In this blog series, we are introducing ideas to foster learning through the Olympic experience this summer when the XXXI games are held in Rio. Rainbow Chimes is located in Huntington, NY. We use the High Scope curriculum which emphasizes participatory learning and a method where children develop critical thinking skills from a young age.
Your Own Games!
- If you are feeling really ambitious or have an older child who likes to run things, you can put on your own neighborhood Olympic games. Call a few of the other parents or your siblings and see how many kids you can gather on one day in the coming weeks and hold your own Olympics. You can follow the pattern on the real Olympics with an opening ceremony, events, medal awards and a closing ceremony.
The Opening Ceremony
- Have the kids make Olympic torches out of metallic paper for the torch handle and red felt for the flames.
- If you have enough kids to make teams, let them make their own flags to hold and to pin to their shirts.
- Buy an inexpensive stopwatch or two, and let children learn about timekeeping. This is a good opportunity to teach young children that there are 60 seconds in a minute and so on.
- Depending on your yard or neighborhood, you can hold all sorts of events. They don’t have to exactly echo real events, just make them things that kids like. If you have even a small pool, you can hold competitions for holding their breath or standing on their hands in the water.
- Foot races and low hurdles, a frisbee toss and even cornhole can be your track and field games. Have your Olympians run a maze or an age appropriate obstacle course before the games begin.
- If you have the space for an obstacle course, have the kids run in individually, or as relay teams. Even fun games like egg carrying and a water balloon toss can be your events.
- Remember to choose age-appropriate events for children. Your three and four-year-olds can tumble by doing somersaults, and do track and field by jumping and running, while older kids can swim, and do the more complicated events.
Awards and the Closing Ceremony
- You can do awards at the end of your games to keep the fun flowing.
- In the days leading up to your neighborhood games, you can get some of the kids to make medals. You can give them ribbon and cardboard and metallic paper or crayons or air dry clay and paint.
- This is a great time to teach small kids about the colors gold silver and bronze and ordinal numbers of first, second, and third.
- Don’t forget to treat your Olympian with themed foods too! The possibilities are endless!
The Olympics are a terrific opportunity to let children explore topics which interest them, and to find new areas of interest as well. Joining up with neighbors or cousins gives kids a great outlet for energy, socialization and can wear them out so you get a chance to sit and watch the games as they unfold in Rio. If you are interested in Rainbow Chimes as a daycare provider for your child in the Huntington-Long Island area, call us to schedule a tour of our facility.