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Learning together: The Olympic games

The Summer Olympics are finally here! Children are always interested in what’s happening in the world around them – so this can be a great time of learning about sports and teamwork and the Olympic events.

It can be tricky to think of new activities to do with your little ones over the colder months. So we’re sharing a couple of Olympic themed activities that you can do with your children to celebrate and learn about the Olympic games together.

Salt dough Olympic medals

We loved these salt dough medals with number in-prints. Kids will have fun making them and then using them for imaginary play!

Salt Dough Recipe:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
  • 3/4 cup water

Simply combine the flour and salt in a bowl, then add the water gradually. Knead the mixture until it becomes a dough-like consistency. It will feel very grainy because of the high salt content, but that’s fine. If still too sticky add a touch more flour, if it won’t hold together well then more water, a teaspoon at a time.

Once you have made the dough, roll it out until it’s 1-2cm thick. Cut into three octagon medal shapes. Push a straw into each one to create a hole for threading the ribbon through later.

You can talk with your children to identify the numbers 1, 2 and 3. Carve the numbers out with a pencil or if you have number stencils – use them to push them into the medals to create an impression in the dough.

You can then have a chat to you children about 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and what that means in relation to the Olympic races and contests. You could explain how 1st place earns a gold, 2nd a silver and 3rd a bronze – which would they prefer to win?

When the medals are finished – put them on a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray, and dry them in the oven for 2 hours with the oven on a very low temperature (around 100 degrees C). They needed to be turned over once during the “cooking”. 

You can then paint them gold, silver and bronze with acrylic paints and thread them with ribbon – making them ready to wear!

Home Olympic Games – Make an obstacle course challenge

Create your own living room Olympics!

Movement is important for our children – and winter can make it hard to get out and about. Why not set an obstacle course up using cones, rings, pillows and any other items that encourage kids to move in a different way.  How you go through it is up to you!

Kids can hop, run, jump one footed, skip, shuffle, jump two footed, walk backwards, dance, gallop or tiptoe to get to the end of the obstacle course.

You can also add other challenges to the obstacle course such as:

  • Set a timer and see how fast you can complete the course.
  • Pick a time and race to see if you can complete the course in under that time.
  • Set up 2 identical courses and race a sibling, neighbour, or parent.
  • Do the course holding a plastic egg on a spoon.
  • Complete the course forward and backwards for the entire race.
  • Add in a challenge, such as, jump 10 times when you get to the blue cone.
  • Add little flags with letters or numbers to the cones.
  • Put a bucket of bean bags at the start and an empty one at the end, children must obstacle with the bean bags to get them to the opposite side.
  • Make it a team challenge.  See how many times you and your child can complete the course in three minutes!

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