I look forward to falling in love with the Olympics with my kids just as soon as AT&T reconnects my cable and internet after a so-far inexplicable outage just in time for us to miss yesterday’s Men’s Gymnastics Final (perhaps for good reason).
I’m hoping that once the Olympic fever sets in, the kids will invent lots of Olympic events for our backyard. Until then, I’ve set up our own medal tracker and a little familial competition to spark some Olympic spirit, and tie in some literacy and math skills.
We started by looking at the 2008 Summer Olympic Medal Winners. We took the top ten overall medal winning countries, adding Japan because it was a top 10 overall medal contender in 2004. I put a picture of the flag of each country in a hat and each family member took a turn drawing a country to root for. We’re all rooting for Team USA together; Ryan drew Britain (but later negotiated a trade with Nana for China), Noah scored with Russia, Scott took Germany and I’ve got Italy.
I downloaded the flags for each country with this great free printable from Homeschool Creations, with all you need to play three games: a traditional memory matching game to help differentiate the flags, a flag to country name matching game, and a country/flag to continent matching game.
And here’s game #4.
I used the new-to-me packing tape sticker transfer technique to put the flags on glass jars.
I matched each medal to a foil wrapped chocolate: gold, silver and bronze.
Had I known there were over 300 Olympic events, and that certain countries might win over 100 medals, I might have picked something smaller, like jellybeans, or something inedible, like nickels (not so gold), dimes and pennies. Or a mix…gold chocolate coins for the gold, nickels for silver, pennies for bronze. Anyway, rookie mistake, and I’m prepared to have lots of chocolate on the table for a few weeks.
On the way home from New Hampshire yesterday, I picked up a New York Times. After I explained what a newspaper is (kidding) Ryan and I looked at the front page shot of Romney visiting the Western Wall in Israel and then through some stunning Olympics photos (check out the Times’ daily digest of photos here). My mom helped the boys match flags to countries and chocolates to medals using The Times’ Medal Table:
To enter, check out some medal history with your kids and take your best guess on Team USA 2012′s total medal count by commenting below or on my Facebook page before Sunday, August 5th. Closest guess wins the jar and the chocolates symbolizing Team USA’s swag. In case of a tie, winner will be randomly drawn among the closest guesses.