Family Fun to Get Into the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

Young Girl Making Paper SnowflakesThe Olympic Games are an international celebration of sport to inspire and promote goodwill among people around the world. This year, thousands of athletes will again compete for coveted medals and the chance for international fame.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February will have families everywhere gathering around TV screens or streaming video on mobile devices.

The Olympics can be particularly inspiring for children, who often view the athletes as heroes and the Games as larger than life. Excitement builds from the opening ceremonies to the competitions to the awarding of the gold, silver and bronze medals. To get the kids into the spirit of this sports extravaganza, plan an Olympic-themed activity that your family can do together:

Bring on the “snow”: To make paper snowflakes, all you need are scissors and sheets of white paper. The basics involve folding and cutting the white paper into a circle and then into a series of triangles and then cutting small slits and shapes into the triangle. Easy-to-follow instructions are available at the Old Farmer’s Almanac website.

Your own “ice rink”: For your little ice hockey fans, you can make a replica of an ice rink out of cardboard, aluminum foil and white cotton balls. Here’s how: Cut off one side of an old cardboard box, then glue onto the “floor” of the box a piece of aluminum foil that you’ve cut to fit, so that the foil resembles ice. Glue white cotton balls all around the “rink” to create a “snowy” border. Now that the ice rink is complete, turn toy action figures into hockey players by attached toothpicks to their shoes with adhesive putty, creating ice skates. Toothpicks also make great hockey sticks.

A cultured learning experience: Since the Olympics encourage kids to learn about other countries, get the kids into a discovery mode by building a fun activity around this year’s/or past year’s locale. Visit a language translation website to teach your child 10 simple words in the host country’s language that relate to the Games. (Did you know that led shayba is Russian for “ice puck”?) Or, have your child find books or visit websites to learn about the host country’s people, geographical location and climate.

Olympic “flag” of cooperation: Get five kids together to craft an Olympic “flag” out of paper or poster board. Each child can make one of the five colored rings used on the official Olympic flag: blue, yellow, black, green, and red. The finished rings can then be affixed to white paper, poster board or fabric, representing the white background of the Olympic flag.

Let the games begin – at home: You can encourage your kids to invent their own Winter Olympic Games by competing in fun outdoor activities at home. For example, suggest holding a contest to see who can shovel their section of the driveway the fastest. (That should get the kids’ juices flowing.) Once the Olympic-themed activities have been selected, organize an opening ceremony complete with music and marching. After the competitions, pass out homemade gold, silver and bronze medals to the winners.

What are your family’s favorite Olympic events to watch together? Share your feedback with us in the “Comments” section, below.

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