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Olympics With Kids
Olympics With Kids

The buzz of the Olympics is in the air and it seems everyone is waiting for the opening ceremonies on bated breath.  Records will be broken, champions will be made, and nations will swell with pride.  The Olympics are wholesome programming for the whole family, here are five ideas to help get the kids excited for the Olympics.

1. Hold Your Own Olympic Games

Invite all the neighborhood kids, or keep it just a family matter.  Make or purchase medals to hand out to the victors in every event.  Events which require minimal set-up include relay races, sprinting, and floor gymnastics.  Depending on your access to additional facilities, other events to consider could be: swimming, basketball, a triathlon, table tennis, volleyball, and football.  Make it educational by giving a brief history of the sport, or showing a clip of a famous athlete to excite and inspire.

2. Predict the Winners

Recommended for older children, chose a handful of sports and predict the first, second, and third place winners.  Then watch the events together and cheer for your chosen team or athlete.  It’ll keep you both looking forward to what’s next.

3. Plan Olympic Viewing Time

It only comes once every two years so make it a special time with the family.  Schedule the events you want to watch together in advance and make it an Olympic hour every week, every other day, or even daily.  Pop popcorn, make Olympic cookies by using slice and bake with multi-colored icing in the shape of Olympic rings, gather everyone together and use it as family bonding time.

4. Make Olympic Crafts

If you have a child that enjoys turning clay and paint into works of art then there are a number of crafts which you can do with them.  For younger kids paint the sides of their hands and have them make an ‘O’ shape to complete the Olympic rings.  Older children can sculpt their own medals from clay or create a drawing or painting depicting their favorite event.  With some adult supervision a ribbon wand can be made that can be used to cheer on the athletes, or for their own gymnastics routine.  Hang the finished work around the home to keep the spirit alive.

5. Stay Olympic Social

Some news outlets have called this year’s games the “social media Olympics” and it’s no small wonder with more athletes tweeting and liking than ever before.  If you have an older child who is into social media make the Olympics relevant by sharing these outlets with your children and keeping up with your favorite athletes together.  Five Olympians who are very active on twitter are: Michel Phelps (@MichaelPhelps), Lolo Jones (@lolojones), Serena Williams (@serenawilliams), Maya Moore (@MooreMaya), Kerri Walsh (@Kerrileewalsh).  This can be a great way to bond at their level through a medium that your kids use daily.