Preschool Olympic Theme



The 2008 Olympic Games officially begin in Beijing in August 2008. You can celebrate the games with your children now. On these pages you will find many activities and ideas for an exciting week of Olympic festivities. Introduce your children to the idea of people from many countries all over the world gathering to compete and have fun.. Give each child who participates in an event an Olympic Badge.


BOOK LIST

Duke's Olympic Feet - Ellie Crowe
The First Olympic Games - Jean Richards
Elympics: Poems - X. J. Kennedy



SONGS & FINGERPLAYS

DAY ONE

Friendship Flame Song - sung to "The Mulberry Bush"

Here we go round the friendship flame,
The friendship flame, the friendship flame.
Here we go round the friendship flame;
Lets get read y for games.

We will have fun and run some races,
Run some races, run some races.
We will have fun and run some races
At our Olympics today.

DAY TWO

Play marching music while your children take part in an Olympic March. When the marching is completed, have your children form a circle around the torch. Sing the first verse of the Friendship Flame from above. End with the following verse sung to "The Mulberry Bush"

We will have fun and throw and jump,
Throw and jump, throw and jump.
We will have fun and throw and jump
At our Olympics today.

DAY THREE

Before you begin your games today, have your children circle around the Olympic Torch and sing the first verse of the Friendship Flame song from up above. End with the following verse sung to "The Mulberry Bush"

We will have fun and balance and dance,
Balance and dance, balance and dance.
We will have fun and balance and dance
At our Olympics today.

DAY FOUR

Ask your children to join you around the Olympic Torch. Sing the first verse of the Friendship Flame Song from up above. End with the following verse sung to "The Mulberry Bush"

We will have fun and play water games,
Play water games, play water games.
We will have fun and play water games
At our Olympics today.

DAY FIVE

Have your children gather around the Olympic Torch. Sing the first verse of the Friendship Flame Song from up above. End with the following verse sung to "The Mulberry Bush"

We will have fun at the obstacle course
Obstacle course, obstacle course.
We will have fun at the obstacle course
At our Olympics today.



ARTS & CRAFTS

Olympic Torches

To celebrate the opening of their Olympic Games, have your children make "torches" by wrapping cardboard tubes with aluminum foil. Help them put strips of yellow and orange tissue paper in their tubes for "flames."

Olympic Flags

Show your children some pictures of flags from countries around the world. Encourage them to tell you about the colors and designs they see in the flags. Set out construction paper in a variety of colors. Let your children create their own flags on the construction paper with crayons, markers, stickers, and other decorative materials. Tape each child's flag to a cardboard tube.

Dancing Rings

Collect lids from large plastic containers. Cut out the center of each lid, leaving a one inch rim all the way around. Give a rim to each of your children. Set out lengths of crepe paper in a variety of colors. Help your children tape the ends of the crepe paper to their plastic rims to make Dancing Rings.

Making Medals

Let your children help you make award medals to hand out at the end of the games. Cut large circles out of cardboard. Let your children cover the circles with gold foil (available at craft stores) to make 'medals.' Tape the medals to lengths of crepe paper. Set them aside.

Olympic Rings Mural

Cut five large ring shapes out of sturdy paper. Have your children work together to color each ring one of these colors: red, green, black, yellow, and blue. Arrange the rings on a plain white sheet of butcher paper and hang it up for your closing ceremonies.



GAMES & MOVEMENT

Torch Lighting

The Olympics are considered to officially begin when the large torch at the stadium is lit by a runner carrying a smaller torch. Set up a large "torch" in your outside play area (a plastic tub, an inner tube, etc.). Let your children run around the area with their Olympic Torches and pretend to light the big torch by placing their torches around it. Let the games begin!

Track Races

Plan several races for your children, such as a partner race, a running backward race, or a crawling race. Make the races “no-lose”. Hand out Olympic Badges to all the competitors.

Olympic March

Invite your children to hold their Olympic Flags. Have them line up in pairs with their flags gently waving back and forth. Let each pair of children take a turn leading the rest of the children in a march around the Olympic Torch).

Throwing Games

Hold up a large, plastic hoop and let your children take turns throwing soft sponge-type balls or beanbags through it. Or place the hoop on the ground and have your children try to throw beanbags into the middle of it. Try hanging a bell from a clothesline or tree branch. Let your children toss beanbags at the bell to make it ring. Give Olympic Badges to all the competitors.

Jumping Games

Place a large plastic hoop on the ground. Invite your children to jump into and out of the hoop. Have a jumping race across a designated area. Use chalk to draw a line above the children’s heads on a fence or wall. Challenge your children to try to jump up and touch the mark. Give each child who jumps an Olympic Badge.

Dancing Games

Have your children hold their Dancing Rings from the Arts & Crafts section up above. Play some rhythmic dancing music. Encourage your children to dance around, twirling and twisting their Dancing Rings. Invite them to discover how to make their rings move in a circle, up high, all around, and flutter across the ground.

Balancing Games

Plan several balancing games for your children. For example, you could let them try walking on a balance beam placed on the floor, balance beanbags on their heads and walk a short distance, or stand on one foot. Again, make the games "no-lose" so that anyone who participates is a winner and receives an Olympic Badge.

Water Games

Play water games with your children today. Depending on the abilities of your children, you may wish to do some or all of the following:

*Use spray bottles for squirting specific objects.
*Jump over a sprinkler.
*Have a relay race, moving water from one bucket to another using only a spoon.

After the children have dried off, hand out Olympic Badges to the participants.

Obstacle Course

Plan a simple obstacle course for your children. If you wish, include some of the following activities:

*Ride tricycles from one place to another.
*Climb over or under an object.
*Fill a wagon with blocks, pull it to a specified spot, and unload it.
*Roll or kick a ball from one place to another.
*Crawl from one spot to another.
*Go down a slide.

Have Olympic Badges waiting at the end for all the competitors.



INTERNATIONAL SNACKS

Vanilla Milk Shake

This frosty beverage is an American classic. Combine 2 cups vanilla ice cream, ¾ cup milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a blender. Process until smooth. Makes 6 servings.

Vermicelli With Fruit and Nuts

This traditional Kenyan dish shows the influence of European settlers who introduced noodles and other foods many years ago. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 3 cups vermicelli (broken into 1-inch pieces) and saute (until lightly browned. Pour in 3 cups hot water. Stir in 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/3~ cup chopped dates, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, and 1 teaspoon ground cardamom. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Tortillas

Made with either corn or wheat flour, these flat rounds are a staple of the Mexican diet. Combine 2 cups masa harina (corn flour) and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gradually add 1 ½ cups warm water and mix with your hands until mixture forms soft dough. Form into 15 equal balls. Flatten each ball into a thin 6-inch circle. Fry tortillas in a dry pan over medium-high heat for about three minutes, turning once. Serve warm. Makes 15 tortillas.

Mango Lassi

Chilled yogurt drinks, called lassis, are a favorite drink in India. In a blender process 2 ripe mangoes (peeled and seeded ), 2 cups plain yogurt, and 4 ice cubes. Add milk and honey to taste. Makes 6 servings.

Ham and Melon

This snack is eaten as an appetizer in Italy. Cut a cantaloupe in half, cut off the rind, and remove the seeds. Cut each half into 8 thin wedges. Wrap a slice of ham around each melon wedge and serve. Makes 8 servings.



CLOSING CEREMONIES

At the end of the final day of your Olympic celebration, plan a special Closing Ceremony. Sing the first verse of the Friendship Flame Song one more time. Pass out the medals your children made on Day Four. Hold up the Olympic Rings Mural from Day Five as your children march around the Olympic Torch one last time. Pass out the children's torches and flags for them to take home.



LINKS

Official Site of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Olympic Activities - ChildFun
Olympic Theme - Everything Preschool
Olympic Games for Kids - First School
Olympic Games - Preschool Education



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