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The Winter Olympics: Preschool Lessons For the Classroom

written by: Tania Cowling • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 11/27/2013

Every four years the winter Olympics are held in a designated city with athletes from over 80 countries. Young children will love learning about the sports and celebrations through these preschool lessons that this special event has to offer.

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    Discussion

    DSC 0179 The winter Olympics comes every four years to a designated city. Athletes arrive from all over the world to compete in these games. It's never too early to begin acquainting the children with newspaper, magazine, and Internet pictures of Olympic ceremonies and events. Question the children about the different types of sports that are played in the winter season. Do they know about ice skating and skiing?

    To show the children where the Olympics will be held display a globe or world map in the room. Put a sticker on your city and then another sticker on the designated city to help children observe the area when the Olympic games will be played.

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    Flags of Many Countries

    Flags play a large role in Olympic ceremonies. Remind the children that each country participating in the Olympic games carries a flag into the arena and that the flags are displayed during the games. Show them pictures of flags from other countries in books or on the Internet. Notice the many colors and designs. Using art materials in the classroom, have the children make flags of the country where the Olympics is taking place. Use the templates in this website from ABC Teach as coloring pages or guides to make flags using construction paper pieces.

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    Snow Related Games to Play

    Think snow! Here are a few games to play either indoors or outside:

    • Participate in a snowball-throwing contest. At this age, everyone is a winner!
    • No snow, don’t fret! Make homemade snowballs out of white socks rolled together in a ball. Have a snowball toss competition indoors or outside.
    • Pretend to ice skate in your stocking feet. Wood or tile floors work best.
    • Styrofoam packing peanuts on spoons make a great pair for a race across the room. Who can make it across the room without dropping the contents?
    • Head outdoors for some homemade sledding. Flatten a large cardboard box. Make holes in two corners on one end. Holes should be at least 3-inches from the edge. Thread a rope through the holes making a handle for the sled. Take the children for rides as you pull the sled. No need to worry if you don’t have snow—this box will slide on sand or even smooth grass.

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    Olympic Rings Games

    The official Olympic symbol consists of five rings in colors of red, green, black, yellow, and blue. The five multicolored Olympic rings stand for the five continents from which athletes come to participate in these Olympic events.thumbnail 

    To play hoop games, purchase hula hoops, one of each color (or spray paint them the colors above). Here are a few games to try:

    • Have children hop in and out of the hoops. How many times in a minute can they hop in and out?
    • Let children stand inside the “Olympic” rings to do any exercise (jumping jacks, hops, toe touches).
    • Invite children to toss beanbags into the rings. As they become skilled at the game, have them move farther away.
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    Edible Olympic Torch

    The symbolic torch is lit and carried to each Olympic games from Greece. Here is a fun treat that resembles the flaming torch. Give each child a pointed sugar ice cream cone. Fill it with a scoop of lemon, orange, or raspberry sherbet. Then have the children sprinkle on baking sugar crystals in yellow, orange, and red. This makes a fun pretend “flaming” snack.

    By using these winter Olympics preschool lessons, the children in your group will get a better understanding of the sports and activities that are involved in this world-wide event. Spark up the spirit in your classroom and hopefully the children will carry this excitement home for families to become involved.

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    Sources

    Personal experience in the classroom.

    Images:

    Rings: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Olympic_rings_square.svg

    Ski: by klk13 - http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/724355

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