Imaginative play is a powerful way to teach preschool and kindergarten children. Little kids just love to pretend! When it comes to the O is for Olympics lesson, children at the tender age of 3, 4 or 5 years old have no memory of the Olympics. For the most part, they have no clue what it is. That is why I really look forward to our Letter O lesson when a Winter Olympics year rolls around. Learning about the Olympics is exciting and new! [Our school is closed during the summer months so I wait to teach it in a Winter Olympics year.]
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This year I had the help of a brilliant gym teacher, Jennifer. She put all of our games together. The rest of the teachers helped me make the pretend medals and team pennants.
On the day of our pretend Winter Olympics, all of our little onlookers were also the athletes. Everyone paraded in, waving pennants and singing “God Bless America” and everyone played in the games. All of our athletes were on Team USA! As we waited for the games to begin, we chanted “USA! USA!” and waived our pennants. The teachers did our best to dress like coaches wearing sweat pants, sneakers, zip up hoodies and USA stickers . My teaching assistant wore her gym teacher whistle, too!
The three indoor events we played were speed skating, curling and the luge. Our students are so young – ages 3, 4 and 5 – that we did not feel comfortable putting them in the luge competition so we brought in large teddy bears for them to push across the room. Fun!
Speed Skating: three children participate in each race. Place two pieces of construction paper on the floor in front of each child. Still wearing their sneakers, your little Olympic skaters stand on the papers and, at the sound of “Go!” they “skate” on the pieces of paper across the gym. First, second and third to arrive are the gold, silver and bronze medal winners. Then, they immediately go to the awards area of the gym to wear the medals and have some of the onlookers cheer for them and exclaim “Yaaa! You’re the winners!” We used a step stool for the gold medal winner to stand in the middle, higher than the other two. For a nice little addition, we also took their pictures.
Curling: our gym teacher brought in three angle brooms and three lightweight bean bags. The students had to push the bags on the gym floor, using their broom. Three participants in each heat of curling = three winners!
The Luge: as I said, to avoid accidents with our little kiddos, we chose to have stuffed teddy bears ride in the luge. The teacher brought in three flying-saucer snow sleds and three large stuffed toys. The students would push the sleds with the bears riding on them to the finish line. Those bears took several spills, proving the wisdom in not having children riding on the sleds!
Teach your preschool and kindergarten age children all about the Olympics with some really fun pretend play. Put together your own little kid Winter Olympic games! #Olympics #preschool #kids #tips Click To Tweet
Do you have any indoor Winter Olympics type game ideas we can add next time? Please share them!