As we all know, the Olympics only comes around once every four years so it can be a novel event to celebrate in centres – not to mention a lot of fun! The Rio 2016 Olympic Games take place from August 5 – 21.
The Olympic Games provide early childhood educators (as well as educators at all levels) the opportunity to explore many different topics with children, but to make it simple for you we’ve narrowed it down:
1. What are the Olympic Games?
Start with a discussion of what the Olympic Games are. Keep it simple – pick from a few of the main features that children will find exciting. You could talk about the whole world working together, the teamwork, the sports, the Olympic torch and the medals.
Here are some leading questions to help you with your Olympics discussions:
What do you know about Olympic Games?
How often do the Olympic Games run?
Which countries participate in Olympic Games?
Where will Olympic Games run this year?
Which country is Rio de Janeiro the capital city of?
Do you like playing sport?
Which sport is your favourite?
Does your mummy or daddy play sport?
Why do people like to do sport?
Does playing sport make you healthy?
Why do we need to be healthy?
2. Get physical
Check out the full list of the sports featured at Rio 2016 here and adapt them to allow children to try at your centre. Children could line up chairs and row in an imagined kayak! Or get outside for one of the many ball games like basketball.
3. Get creative
Children can explore elements of the Olympics creatively using visual arts. Here are a few ideas:
-Colouring or creating Olympic rings is a classic Olympic activity for children. Here’s a printable, or try using plastic cups dipped in paint.
-Children can create their own Olympic medals using ribbon, cardboard, coloured paper, felt, foil – whatever else you can find!
-Roll up some paper into a cone shape, secure with glue or tape and stuff with orange and red tissue paper to create an Olympic torch!
4. Talk about teamwork
Children watching the Olympics and any sport will notice that in many cases teams need to work together and help one another. A simple parachute game of trying to keep a ball or balls on the parachute/sheet will help demonstrate the importance of teamwork to children! Observing and discussing uniforms can be fun too.
The Olympic Games are an exciting time all over the world, so above all keep it fun! If you have some amazing ideas to add, we would absolutely love to hear about them! Share with us on our Facebook page, or if you’re a Bonkers Beat member, share in our private group here. Parents, feel free to post in our private Facebook group for Bonkers Beat