Olympics School–Day Six

Today was the biggest craft day of our Olympic unit–scrunchy tissue paper Union flags. It was a lot of fun to make them, but also time-consuming, so we didn’t do a whole lot else today!

The detail on the flags is awesome…it almost looks like they’re made out of little flowers. Alternatively, Moose said he thought they looked like one of the cakes I make, and he’s not too far off…they did have a look similar to a cake decorated with a star tip.

I was very happy with how these turned out, and the children were pretty proud of themselves, too.

We did find time to read one book–How to Train with a T. Rex and Win Eight Gold Medals, by Michael Phelps. Although this book is written for young children, Turkey and Bunny got a kick out of it, too. We learned things like how many miles Michael Phelps swam in practice over the course of six years (12,480), how many pounds he leg-presses in a session (18,000 or the equivalent of a New York City subway car), and how many calories he consumes in a day (10,000!). The children loved learning these fun facts, and I have to admit, I found them to be pretty interesting, too!

Today’s Passport Stamp: Union Flag Olympic Mascots

Activities for the Olympics

Let me just start by saying that my favorite place for Olympics printables and craft ideas is Activity Village. I used this site for our Diamond Jubilee coloring pages and worksheets as well, and it has tons of great resources. That being said, I also found other places with great ideas, too, and have chosen quite a few of them for our school. If you look, there are also lapbooks galore available for the Olympics, but I’ve never gotten into the lapbooking craze, so that’s one thing we won’t be doing. I’ve also heard good things about the Amanda Bennett Olympics study, but I just don’t have time for everything! The best part about all of these projects? I’ve had to purchase very few supplies to complete them…most of the items are things we already had around the house!

  • Torch Craft–Our first project, before the Olympics officially start, will be making a torch. There are lots of torch crafts out there, but this my favorite. We may even have our own family torch relay!
  • Olympic Rings–There are also a lot of Olympic Rings crafts, but I thought that paper plate Olympics rings were especially cute. This will be particularly fun for Moose and Ladybug (and good cutting practice, too), but I’m sure Turkey and Bunny will probably want to make their own, as well.
  • Design-a-Flag–Prior to the Opening Ceremonies, we’ll each have a chance to design our own flag. We’ve done this before, and it’s always fun to see how the children’s ideas for their personal flags change!
  • Memory Verse/Handwriting–The New Testament has several verses that are appropriate when discussing the Olympics, and as long as we’re memorizing one, we may as well work on our handwriting at the same time!
  • Trip Planning–One of our big projects will be planing a (fictional) trip to London. I even purchased a travel guide…if I’m lucky, maybe someday I’ll get to use it for real (even if it will be outdated by “someday”). We’ll look for landmarks we want to visit and map it all out. Cost is no object for this trip!
  • Workbooks–Although I did purchase two consumable books for the children to share, the bulk of their worksheets and coloring sheets will come in the form of workbooks I put together for them. There will be lots of different activities, including coloring pages, word searches, Sudoku, word scrambles, mazes, and more. I even found notebooking pages!  They’ll make a nice keepsake of our studies when we’re all done, too.
  • Design-Your-Own Olympics Items–This will become part of the children’s workbooks when it’s done. Each child will design his or her own Olympic logo, mascot, team shirt, and medal.
  • Medal Chart–No Olympics would be complete without tracking the medals won. We’ve chose 10 countries…the United States, of course, and host country England (technically the United Kingdom, to be exact), and then picked other countries we’re interested in, making sure to have at least one from each participating continent. And while we’re counting medals, we can also learn about this year’s design on the NBC Olympics website.
  • Medals–Speaking of medals, one craft project will be making medals as awards for our “Family Olympics.” We might make salt dough medals, or we might just use metallic cardstock. We did glitter last time, so I know that I don’t want to that again, although they did look awesome!
  • Family Olympics–The activities will be whatever we choose. It could be a physical activity like a race, or something silly like who can shuck an ear of corn the quickest. Maybe we could even award a medal for the winner of a family spelling bee!
  • Olive Leaf Crowns–I found a pattern for this in The Olympic Experience in Your School, but all you really need is green leaf shapes and  a green construction paper headband. Since we’ll be learning about both the modern and ancient Olympic games, it seems fitting to make awards that reflect both!
  • Passports–I also got this idea from The Olympic Experience in Your School, but decided to change it around a bit. I ordered some cute sticker book passports from Oriental Trading, and will be using those stickers, as well as some “stamps” I make to mark the different “venues” we’ve visited, including the history of the Olympics, design-your-own, sports, and the Olympic Spirit around the world.
  • Research Project–Turkey and Bunny will be given the task to write a short report on either a famous Olympian, a participating country, or an Olympic event. This report will also go into their workbooks.
  • Union Jack–I looked at a lot of Union Jack crafts, and I thought this would be a fun project for the children to do, and would reflect the host country at the same time. It’s also something a little different, since we just colored Union Jacks for the Diamond Jubilee last month.
  • Union Jack Cake–This activity is all mine…I’m going to make a Union Jack cake for the Opening Ceremonies, provided I can get the conversions figured out. I may also make some different foods from around the world, depending on how adventurous I’m feeling.
And I almost forgot…
  • Tea Party–Anytime we learn about anything British, it’s time for a tea party. We did it for the Royal Wedding, and again for the Diamond Jubilee, and we’ll be doing it once more for the Olympics. I try to switch up the menu, and also serve a different flavor of tea each time, so we get to try new things, and so it’s always a little different!

These are only the big activities. We’ll also be doing a pictogram study, looking for world flags from our flag sticker book during the Opening Ceremonies, learning about the Olympic motto and oath, studying some Olympic vocabulary words, listening to Summon the Heroes, learning a little geography and history, reading a whole bunch of books, plus whatever else I throw in. I love the Olympics, and they provide a great opportunity for fun and learning!