Show the kids a picture of this flag on the Internet or in books, and then proceed to this craft. Pour paints of the colors above in shallow containers. Give each child an empty cardboard toilet tube (you will need five) and invite them to dip the end into the paint and then print a circle shape onto a piece of white construction paper. Have your kids copy the Olympic flag with this technique overlapping the circles to make the rings. Younger children will just enjoy making the circle prints with these art tools.

To make the bow and arrow craft (that I made) check this site.

Let Your Home Games Begin

Young children have a hard time understanding the idea of teams, winners and losers. So, in your games, make sure that everyone is a winner. You can invite your children to try some of the following Olympic activities:

 • Discus throw: use paper plates and see how far the children can toss them.
 • Javelin: let the kids throw plastic straws and measure where they land.
 • Shot Put: throw ping-pong balls or paper balls.
 • Relay race: invite the kids to run a distance passing off a stick (it’s safer to use an empty paper towel tube). For younger children, there is no need to have teams.

 • Bicycle or tricycle races: create an obstacle course at your home where children can ride safely. Use plastic cones if available. If you have a stopwatch, the kids may want to know how many seconds it took them to finish the course.

Olympic Music

Enjoy singing this song with your kids to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

Run, run, run so fast
Fast as you can go.
I’m running in the Olympics now,
I’m going for the gold.

Jump, jump, jump so far
Mark where I land.
I’m jumping in the Olympics now,
I’m going for the gold. 
Change the verses to sing about other events in the Summer Olympics such as throwing, swimming and gymnastics. Conduct your closing ceremonies with lots of praise and award colorful homemade ribbons! Remember everyone is a winner in your own Olympics!

Enjoy the next two weeks of the Olympic games. Until my next blog post.

Happy Parenting,

Photos courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved
Article text by Tania Cowling may not be duplicated without permission of this author.
Ideas in this article have been published in parenting magazines during previous summer Olympics.