July 27, 2012

London Summer Olympics-Homeschool Activities

Happy Opening Ceremonies Day!

I might be a little bit anti-TV in general. I'll be honest. 

BUT...when the Olympics are on? Bring on the popcorn, and let's hang out on the couch!

As homeschoolers, the Olympics provide the perfect opportunity to do some unconventional learning time. Here are a few (easy and stress-free) ideas:

  • Have a globe or world map in the room. Each time a new country is mentioned, find it! You could even go the extra mile and google a little info about the country. Today, my son and I spent some time looking up some of the less-known countries that will be participating.
  • Make flags. You can make flags to hang or ones to wave while cheering for your country. You could make a flag for England and learn about London. You could have a sketchbook handy and sketch flags of countries you look up.
  • Make a banner of world flags.
  • Make a chart with a few of the most prominent countries, and chart their medals each day.
  • If you feel ambitious, set up a mock-Olympic games in your backyard. Have you heard of the Modern Pentathlon? It would be fun to imitate. It involves shooting, swimming, running, fencing, and show jumping. Set up a course in the backyard where kids shoot a water gun at a target, cross through a kiddie pool, stab something with a foam sword, and jump over a hurdle on a hobby horse. Don't forget a stopwatch. You could keep this pretty simple or go all out and invite the neighborhood.
  • Read about some of the people (past or present) who have competed in the Olympics.
  • When watching a sporting event such as basketball or volleyball, get out a white-board or chalkboard and tally up each team's points.
  • Choose an event and eat food from the country that earned gold.
  • Make medals for each other. You could think of a strength for each member of the family and give them a gold medal for that quality.
  • Learn about decimals. How long is a tenth or hundredth of a second? Find the differences between scores and times of gold medalists vs. silver and bronze medalists.
  • Buy gold coin chocolates and win 'medals' for doing chores, good behavior, etc.
  • Have everyone guess how many gold medals your country will win during the entire summer Olympics. Whoever ends up closest gets a prize.
  • Discuss the degrees of a circle in association with diving. 
  • Learn about a sporting event you are unfamiliar with.
  • Learn about horses and watch the equestrian events.
  • Create a routine modeled after synchronized swimming or gymnastics.
  • Do tricks on a trampoline. Have someone keep score.
  • Watch sailing and make sailboats to float in the bathtub or race down a creek.
  • Watch weightlifting. Weigh various items around the house.
  • Watch cycling, and go for a bike ride.
  • Have a race.
  • Wrestle.
  • Play water balloon volleyball.
  • Make a small canoe.
  • Go swimming.
  • Make mini bows, arrows, and targets. Compete. Watch archery.
  • Do gymnastics. Practice somersaults, cartwheels, bridges, splits...
  • Pretend a piece of wood is a balance beam.
  • Race on hobby horses.
  • Draw your own mascots.
  • Get library books about the Olympics.
  • Or, just snuggle and watch your favorite events together.
I'm sure you have some great ideas for celebrating the 2012 Summer Games. Please share!


Emily loves books (and watching the Olympics) more than chocolate cake. See hundreds of reviews of good, clean reads, as well as other chatter, at her blog, Homespun Light

5 comments - Add a comment below -:

Deila Taylor said...

I think this is a great idea -- never thought of using it as a teaching theme. Good ideas. Love it.

Dana ♥ said...

We love to watch the opening ceremonies! Often times the creativity is just amazing. Our favorite sports to watch are gymnastics, swimming, and diving. Great ideas! Thanks!

Googs said...

These are all great ideas, thanks! Great excuse to study world geography I think . . .

Eve said...

Fantastic list! What a great bunch of ideas to pick from. Thanks for such a fantastic way to connect real-world current events to our everday learning experiences, Emily! I am getting the world map ready for the opening ceremonies tonight :-)

Emily said...

Oooo-Oooo. Watching the Opening Ceremonies! Great opportunities to discuss the Industrial Revolution and types of government!